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4 Benefits of PCBA, PWA and CCA Assembly Services

BESTProto-benefits-of-pcb-assembly-electric-circuit

When it comes to PCB Assembly  (PCBA), including Printed Wiring Board assembly (PWB) and Circuit Card Assembly (CCA) you have plenty of options. Although some may try to take shortcuts or even go the DIY route, this is ill advised. Generally speaking, printed circuit board assembly is one of the most important aspects of PCB fabrication. It pays to work with a high-quality PCB assembly service provider. Here is a closer look at the benefits of working with our team of experts at BESTProto. 

Benefits of Working with BESTProto for PCB, PWB and CCA Assembly Services

What are the benefits of entrusting BESTProto with your PCB Services? 

  • Leveraging Expertise: One of the top benefits of outsourcing your PCB services to us is that it allows you to leverage the expertise of our team of experts. With decades of collective experience, our experts are highly skilled at building customized PC boards of all kinds. 
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Another major benefit of working with a professional company for your PCB assembly services is that these services may be highly cost-effective. This is because reliable PCB assembly services fully understand concepts such as design changes, price fluctuations, part obsolescence etc. This makes it possible for them to design PCB assemblies in a manner that is the most cost-effective short and long term. 
  • Boost Capacity: Working with BESTProto will also enable you to boost the capacity of your circuit boards. Companies that have to scale unexpectedly may experience downtime while reconfiguring their boards. However, working with a reputable company like BESTProto can drastically reduce any downtime that a given company may experience.
  • Focus on Daily Operations: Lastly, creating printed circuit board assemblies is a complex process. Therefore, creating them in-house can seriously distract from daily operations. By working with us, you can continue focusing on what matters most: running your business.

Do You Need Premium Quality PCB, PWB and CCA Assembly Services?

Overall, if you are in the market for premium quality PCB assembly services, we’re here to help. Contact our team of professionals at BESTProto for a quote and more information. 

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Everything You Need to Know About Box Builds

Three-dimensional view of the electronic Board of a digital set-top box, motherboard

When it comes to electronics manufacturing, there are a lot of terms and concepts that can be confusing to newcomers. In this blog post, we’ll be taking a deep dive into one of these concepts: box builds. Read on to learn more about box builds and how they can benefit your business.

What is a Build Box?

In the electronics manufacturing industry, a “box build” is the term used to describe the process of putting together all the components of a final product into a single enclosure. A box build can be as simple as mounting a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) into a plastic or metal enclosure and adding boards, cable assemblies, connectors and a few peripherals, or it could involve hundreds of components and sub-assemblies. Regardless of the complexity, all box builds have one thing in common: they require careful planning and execution to ensure a high-quality end product.

 

Why Use BESTProto for Box Builds?

There are several reasons why electronics manufacturers such as BESTProto do box builds to assemble their customer’s products. First, box builds allow for greater flexibility in the design process. By outsourcing the assembly of individual components, manufacturers can focus on designing and building the PCB assembles and enclosures that will house those components. This can result in better-designed products that are easier to assemble and test.

 

Second, box builds can save time and money by reducing assembly errors. When components are shipped pre-assembled from different suppliers, there is always the risk that something will be misassembled during production. This can result in costly delays and rework. By outsourcing the entire assembly process to a single supplier, manufacturers can avoid these pitfalls and reduce their overall costs.

 

Finally, box builds allow manufacturers to outsource production to specialized suppliers who have the experience and expertise necessary to produce high-quality products. These suppliers often have access to state-of-the-art equipment and processes that would be cost-prohibitive for most manufacturers to purchase and maintain themselves. By outsourcing production, manufacturers can take advantage of these resources without incurring a significant upfront investment. 

Conclusion

Box builds are an essential part of BESTProto’s electronics manufacturing process. By outsourcing the assembly of individual components, manufacturers can save time and money while maintaining a high level of quality control. Specialized suppliers with experience in in box builds can provide manufacturers with access to state-of-the-art equipment and processes, ensuring that products are assembled correctly and efficiently.

 

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How to Prevent Future PCB Problems

BestProto-How to Prevent Future PCB Problems

From smartphones & computers to critical medical electronics & military equipment, printed circuit boards are essential components that make it all possible. However, the slightest manufacturing errors and defects in PCBs can cost a lot of money in the long run– and even cost lives if it’s an important medical or military device in the field.

That’s why PCB inspections from reliable and reputable engineers are more important today than ever. In this article, we’ll cover a few of the inspection methods used to find defects and prevent future PCB problems.

Flying Probe Testing

Flying probe testing (FBT) is a cost-effective method that is ideal for low-volume production or prototypes. The test probe “flies” (or moves) from test point to test point to easily and quickly identify open & short circuits or wrong values. FBT can also ensure each component is correctly placed and find anything that is missing. However, it does NOT allow for power inspections or functionality inspections.

In-Circuit Testing

In-circuit testing (ICT) is also an FBT, but it uses electric probes to run a current through various points of the PCB to check for power levels, resistance, capacitance, short/open circuits, and other basic information to determine the PCB’s integrity. This inspection is ideal for mid to high-volume productions, and it’s a great tool for picking out design-related defects, component deficiencies, and more.

X-Ray Inspections

Another inspection type that’s perfect for advanced components (such as multi-layered PCBs or those with a multitude of sockets) is X-Ray inspections. The X-ray gives a detailed look at each of the parts, making it less likely to miss errors that would be overlooked by a typical visual inspection. This includes giving detailed information on parameters such as voiding, solder thickness, and the sizes of the joints.

Reliable PCB Repair Services & Inspections You Can Count On

BESTProto is a PCB company with many years of experience in inspecting PCB units for a variety of industries including medical, military, telecommunications, and more.  Contact us today to learn more about our PCB inspection services

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Five Types of Product Prototypes

BestProto - Five Types of Product Prototypes

Before most devices are released to the market, a prototype is developed to test the process or the concept. A prototype is the initial version of the final product. The prototype helps inventors and entrepreneurs when they are meeting with manufacturers, retailers, patent attorneys, and sources of funding. It captures how the subsequent products are put together, their appearances, and what they will do. A prototype will provide the specifications for the real product and how it works instead of the theoretical design.  

The following are the five different types of product prototypes:

Digital Prototype

A digital prototype is a virtual prototype or a computer model that represents the real product. Design engineers use 3D modeling or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to build a realistic product model. Many types of digital prototypes and other sophisticated digital prototypes use a wide range of simulations to test impacts such as temperature resistance, strength, or other product’s behavior virtually before any physical product is created.

A digital prototype offers many benefits in the same way a physical prototype provides the added benefit of being faster to create at a lower cost.

Mockup Prototype

A mockup prototype is typically the easiest and can be made using modeling clay or cardboard and a tape or the cheapest 3D printer. The basic idea is to capture the shape of the final product and how it fits together.

Marketing Prototype

A marketing prototype is created focusing on the appearance and how customers will interact with the product. It is ideal when you have to meet with the customers and want their feedback. The prototype can be used in advertising and branding.

Functional Prototype

A functional prototype is created to show how the products solve consumers’ needs. It is also known as the working prototype because it is created to showcase how the final product will operate.

Pre-Production Prototype

A pre-Production Prototype is created when the manufacturing is ready to take off. The model uses the same manufacturing processes as the final products. The prototype is ideal for marketing.

Where PCB Assembly Prototyping Fits In

Many entrepreneurs looking for PCB Assembly prototyping can find these prototypes a little confusing, and that is why you need to consult an expert. BESTProto remains the leader in PCB assembly and has PCB prototyping tailored to suit any business needs. 

 

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pcb layout services

5 Common Mistakes for Printed Circuit Board Layouts

Printed circuit boards require keen attention to detail and meticulous design planning. One small mistake and the board won’t work properly. In our years of providing PCB layout services, we have seen similar mistakes made time and time again. Here are some of the most common PCB board layout errors.

1. Incorrect Landing Patterns

Many projects require you to work with electronic components above and beyond what is included in the libraries. On their own, the libraries have pre-designed schematic symbols, but when you add more components you have to manually draw schematic symbols and landing patterns. Being off by even a fraction of a millimeter can bring your project to a halt. 

2. Wireless Antenna Placement

The world has gone wireless and many PCBs require a wireless antenna, but it can’t just be placed anywhere. For best results, use a microstrip calculator to ensure that the antenna and transceiver are properly connected. This typically requires a 50-ohm microstrip transmission line, but use a calculator to be sure. You will also need an LC matching circuit to ensure maximum power transfer. 

3. Placement of Decoupling Capacitors

Decoupling capacitors can’t do their job unless they are placed as close as possible to the pin that requires power and voltage. You need power to transfer to the decoupling capacitor before going to the pin needle, otherwise voltage will not be stable. Power must then be transferred to the output capacitor, which means it must be placed close to the output pin.

4. PCB Trace Width

It is easy to miscalculate PCB trace width. For proper calculation you must factor in whether it is an internal or external layer and the thickness/weight of the trace copper. To be safe, aim for a 10C rise—but never more than 20C. To minimize error, use a trace width calculator. 

5. Improper Use of Vias

You must understand the difference between through, blind, and buried vias to connect the layers of your PCB. If you select the incorrect via, your board won’t be manufacturable. 

All the errors above are costly and time-consuming. To eliminate these common PCB mistakes, outsource your layout and design to BESTProto. This is one of the many PCB layout services we provide!

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pcb prototype

Considerations Before Sending Your PCB Prototype to Mass Production

You’ve designed an innovative new or updated circuit board for your smart technology, but now it’s time for a prototype. Here are a few things to keep in mind before sending your PCB prototype out for production.

Determine Your Top Priority

One of the first things you must determine is your top priority: board size, cost, or layout time. The larger the board, the higher the routing function, but the higher the cost. However, multiple layers on smaller boards are sometimes more expensive than larger prototypes. The smaller the board, the longer it takes to layout. 

Part Selection

If your design currently requires a sole-sourced part, consider if you can swap it out for something that is more widely available—if not for the long-term, for your prototypes. Otherwise, waiting for the part you need can cause a bottleneck in your launch date. While easy availability is ideal, also consider if there are any new parts that can improve your current design. And yes, this includes sole-source parts. Just be mindful of turnaround. If you are sending part kits with, create a checklist to double check all parts are accounted for.

Layout and Polarity Markings

If you haven’t yet, it’s time to ensure your board is laid out for maximum efficiency and has clear polarity markings. No large parts next to small parts that can interfere with solder function and no copper planes that overlap only on one side of small parts. Ensure that your polarity markings and reference designators are crystal clear. You know where everything is supposed to go, but if your markings aren’t clear your prototypes may come out incorrectly. The most common cause of incorrect PBC prototype completion is being sent outdated design files. Your prototype has likely evolved, so double check you send the correct version. 

Don’t have a prototype partner yet? Reach out to BESTProto today for a quote.

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pcb panelization

PCB Assemblies: A Quick Tutorial

Electronics manufactured for everything from healthcare to space shuttles require a PCB Assembly. In fact, the invention of the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) and how it supports physical components and their wiring through copper tracks is remarkable. The components are fixed into position by drilling holes in the board, placing them, and then soldering them in place or, having pads to place on the surface in what’s called Surface Mount Technology (SMT). 

Panelization has brought high amounts of efficiency to PCB Assembly production, which wasn’t possible in the early days. Consequently, technicians can prototype a handful of project boards all in one simple swoop. 

Fortunately, with the proper PCB Assembly design software, PCB panelization has never been easier to implement. Let’s explore the simplicity of designing your own PCB panel with a quick tutorial.

1. Draw Your Board

It all starts with preparing the board layout. In this stage, you’ll need to draw your board. Schematics are important throughout this stage. The schematics are used for laying out the traces and placing the components on the PCB. 

Start by logging in to your software, and create a new project. Make sure that in the process of drawing your schematic, each schematic symbol you use has a PCB footprint associated with it. The PCB footprint will define the component’s physical dimensions and placement of the copper pads or through holes. This stage is great to decide which components you’ll be using. 

2. Draw Your Artwork

The next step is to transfer your schematic diagram into a drawing of your printed circuit board. Drawing PCBs can be a time-consuming process. Thankfully, most PCB layout software is equipped with tools that will help you draw your board from the schematic.

3. Placement of Components

Do you prefer your circuit board to be in a box? Keep in mind that tall components might need to be flat to fit. You can test this by drawing your components on your board, then printing it out on a sheet of paper. This will help you know if it will fit in the box and if the connectors will fit properly.

4. Assembly of Your PCB

When you have completed your drawing, it is time to get your PCB design ready for manufacturing. This step is all about finding a trusted PCB production and assembly specialist. Look for an organization who will work with you on prototyping, stands behind their work, and has an expert understanding of your industry. Contact BESTProto today to request a quote on your project.

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