What is Slowing Down Your PCB Prototype Production?
Printed circuit board development efforts always involve prototyping, and most such efforts involve multiple cycles of prototyping. The time between releasing a design package to be built and waiting for those first prototype PCB assemblies to arrive can feel like an eternity. And because of multiple cycles, slow prototype production times can compound. And worst of all, the waiting during the build and assembly time is the least productive project time for the design engineer.
So what is slowing down your PCB prototype production? And more important, how can you speed it back up? There are three big reasons your prototypes may be taking longer than necessary.
- You are doing it yourself
On the surface, building your own prototypes seems like a fast option. Who wants your design built, correctly and fast, more than you? But the truth is, your DIY instincts are probably costing you significant time. It’s possible to save some money doing it yourself, but you lose time, just like most DIY projects. The value of having an experienced expert on your side when it comes to important tasks cannot be overstated.
- You are working with a CM that is too large
Large Contract Manufacturers are good at what they do – building high volume assemblies, profitably. Your prototype project will never be a priority for them. Large CMs aren’t bad, they’re just bad at low-volume, quick turn prototype projects like yours. Their facilities are not set up to handle unique small-scale designs, respond to last-minute quick-change requests, or dedicate engineers to you and your prototype. The only reason they are willing to build low-volume prototypes at all is with the hope of winning future high-volume business. And when your prototype project is a low priority, you get the corresponding level of customer service and timely communication.
- You are working with a CM that is too far away
CMs based outside of the US can sometimes offer prices that seem unbeatable, but it’s more than just the shipping distances that eat into your schedule. Component availability in other countries can vary, tariff and tax laws can cause problems, and customs can be unpredictable. Greater distances also increase the chances of miscommunications that cause delays. The bottom line is that foreign CMs are slower and less predictable in their turn around times, when what you need in the prototyping stage are faster and more predictable turns.
But fear not, there is a better way!
Use a US-based PCB assembly house that specializes in low-volume, fast-turn prototyping to get your high-quality prototypes fast. Dedicated project engineers are standing by, ready to build your prototypes fast enough to keep your projects ahead of schedule, at great low-volume, fast-turn companies all across America. SlingShot Assembly in Denver, Colorado, for instance, specializes in quick-turn prototype assembly work that just can’t be matched by DIYers, large CMs, or foreign CMs. They help engineers frustrated by the slow and burdensome process of getting prototype & small-run PCB assemblies built quickly and at a great price.