PCB Manufacturing Options

For organizations bringing prototype and small builds of PCB’s to fruition, the full cost of possessing the numerous professional staff is becoming prohibitive.

An excerpt from an article titled Working in a Blended World written by Daniel W. Rasmus, Director of Business Insights at Microsoft Corporation:

Twenty years ago, janitorial services were commonly outsourced. Today, security, recruiting, design, information technology development and management, financial management, training, manufacturing, legal services, and many other functions are outsourced….With companies constantly examining their cost structure and fine-tuning their strategies, it is likely that the blend of employees, contingent staff, and contract workers will grow over the next decade.”

To stay competitive and fiscally responsible, companies requiring PCB builds for prototype, and quantities of less than 10K, are finding outsourcing options to manage the increasing costs. The most cost effective option is outsourcing to a professional Project Management team. California Integration Coordinators, Inc. (www.cic-inc.com) has a 20 year history of providing professional full-turnkey services.

There are the known costs for the professional procurement staff, trained component inspection personnel, and experienced kitting staff but the hidden costs for the added workload to accounting, the phone calls and coordination time of the project manager, etc. compound the total project costs, often beyond the budget.

California Integration Coordinators, Inc. has considerable resources to coordinate all aspects from PCB board design and fabrication to assembly and testing. By outsourcing the PCB projects to professional PCB Project Managers, the costs are limited to the quote / budget. No hidden costs or overhead. CIC, Inc. has experienced knowledgeable procurement staff, Project/material managers, engineering support, receiving, incoming material inspection staff, accounting / accounts payable, warehouse staff, and a highly respected kitting staff. Imagine receiving the benefits of a huge staff within the quote.

Follow this link to read the full article: http://download.microsoft.com/download/A/9/F/A9F75B0E-7D7A-4AAB-A184-E9663424F355/Microsoft_Insights_WorkinginaBlendedWorld.pdf

Project Quote for PCB Manufacture and Assembly

What should be expected in a quote from a reputable firm providing procurement and kitting services?

A circuit board assembly project must include every requirement. A quote that doesn’t include all line items is not a good quote.

The BOM quote should include all line items, including board fabrication and assembly, if the services are to be provided as full-turnkey. The quote should list each of the line items as stated on the Bill of Material; the customer per item cost as well as the total line item cost, the lead-time for the line item, the minimum / multiple purchase requirements, and the media type (tray, reel, bulk, etc.). There should be notes indicating if a line item is NCNR, if the product is shipping in from outside of the US, and if there is any additional fees associated.

A quote for line items which are now discontinued / obsolete should offer alternates, including datasheets, for engineering approval. All efforts should be made by the provider of the quote to offer information such as a less expensive option, an “in-stock” alternate, or any broken stock available which may fulfill the requirement and avoid the purchase of a large excess quantity.

The full-turnkey quote should be accurate with every effort made to provide a complete project build within the customer specified time-frame.

The firm engaged for providing components for the assembly should use franchised sources or have alliances directly with manufacturer’s to purchase on the customer’s behalf. Be aware that there are many sources which can supply “re-claimed” or counterfeit components. If the quote sounds too good to be true, be suspicious, your project depends upon it!

A professional quote, meeting the above standards for PCB Manufacture and Assembly, can be obtained by contacting California Integration Coordinators, Inc. Project management information can be found at https://cic-inc.com. Contact a project coordinator to compare a professional quote from CIC, Inc. for your upcoming PCB build.