Many electronic product companies concentrate on research, design and marketing and outsource all process of electronic manufacturing. It comes to a lot of phases from product prototype to market launch, PCBA test is one of crucial phases. Even after PCB gerber files and BOM list are passed to PCBA manufacturer, we have to concern multi-aspects to ensure project cycle without any delay and avoid any risk of product introduction at marketplace.
Firstly, we have to analysis market positioning of electronic product, because different marketing strategies determine different design and manufacturing process. If we make high-end electronic products, we have to strictly audit components, assembly process and 100% simulate real production of batch order. If we make very common electronics with ripe schemes, we can conditionally accept PCBA manufacturing process, such as acceptance of replaced components, wide range of ICT test results etc.
Secondly, follow speed over cost during PCB assembly prototype. It generally takes 5~15 days from designed files sent to PCBA manufacturer to return, which can even be delayed to one month if for any process out of control. It is a pity if for slow project caused by human factors. In order to realize 5 days of PCB assembly prototype, we have to select electronic manufacturing manufacturer (enough manufacturing capabilities, good reputation, quality and services guaranteed) at stage of design, even at an extra cost of 50%.
Thirdly, electronic design engineers have to fulfill standards as possible as they can, such as leaving right heat dissipation vias, clear silk screen, regular components in BOM, and specific remarks of manufacturing process in gerber files. In this way, the communication time between PCBA manufacturers will be highly reduced and also wrong production caused by unclear design could be avoided.
Fourthly, we have to fully care about risks during logistics. Regarding PCBA packing, we can require EMS partner to use bubble pack or EPE to prevent any collision during transportation.
Fifthly, take maximization principle during determining quantities of PCB assembly prototype. Project manager, product manager, general manager, and marketing representatives are likely to have one in hand at least. Also, we have to think about the damaged boards during test. Therefore, it is suggested to make 10 PCBA boards at least.
Quality and speed are cornerstones of PCB assembly prototype. Good communication with EMS partner is catalyst. When electronic product companies have these concepts, then they can form good habits of design and stable relationship with PCBA makers. All is well, the project go as you imagine.