Optimizing Printed Circuit Board Assembly Design through Collaboration

While innovations in design and manufacturing have helped lower the cost of producing printed circuit boards, the price of creating a PCBA can be driven even lower through cross-functional collaboration.

In this article, we’ll look at some effective cross-functional collaboration tactics.

Optimizing Printed Circuit Board Assembly Design through Collaboration

1. Specifications are not aligned with processes

It’s important to have your manufacturing and design teams communicate early in the development process. If your printed circuit board design specifications don’t match with your manufacturing process, you may end up facing manufacturing delays, increased costs, or a PCBA that can’t be produced.

2. Not enough “cooks”

The old saying tells us that “too many cooks spoil the broth.” But in the world of printed circuit board design, sometimes you may need a second or third cook, so to speak.

PCBA production deadlines can be tight, which can lead to missed errors and design flaws that go unnoticed. Peer reviews, having another engineer or technician evaluate the design, can help avoid mistakes that would otherwise stay hidden until later in the process. With PCBA, as with many technical efforts, mistakes become costlier the later they are discovered.

3. Testing

This connects back to point two. During the prototype phase, it’s important to subject your printed circuit board design to thorough testing to avoid problems. Tests should verify if the design meets functional requirements and proper performance under different environmental circumstances.

4. Layout techniques

Modern devices – such as thinner televisions, tablets, and smartphones -- have given rise to a smaller footprint for PCBAs. For designers, this means finding a way to lay out components more closely and efficiently.    Proper use of the many design tools available today, starting at the PCB layout stage is crucial.

5. Thinking about cost

Target cost is as important a design criterion as any other.   Your printed circuit board design may work beautifully on paper, but it’s not going to be of much use if it can’t be manufactured within your budget. Design teams should remember that it is important to work closely with suppliers and manufacturers to achieve the cost target. Their input may lead to design or alternate component suggestions to achieve or better the target cost.

Many of the issues we’ve described here can be avoided through communication and collaboration. If you’re looking for a contract manufacturer with expertise in printed circuit board design who will also communicate with your team, Mars International can help.

We offer both short run and high production assembly with an engineering team that can design the circuits, layout the boards and guide you through final product specifications.

Contact us today. We look forward to helping you with your PCBA requirements.

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