Recent times have brought on the advent of machine assembly for orders of any size in shops that used to assemble with hand placement. This means that fast PCB prototype assembly is being done in a fraction of the time it used to take. A turnaround time of five days or less is making these shops show numbers that are 75% faster than the industry averages. These averages are likely to change very soon.
PCBs, or printed circuit boards, can be single sided, double sided, or even multi-layer. This means that PCBs can have one copper layer, two copper layers, or multiple layers of wire, depending on the need. Multi-layer PCBs allow for much higher component density.
Printed circuit boards are used in all but the simplest electronic products we see in our everyday world. PCBs have about them an additional design effort. This additional design effort is that the circuit must be laid out. However, the manufacturing and the assembly can be automated.
Other wiring methods are much more expensive than manufacturing a fast PCB prototype because in prototype PCB assembly the components are mounted and wired with only one single part. In addition, only one automatic line is needed to place and solder more components than as many as 50 hand solder operators. This one automatic line can also do it with better and more consistent quality.
A fast PCB prototype relies on the existence of PCB design software used by companies that offer PCB fabrication and assembly. Before this kind of advanced PCB design software was introduced, the printed circuit boards were designed with the use of Mylar sheets. These Mylar sheets were quadruple the size of the circuit board itself. It was on these sheets that designers would create a transparent photomask of the design that was proposed.
Today, many manufacturing companies are a one-stop company for a very fast PCB prototype. They will handle the difficult PCB manufacturing and quickly turn around the assembly of the PCB. The best companies will offer some of the best and most advanced PCB technology. This makes things much more convenient for their clients than in days past.
As is true in any industry, the more advanced the technology the quicker the company will turn around whatever it is that needs to be made. This industry is no different. Even the low volume PCB work is being done with greater precision and better accuracy.
Either way, whether you need a large number of PCB manufactured very quickly or you have a business that moves more to the low volume but high-quality range, today’s manufacturing technology will help you do whatever it is your business has set out to do.