You would have spent a lot of time screening your PCB fabrication companies. In this process you would have taken into account several factors such as quality, price and so on. Not all customers manage to check all the boxes when screening and reviewing their suppliers and after the PCBs are delivered to them. Here are some of the important factors that are overlooked when sourcing the PCBs.
During the screening process, even customers that pay careful attention to the quality of the PCBs manufactured and delivered by the manufacturer, fail to check whether the PCBs are manufactured and assembled in a lead free environment. You cannot export your electronic equipment to a number of countries if the PCBs are not fabricated and assembled in a lead free environment. You need to double check this factor before placing your order.
When it comes to PCB assembly, you need to check how good the assembly is and how well the components are soldered to the board is also very important. If you select the best PCB manufacturing company, the component assembly would be done very neatly. The quality of the assembly is also very important because it would reflect the overall quality of the product.
Thirdly, does the PCB manufacturer adhere to the specifications 100%? This has to be crosschecked and confirmed as soon as the sample order is delivered to you. This implies that before you actually go in for bulk or mass production, you should check place sample order. If any manufacturer is not willing to take sample orders before the mass production then you should not proceed with such a manufacturer because you cannot take risks with highly volume orders.
Check whether the board size matches your specifications. Even if there is a minor variation in the size or even if there is a slight misalignment, the board cannot be installed in your equipment casing correctly. You need to make sure that your manufacturer is capable of maintaining the highest level of accuracy when it comes to the product specifications.
If there are any issues with the PCBs delivered the manufacturer should be ready to rectify the issues without any additional costs if the mistake is on their part. You need to establish all these factors before you place the orders and before you pay.
Most importantly, you need to check whether your manufacturer is licensed to ship to your location. This should be part of the preliminary round of screening. In the preliminary screening process, you should also pay attention to the reputation of the manufacturer to check whether they live up to their commitment and whether they are capable of delivering your order in a timely fashion. You will be able to find such information when you check the customer reviews and ratings.
In order to screen all these factors, you will need adequate time. Last minute screening will put you in a disadvantageous position. You should therefore get started early.