PCB fabrication is an elaborate process and it involves several steps. As one could expect, in this process things could go wrong in so many places. If you are not adequately prepared for these setbacks, you could end up losing a lot of money and also your reputation. If you are totally new to PCB fabrication process, they you may not know what to expect and as a result, you are likely to be unprepared for the bottlenecks. Here are a few important areas for you to consider where things could potentially go wrong.
If you are not careful in selecting your PCB manufacturer, you are likely to experience many hiccups along the way. Your manufacturer will not be able to understand your requirements in the first place and without understanding the requirements fully, it is not possible for them to meet your requirements. This is one sure area where things could go wrong right from the start.
The second area where things could go wrong is the PCB layout design. Your PCB layout design engineers should first understand your product design and based on that create the PCB layout. If there is knowledge gap between your team and your PCB layout design team, then you will not be able to get the required output.
During the PCB prototype building process, many things could go wrong. The actual goal of prototype building is to identify the issues in your circuit and to ensure that all the flaws in your circuit are corrected. It is in this stage, your idea is given shape. Until you build the prototype that is fully functional, you are not going to get your product to the next stage. If the functionality issues are not going to be identified in this stage and if you are going to approve the prototype without checking the stability of the PCB design then the final products will run into series of issues. Therefore, extra care and attention should be given to the PCB prototype building stage so that you do not miss or overlook any of the issues.
In the product assembly stage, things could go wrong with component sourcing. The PCB quality will depend on the components used in the PCB. If you have high volume orders, your PCB manufacturer should be capable of sourcing the components. They should not compromise on the component quality to gain higher profit. If their component suppliers are not able to meet the component requirements ultimately your production cycle will be affected. This is another area that you should focus upon. Make sure that the manufacturer is capable of handling your requirements including component sourcing without delaying you.
If you are going to select your PCB manufacturer without paying attention to all these factors, then the entire manufacturing process could get stalled just because you are not having a regular supply of the required PCBs. By careful planning and right selection of PCB manufacturers, it is possible to avoid all the above issues.