PCB fabrication is something that has become an integral part of technology for years. Almost every single gadget in existence would not be usable without a PCB installed. Before the PCB was invented in the 50s, circuit boards at that time had to be assembled by hand and can only be used in some electronic gadgets. They also lacked the multilayer property that PCBs now have.
Although the process of PCB fabrication is now almost entirely run by machines, with humans only being delegated to work in the quality maintenance department of the process, there are still a few enthusiasts who continue to create their own PCBs with the use of their own hands. This may be considered as a more cost effective method of obtaining a PCB, since the machine made ones usually cost much more. However, the machine built PCBs come with excellent quality, something which you cannot really guarantee with a handmade one. With that being said, we still see a lot of people build their own PCBs.
Here are couple more reasons why it is better to do buy manufactured PCBs than making one yourself.
• Decreases the cost.
Contrary to the belief of many, machine made PCBs can actually cost less since some use digital software first before creating the product in order to prevent production errors. Low SMT assemblers would use proprietary software in order to make their own representations of the design schematics. This process helps the process of handmade PCB fabrication to be faster and be less prone to quality issues. Quality issues are resolved since wrong footprints, polarity mark errors, and other common PCB fabrication mistakes are corrected right away before the assembly even begins.
• Shortens production length.
It takes days to weeks for a PCB to be made, and that length would depend on the complexity of the board being assembled. An assembly service that provides effective manufacture of PCBs with the help of machines will eliminate any worries you may have of not being able to get your products at the right time and in the best condition. You might even be surprised to notice that there are a lot of instances when the production took such a short time that more time is given to design and more production. Multiple steps that are usually done by handmade companies are done in a single step in machine operated ones, eliminating further costs and lessening the waiting time.
• Eliminates hand assembly hassles.
We all know the fact that hand assembling something is not the easiest thing in the world, which is why machine made PCBs are better to use. Not only that, PCBs today are now getting smaller and smaller thanks to the increasing demand for lighter and thinner electronic devices. Hand making a teeny tiny PCB will be a headache for even the most experienced of engineers, who have no time for learning through mistakes.
• Professional quality.
Machine made PCBs are perfected and have gone through extensive quality assessments before they pass, unlike most handmade ones that tend to have ugly solder globs. A machine made PCB is something that we recommend to people who present them in corporate affairs because of how clean and professional they look, compared to handmade circuit boards that tend to look dishevelled and rushed. Not only with the looks, but PCBs made through the use of machines are usually accredited as well. ISO is just one of the respected authorities that grant accreditation to assemblers.
• Consistency and accuracy.
The importance of this especially for mass production cannot be understated. We always put emphasis on this as being the most important reason why machine made PCBs are far superior to handmade ones. Handmade PCBs can sometimes have differences that can cause problems regardless if they were made with the use of the same blueprints. This is entirely avoidable if you purchase from a company that uses PCB with the use of machines. Not only that, an assembler would usually have the latest knowledge necessary to create new and more effective PCBs, unlike handmade companies that usually just rely on what they already know.
We absolutely recommend that you go with machine made PCBs not only because they are cheaper, but because they are actually more reliable and are far less likely to be prone to errors than the PCBs that are made by hand. If you want products that can endure a lot of stress for a long time and that you can indefinitely rely on, you should consider going with machine made PCBs.
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