Prototype PCB Assembly refers to a stage in developing printed circuit boards (PCBs) before full production. The term ‘Prototype’ itself tells us that this is a sample model of what we expect the final PCB will look like. Through this process, one can only check and retest designs and make any adjustments if he needs to. Besides, it also enables one to compare the various alternatives that may be available when you go for the production of the PCBs.
First Stage of PCB Project
Prototype PCB Assembly is the first stage of a PCB project development cycle. At this stage, the individual components are added one at a time to the PCB using either pick and place, hand solder, or an automated machine. Next, the traces of the prototype PCB are drawn on the selected parts. This ensures that all the connections are well placed according to their needs. This brings us to the next important stage, which is the proofing of the prototype PCB assemblies. This is done using many different methods.
RF Modem Testing
One of the common methods used is called ‘RF modem testing.’ This involves placing the RF modem in front of the model and trying to read its radio signals. If these signals are received, the manufacturer can decide whether the design needs immediate changes or not. Similarly, ‘WDM testing’ involves testing the wafer thickness of the prototype PCB assembly. The thickness of the wafers determines the circuit’s performance and thus requires to be tested very rigorously.
Understand Your Requirements
For those who need to prototype PCB assembly services, they must understand the requirements of the prototype PCBs, as well as the production process. This helps them to come up with a proper solution to the problem. It should be noted that there are two types of PCBs, which include the electronic and non-electronic ones. Non-electronic PCBs (also known as generic Printed Circuit Boards) are much cheaper than electronic ones.
To get a prototype PCB assembly quote, you will have to submit the design files for the PCBs, and then you can expect an answer within three to five working days. Some manufacturers may even offer to create the boards in bulk, increasing your production by up to 30%. Some PCB manufacturers will also provide PCB testing at no extra cost. This makes it possible for you to test and retest your designs before the final production. Once you have submitted your required documents and information, you will receive a response from the manufacturer.