Most people don't realize, but manufacturing services require some of the most careful and best results because of the components that are handled daily. It also requires very high precision in all of the aspects of a PCB and other electronic parts because the parts all need to be in working order and even having something be just a little off on the board can cause a major problem. All of this precision and perfection, however, doesn't mean that you as the buyer need to over spend for that quality.
Finding precision with an affordable price is very much doable, especially with assembly manufacturing. All that is required is to look for the signs that the manufacturing company in question is utilizing the utmost precision without trying to go around corners for cost. Here are some of the most major signs to look for and tactics to use yourself.
One way you can test the precision and quality of a manufacturers final design that will be sent out to your own customers is through prototypes. Nearly all assembly manufacturing companies offer such a service and will allow you to do small batch orders or even a single product can be shipped out to you once it is completed. This can be a measure of precision on the board and components up to your spec.
The best way to go about this is doing a smaller batch order of prototypes or drafted designs and measuring each of their quality and precision. If they aren't giving the care needed for ever single product, then you know you can look elsewhere for your bigger project.
Most PCB assembly companies are using robots and automated machinery to do most of the assembly processes, but the finer components are normally done by skilled engineers and assemblers. However, some manufacturers will try to make the entire assembly process and have their staff do the testing. This, too, can make very precise components and help the company pass on savings and inexpensive prices to you.
Interview The Manufacturer
Don't be afraid to ask questions and understand the day to day assembly and work life of the company. This is an age of transparency in nearly all businesses, and this even includes the assembly companies you are working with on your own orders and designs.
When you go ahead to speak with a manufacturing company, the obvious questions are going to be present, of course. Budgeting and time are always a big focus, but, be able to inquire about how everything is assembled, the testing processes, and the daily work schedule in order to get an idea of the attention to detail and precision that is going into your order.
Talking with the PCB manufacturing company and gauging their services is the perfect time where you can interview them, understand them, and create a open communication between you and the company--and we all know open communication like that is very important among businesses.
Google is right there to help you and practically everyone has a professional website these days. Also, almost anyone can be researched online and the work they do, which is prime time to check out an assembler's "portfolio" and decide if their precision is something you think is up to snuff for your own work.