If you want to put a quality product on store shelves, it's usually not a good idea to go with the very first design your engineers come up with, right? New product ideas have to be tested and refined before they start running down the assembly line, or else you may be facing very costly post-sale support problems afterwards.
This is an issue that's been a growing concern among those who outsource PCB manufacturing to China. Most (although not all) of these firms only provide manufacturing services, so it's entirely on you to provide specifications for a quality device and to hope they are able to deliver it. If the specs were flawed, or if counterfeit parts sabotage it, there will be little you can do about it.
The alternative, of course, is to use a more robust electronics manufacturer who offers PCB assembly services. A small investment here ahead of time can often save you a lot further down the road.
The Benefits of PCB Prototype Assembly
Think of it as an insurance policy: If you spend a bit more money up-front, you'll save yourself a lot of hassle later on. After all, these days, you can't risk your company's reputation on dodgy electronics. Once a firm becomes known for poor products, it can be extremely hard to undo the damage without a full (and costly) rebranding effort.
With PCB prototype assembly services, you get the breathing room you need to thoroughly test your design before committing to a production run.
An experienced electronics manufacturing service firm can often begin by improving your design right from the start. Many initial designs are overly-complex, or fail to take advantage of the latest manufacturing technologies on offer. Allowing the manufacturer to look over your design and suggest changes can very often result in simplified designs that reduce component use, making them both cheaper and more reliable.
You'll want a firm that takes a top-to-bottom view of your product aimed at enhancing its entire life cycle, which looks at everything from the big picture to the underlying circuitry wiring. In some cases, you may even find a manufacturer who is comfortable working with software and algorithm development as well as hardware, allowing you to revise and refine your products' firmware as you perfect the physical design.
Testing services are another important part of the printed circuit board prototype assembly process. The most robust of these failure-test your prototype both as a whole, as well as on a component level.
Further, putting your prototypes through “stress tests” doesn't simply make for a more reliable product: Such testing makes it safer for use, and helps ensure you meet all regulatory requirements in the countries you do business in.
Finally, if your interest is in having green services, look for a PCB manufacturer who can help you meet RoHs requirements, or even beat them, to produce a sustainable product. Additionally, producing green-friendly electronics makes for an excellent selling point. People are worried about our impact on the environment, and being seen as doing your part will help your outreach.
PCB Prototype Assembly Builds Better Boards
Simply put, prototyping services help you create a better product. You'll be able to put items on shelves which are less expensive, more reliable, safer, and more compliant with health and environmental regulations.
Given that your reputation really is all you have on the Internet, why gamble with untested products? Put a little more money into prototyping, and you'll reap the benefits throughout your products' entire life cycle.