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A Comprehensive Guide to Turnkey PCB Assembly

Printed circuit boards (PCB) are the core of most of the electronic devices we use today. PCB assembly is an essential stage in PCB manufacturing where the components are attached to the board and tested. However, it is seen that many startups and small businesses often find it challenging to assemble their PCBs due to a lack of an in-house team, unable to handle logistics, etc. This is where Turnkey PCB assembly comes to the rescue. Turnkey PCB assembly serves as a cost-effective and efficient way of assembling and testing PCBs for new products with minimal lead time. So, this article explores in detail turnkey PCB assembly, including its advantages and all other details you need to know.

What is Turnkey PCB Assembly?

The word “turnkey” implies any product/service that is ready for use for the buyer. So, turnkey PCB assembly refers to the complete PCB assembly process covering all aspects of the assembly, from sourcing components to final testing. In this process, the assembler/manufacturer handles all the activities, from acquiring the components and assembling the PCB to testing the outcomes and delivering the final PCB.

The Advantages of Turnkey PCB Assembly

Turnkey PCB assembly has many advantages over the traditional PCB assembly process. Some of the main ones are as follows:

  1. 1.Better Focus on Quality Products: Turnkey PCB assembly helps businesses/designers to keep their focus on designing quality products instead of hassling with the assembly process. They don’t have to spend time and effort to find the best components, hire an in-house team, or go through a complex process of procurement. All these activities are handled by one-stop PCB assembly manufacturers.
  2. 2.Cost-Effective: Turnkey PCB assembly is a highly cost-effective way of assembling PCBs. First, there is no need to have a dedicated in-house team. Secondly, the turnkey service providers have good relations with component suppliers, so they can obtain components at a much lower cost. This significantly reduces the overall cost of PCB assembly.
  3. 3.Quality Control: Another major advantage of complete PCB assembly is quality control and spotting potential issues timely. When the assembler receives the design file, the assembler can check the authenticity of the design with the main product goals and pinpoint any issues. Moreover, the assembler is responsible for the whole assembly process, which helps ensure that all components are assembled rightly and deliver the desired outputs.
  4. 4.Streamlined Assembly Process: The one-stop PCB assembly process provides businesses/designers with a streamlined assembly process, as they only deal with one assembler for the entire process. This reduces the miscommunication or chances of errors, making the whole process efficient.

Turnkey PCB Assembly vs. Consignment Assembly

In the consignment assembly process, the business/designer orders and warehouses all the components and delivers them to the assembler for assembly. Moreover, the assembler is only responsible for handling the assembly process, while the client itself does the testing and design finalization. Alternatively, turnkey PCB assembly is where the assembler handles the complete PCB assembly process, from procuring components and assembling them to final testing.

The main element of difference between turnkey PCB assembly and consignment assembly is the level of control and responsibility the business/designer has over the assembly process. In the case of consignment assembly, the business/designer has more control over the selection of components and procurement, while turnkey assembly provides all the control of the assembly process to the assembler.

Why Do You Need Turnkey PCB Assembly Services

There are many reasons that make turnkey PCB assembly services a preferred assembly choice. Some of the main ones are as follows:

  • · Complex Projects: If you are designing a complex project involving multiple components, one-stop PCB assembly services are the ideal choice to simplify the assembly process by handing it to a reliable PCB assembly manufacturer.
  • · Time Constraints: If you are struggling to meet the deadline, turnkey PCB assembly services can help reduce the time spent on the assembly process.
  • · Quality PCBs: Turnkey PCB assembly makes the whole PCB assembly process efficient and authentic. The assembler ensures that there are no design errors, components are of high quality, and are assembled rightly, improving PCB quality significantly.
  • · Cost-Saving: If you are unable to handle warehousing components and assembling PCBs in-house or need a cost-saving alternative, then turnkey PCB assembly is a better alternative compared to consignment assembly.

In short, turnkey PCB assembly services are the perfect choice for businesses/designers who want to have a hassle-free, streamlined, and efficient PCB assembly process.

Types of Turnkey PCB Assembly

There are two main types of turnkey PCB assembly, i.e., full turnkey PCB assembly and partial turnkey PCB assembly. Below are the details of both these types:

Full Turnkey PCB Assembly

A full turnkey PCB assembly is a complete PCB assembly process where the assembler handles all the aspects of PCB assembly and production. All you have to do is provide the PCB design files, bill of materials, product dimensions, and shipping information. Afterward, the assembler deals with all the remaining activities, from ordering and assembling the components to testing and shipping PCBs.

Partial Turnkey PCB Assembly

As the name implies, partial turnkey PCB assembly is a process in which the business/designer outsources only some part of the assembly process. Basically, the designer provides some components to the assembler, while the remaining components and other assembly stages are handled by the assembler itself, such as fabrication, assembly, testing, and shipping. This type is beneficial for those businesses that have relationships with suppliers or intend to choose specific components themselves.

In short, both full turnkey and partial turnkey PCB assembly types have their own use cases. Full turnkey PCB assembly is convenient and time efficient, while partial turnkey assembly provides more control.

How to Choose a Reliable Turnkey PCB Manufacturer

There are plenty of complete PCB assembly manufacturers available today. So, it is not easy to find the best one out of them. To help ease this selection process, below are some of the factors you should consider to choose a reliable turnkey PCB assembly manufacturer:

  1. 1.Technological Capabilities:You should ensure that the manufacturer you choose has the resources, technology, and capabilities to manufacture your design requirements.
  2. 2.Board Quality: Make sure that the manufacturer is using the highest quality boards with accurate trace copper thickness, size/position of drilled holes, trace width and spacing, etc.
  3. 3.Customization Option: You should also look into the customization options offered by the manufacturer, such as pre-testing the board, adding serialization, solder mask color, and similar others. This can help you customize the PCB as per your needs.
  4. 4.Cost: You should choose a manufacturer that provides top-notch, quality services at a reasonable price.
  5. 5.Speed: You should look for a manufacturer that can complete the production and shipping of PCB assembly by the required deadline.
  6. 6.Relevant Experience: Make sure the manufacturer you choose has a proven track record of manufacturing high-quality PCBs related to your specific design type. You can also look into the manufacturer’s reviews or past samples to validate its expertise.

Based on the above factors and more depending on your turnkey PCB assembly needs, you can find an authentic and reliable manufacturer that delivers top-notch PCBs.

Wrapping Up

Turnkey PCB assembly is a complete and highly effective solution for assembling and manufacturing quality PCBs without spending a lot of effort and time. Not only does it streamline assembling PCBs, but the fast turnaround, cost-saving, quality control, and other attributes make it the ideal alternative to consignment assembly. So, if you are also in search of a turnkey PCB assembly manufacturer, then do consider the above factors and find the reliable manufacturer. If you require any further information, feel free to contact us.