The entire process of realizing a populated functional PCB Board is fraught with details and pitfalls. Typically, there is no sole source for the bare board, the components, and the assembly. Often, there are complimentary partnerships involved with various aspects of the manufacturing process. Who manages all entities involved?
It’s very possible to contact a board fabrication source and ask for fully populated boards. They have experience working with component and assembly sources. The board source will make the contacts and will interface with the various sources to meet the requirements. It’s possible to achieve the same result by initially contacting an assembly source, or a components source. So where is the best place to start to ensure the highest quality, best pricing, and guaranteed delivery?
The truth is you can start your project with anyone of the entities mentioned above. BUT, insist on transparency. Ask to know who the partners will be in the overall process. If you have a preference in a specific manufacturing source, say so. Clearly state what the expectation is and hold each entity responsible for the quality of their workmanship.
For any questions on PCB Project Management, contact one of our Project Coordinators for answers. We’re here to help.