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9 Tips for Choosing the Right PCB Manufacturer for Your Business

tips for choosing right PCB manufacturer for your business

Key points to consider when evaluating PCB manufacturers for your projects, include

  1. Quality
  2. Capability
  3. Cost
  4. Time Scale
  5. Manufacturer vs Broker
  6. Cooperation
  7. Material Sourcing
  8. Testing
  9. Quantities

Choosing the right PCB manufacturer for your project and business will help you reach your goals, but choosing a wrong one likely will lead to much regret. Pointers to help determine your right manufacturer include:


PCB Quality essentially means the board will be manufactured to your specified fabrication & drawing requirements with no errors. Including dimensions, drill position accuracy and location, warpage, selected materials meet specification, plating, processing, and test. Quality should be consistently high for all production, not just your initial production.


Create a detailed checklist to review in advance with potential suppliers to verify the supplier has the capability to meet your required specifications.


While important, the lowest cost source may not have the Capability and process Quality to make your product successful on a consistent basis. Be sure to confirm suppliers have demonstrated the Capability and Quality systems to meet your requirements.


Verify the potential suppliers can meet your program deadlines, inclusive of shipping. Reliance on a PCB manufacturer to meet committed delivery dates is key. It’s also helpful to have a source capable of delivering boards on a fast turnaround time when necessary. Also faster turnaround usually comes at a premium price your program may dictate a premium is the best business decision.


Usually it’s best to avoid brokers who only have an “arms-length” relationship to the manufacturing facility / company as it may not be possible for them to guarantee standards, or requirements and schedules necessary to comply with your program needs.


While it may be difficult to quantify, the ability of a supplier to work in a two-way partnership can be another key factor to success. A cooperative relationship enables issues to be resolved quicker to avoid or minimize problems related to PCB design, or subsequent assembly operations.


Ensure your chosen PCB supplier can deliver a UL approved product that meets all your required standards. The lowest cost producer may be sourcing material from the lowest cost sources leading to inconsistent product performance from batch to batch. It’ also important to confirm you maintain industry regulations for RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances), REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals) and CFM (Conflict Free Materials) compliance.


Verify the PCB Manufacturer will test your boards (at least on a sample basis) to make sure they meet requirements.


Confirm the capabilities of the PCB Manufacturer match with the volume of PCBs you need produced. Small quantity, quick turnaround, prototype fabrication infrastructure may not be able to also produce high quantity, volume product in a cost effective manner, or with the necessary quality required. Again, try to match the capabilities to your needs.

Finding the right PCB manufacturer to fit your program or business is not always easy. However, it can be critical to your assembly or product/program needs. Time spent in advance during selection may pay dividends in the long term.

Optima Technology is a global provider of PCBs, PCB Assemblies, Cables and System Assemblies located in Lewisberry, PA and New Delhi, India. Since 1995, Optima has specialized in providing local support coupled with cost-effective pricing via offshore manufacturing through our ISO approved facilities. Please reach out to if you’d like to discuss further your PCB or Electronic Assembly needs.