If OEMs had their way, they would love to have a nil time-to-market. That way, they could take their idea to the market as soon as they thought of it, and this would give them the best way to test the success of their ideas. Unfortunately, things just do not work that way, and OEMs must live with a finite period of time-to-market. Of course, they retain the choice of reducing the lead times as far as possible.
To help OEMs achieve their objective, PCB manufacturers must pitch in with shorter lead-times for PCB prototype fabrication. For a designer waiting for a prototype, each day is a waste of their valuable time. They would rather spend time in evaluating their design and getting the product to the market. This requirement brings us to the concept of Rapid Prototyping—converting an idea with speed into a PCB—with a view to successfully place the final product in the market.
What is the lead time on a turn-key order?
Common PCB Assembly Defects
However, reality is significantly different. The journey from germination of an idea to having a PCB on hand can be quite long—even the time from a getting a quote to receiving the prototype PCB can be insufferably prolonged. Then there is additional time lost if it is necessary to make changes in the PCB design.
With Rapid Prototyping, Rush PCB Inc. presents a revolutionary way for designers to reduce their lead times significantly. Designers can simply upload their design and the bill of materials into our cloud, and receive an instant PCB quote.
We start work as soon as the designer has given us the clearance to proceed. Our working methods are transparent, and the designer can monitor the production cycle. We reduce the turnaround time significantly by combining several small orders into a larger batch. Apart from reducing the lead time, this leads to reducing costs as well.
Most PCB manufacturers use a set up charge for small quantities. This can be a burden on small organizations whose requirements are typically low, and set up charges or minimum lot charges can make their products unviable. For instance, some manufacturers may charge up to ten times for supplying a single board.
Rush PCB Inc. has a seven-point list of guidelines for OEMs and designers looking for partners capable of rapid prototyping. Make sure the vendor is:
- Agile—the speed with which they offer the quote is a measure—the quicker the better.
- Capable—assess the vendor’s technological capability—should be able to handle design changes rapidly while allowing monitoring.
- Efficient—make sure the vendor is combining several orders and passing on the savings made because of bulk buying to all customers.
- Manufacturing onshore—shipments arriving from overseas can cause significant time lags.
- Assembling in-house—make sure the vendor is assembling in-house and not using a third-party service that can lead to unexpected delays or possible failures. With multiple vendors, there is a risk of loss to intellectual property, as the electronics industry is highly competitive and designs are proprietary.
- Flexible—make sure the vendor is flexible enough to provide a range of PCB prototypes, including single-, double-, as well as multi-layered boards—dealing with a single vendor is always preferable.
- Transparent—make sure the vendor has listed all costs up front and there are no hidden costs in the offer to upset your budget later.
Once we receive a go ahead, Rush PCB Inc. uses CAD software to layout the board for the PCB prototype. We then combine this with other orders and add it to a panel. This allows us to select the proper material for the entire panel and fabricate it easily. Finally, we test the boards and check for any faults. It is easy for us to implement any changes and modifications.
Although prototyping is an important step in transforming ideas into practice, it is not all. There are many more steps necessary to launch the product successfully in the market. Irrespective of whether you are a large business or a small manufacturer, your PCB requires effective assembly to transform it into a final product. Rush PCB Inc. also provides the extra service—highly reliable PCB assembly, whether it is for a prototype, a final product, or for a large manufacturing run.
We also provide inventory services. Once we have assembled and tested your product, we can hold them in inventory, shipping them directly to your customers on order. For this, we offer an API through which you can integrate our services directly in your e-commerce setup or ERP. When your customer places an order, we package and ship your product without any effort from you.
This new approach to rapid prototyping and manufacturing from Rush PCB Inc. makes it painless for our customers to bring their new ideas to the market. They do not have to manage several vendors or wait for production of their designs. We offer our services to make your boards quickly and easily.
Rush PCB Inc. is a single-window service, and our customers do not have to deal with multiple vendors. This not only adds to their ease of dealing, but also promotes peace of mind. It leaves our customers with adequate time to do what they do best—generate ideas, while we strive to translate their ideas into reality.