Getting electronic products to market depends on rapid manufacturing capabilities. A quick turn PCB is critical during the prototype, pre-production, and full production phases of any product containing a printed circuit board. Inconsistent timelines can lead to product delays and rushed testing, ultimately resulting in a poorer quality product.
Imagineering offers quick turn PCBs with quality in mind. In this post, we look at quick turn PCB manufacturing throughout each stage of the process, and provide realistic timelines for different sizes of orders.
What is Considered a Quick Turn in PCB manufacturing?
Quick turn PCBs vary dramatically depending on their complexity, delivery requirements, and volume. Prototypes can generally be delivered extremely quickly, but as variables scale in scope, delivery times
For simple, two-layer constructions, costs can be kept at a minimum and delivered on a very short timeline. As requirements increase, fabrication and production take longer in turn. Keeping these things in mind is critical when considering what a quick turn means in PCB manufacturing.
Quick Turn PCB Prototypes
In order to test concepts, PCB prototypes are required to ensure functionality. This type of work is done at an extremely rapid pace, as it is impossible to tweak and debug a product until it has been built.
Early prototypes can vary dramatically from the end product. As a result, the first batch of prototypes are generally done in smaller quantities. There may be several prototypes created at the same time so that identical tests can be run on the boards to accurately simulate real-world conditions, or even be placed in the device they are intended to operate in.
At Imagineering, we offer a 24-hour turnaround on all prototypes, backed with a 100% on-time guaranteed delivery. Although prototypes are generally intended for the testing and verification of designs, each of our boards meets IPC-A-600 F (Class 2) standards. Our prototyping isn’t solely based on fast, cheap work – we intend for our quick turn PCB prototypes to meet your precise specifications on your timeline.
Pre-production or beta run PCBs are typically manufactured in batches from a hundred to a few thousand. This phase of the production process is often the most critical, as this sample of printed circuit boards often becomes the final product, and mistakes must be resolved during this stage. The problems that emerge in larger volume production often become visible in this stage: pitfalls can be avoiding, tooling arrangements can be checked, and board layout can be optimized before mass production.
When customers switch PCB manufacturers from the prototyping phase to the pre-production phase, they may see changes in the quality due to different types of laminates, drill sizes, multilayer stackups, and other variables that emerge in fabrication and production.
Imagineering offers small volume production between 5 to 6 days.
Full Production PCBs
Once all of the bugs have been worked out and any possible manufacturing variables have been amended, full production can begin. As these orders can be considerably larger than the previous batches, they will take longer to produce.
Because the timeline for creating a full production of printed circuit boards is longer, it is important that whatever PCB manufacturer you use has control over the logistics process. Having to deal with multiple suppliers, language barriers, customs, and shipping logistics can add unnecessary time onto your process. We handle all of these issues internally, delivering door to door thanks to our relationship with our overseas manufacturers.
Imagineering offers medium-to-large production between 2 to 3 weeks.
What to Look for in Quick Turn PCB Manufacturing
When you’re in the market for quick turn PCB manufacturing, timing is critical. However, speed isn’t everything – quality is just as important during each phase of the manufacturing process, from prototyping to mass production.
At Imagineering, we provide speed without sacrificing quality. Our domestic and offshore manufacturing facilities and state of the art production capabilities give you aerospace quality at standard prices. From simple prototypes to complete production runs, we get the job done on your timeline with a 100% on-time guarantee.
Do you need a quick turnaround on printed circuit board fabrication and assembly? To learn more about our services, or request a quote here.