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5 Tips for Reducing PCB Board Spin Time

It is amusing—and sometimes confusing—how the meaning of a word can change over time: take the word, bad, for instance. Bad originally denoted something as inferior, undesirable, substandard or of poor quality. However, describing something as bad today may convey it is, in fact, much better than just good. In situations where accurate communication is required, this type of ambiguity is, well, bad—or, undesirable.

One of the most important aspects of PCBA development is turnaround time. This attribute, which defines how long it takes for your board design to be manufactured and returned to you, has far-reaching implications. These implications affect internal operational efficiency, as well as your relationship and reputation with clients. Unfortunately, the term, turnaround time, suffers from the same ambiguity of usage as does the word, bad. A common substitute for this term is to refer to this interval of development as a PCB board spin or simply a spin of the board. By understanding this process and its importance, we can define specific tips for optimization that will translate into internal and external benefits for your enterprise.

Why Is the Time for a Board Spin Important?

Spin originates from Middle English prior to the 900s and was used, not surprisingly, to define spinning yarn. With mechanization, the word’s meaning expanded to describe iterative processes. This is probably how it came to define board fabrication or construction—the first manufacturing process—in the iterative cycle of circuit board prototype development.

Prototype development is the most important stage of new product introduction (NPI). During this stage, the design is fine-tuned to ensure the board functions as intended. Once completed, Design Validation and Production Validation can proceed resulting in a design ready for volume manufacturing. As prototyping typically requires several PCB board spins before design finalization, it is important to maximize speed. Reaching the requisite number of iterations necessary to achieve desired quality translates into less overall development time. Doing so can have many benefits for your organization, including the following:

Benefits of an Optimal PCB Board Spin Time

  • Reduced development time

Minimizing the amount of time your boards are in the manufacturing stage of development enables your engineers and designers to create and refine the design most efficiently. This translates into faster development cycles and an improved probability of meeting schedule milestones and deadlines.

  • Increased ROI

Optimally, development should proceed at the speed of design. The faster your board turnaround is for prototyping, the closer you can match this objective and reduce man-hours and design and development costs.

  • Client confidence and trust

Next to satisfying client quality and product performance objectives, the most important metric for creating and maintaining client confidence and trust is to consistently deliver on or ahead of schedule. PCB board spin time directly affects your ability to achieve this target.

The benefits listed above are obtainable, provided you take steps to optimize the spinning of your boards.

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Optimizing the Board Spin of a PCB

PCB board spin speed is a primary concern; however, equal consideration must be given to the quality of your board build. The best way to simultaneously satisfy these metrics is to incorporate a good design for manufacturing strategy, as presented in The PCB Design Development Checklist, which includes the following tips.

5 Tips to Maximize PCB Board Spin Speed and Quality

Tip #1: Optimize component selection

Tip #2: Acquire and utilize your CM’s DFM

Tip #3: Design for simplicity

Tip #4: Avoid common quote delay issues

Tip #5: Ensure that your CM has an agile manufacturing process

By following the above tips, you will be able to improve board build process turnaround time and enjoy the benefits of a fast PCB board spin time.

Tempo’s Software-Driven Smart Factory Delivers the Industry’s Leading Custom Turnkey PCBA Manufacturing Services
  • Virtual PCBA Contract manufacturing.
  • Rapid, accurate quotes.
  • DFM support from Day 1 of design.
  • Digital Thread Processing with real-time monitoring.
  • Fastest turnaround times in the industry to maximize ROI.
  • QC certified Agile Manufacturing process to support risk management.
  • Standard and Advanced QC testing.
  • Worry-free supply chain continuity.
  • Specialization in rapid prototyping and low-volume production.
  • PCBA development optimization for complex critical system industries like Aerospace, Medical Devices, Automotive, and Industrial.

Tempo Automation leads the PCBA industry with the fastest turnaround time for board prototyping and low-volume production. This is possible because we institute a software-based digital thread manufacturing process that prioritizes a collaborative white-box relationship between the developer and CM.

And to help you get started on the best path, we furnish information for your DFM checks and enable you to easily view and download DRC files. If you’re an Altium Designer or Cadence Allegro user, you can simply add these files to your PCB design software. For Mentor Pads or other design packages, we furnish DRC information in other CAD formats and Excel.

If you are ready to have your design manufactured, try our quote tool to upload your CAD and BOM files. If you want more information on CAD files or how to achieve the best PCB board spin time and quality, contact us.

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