Turnkey PCB Manufacturing: The Fast PCB Prototyping Service

“γνῶθι σεαυτόν” is a popular Greek phrase that Socrates apparently used often. Most people, however, are more familiar with the Latin version “nosce te ipsum” or the contemporary English translation “know thyself.” As an engineer, an axiomatic version of this concept, “know or understand the problem,” is probably ingrained in your memory as the prerequisite to finding the right solution to any problem. It is indeed true that without first understanding the problem, it’s impossible to arrive at the correct solution, except by chance. Only with a thorough understanding or knowledge of the problem can you devise a strategy or discover a method that can produce the desired solution.

Besides being a guiding principle for many engineers, this axiom is also a good basis for determining what contract manufacturer (CM) services you need for PCB manufacturing. For high volume production, capacity, quality and cost are the primary factors that affect CM selection. For prototyping, on the other hand, a number of options need to be considered. For example, what specific services (board fabrication, PCB assembly, component sourcing and acquisition) do you require? Or, do you need assistance with design for manufacturing (DFM)? Would your product design and development benefit from a fast PCB prototyping service? Answering these questions will help you choose the right CM and these types of inquiries should be prerequisites to commencing your prototype design and development process. To get you started on the right track, let’s explore if and how you can benefit from turnkey manufacturing, the fast PCB prototyping service.

Do You Need a Fast PCB Prototyping Service?

During product design and development, the most important activity is creating and verifying the prototype. Prototype development determines whether your product can even be produced and significantly impacts the timeline for your product release. This makes PCB design and manufacture equally important; and as a result, choosing a CM becomes your most crucial consideration. Of course, choosing a CM involves first determining the type of PCB manufacturing service you need. To find out if a fast PCB prototyping service is the best option for your prototype design and development, you can take the following quiz:

Fast PCB Prototyping Service Quiz

Will you need multiple iterations to finalize the design?
Is this a time-sensitive project?
Would it be better to only create a single set of design files?
Would you like to minimize costs by having your design team focus on designing instead of tracking and acquiring components?
Would it help to receive design support from a DFM engineer?
Would you prefer to deal with a single CM?
Would you be willing to pay more to get your boards back 2 to 3 times faster, while receiving all of the above benefits?

If you can definitively say “NO” to all of the above questions, then you probably do not need a fast PCB prototyping service. Otherwise, you will benefit from a turnkey PCB manufacturing service.

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Turnkey PCB Manufacturing: The Fast PCB Prototyping Service

Although there are board fabrication and PCB assembly companies that provide fast turnaround services for their particular role in the manufacturing process, turnkey is the fast PCB prototyping service option. Turnkey PCB manufacturing not only combines fabrication and assembly but also includes component acquisition for your design. Combining all of the PCB manufacturing steps allows the CM to take advantage of inherent process management and maximize benefits like faster turnaround time and best prototype design quality.

A few benefits that you can receive from this service include:

1. Only one company responsible for the entire process:

Having to deal with only one company streamlines the manufacturing process from your perspective, as you won’t have to schedule and coordinate with multiple points of contacts (POCs).

2. Only one set of design files required:

For turnkey, only one set of CAD files is required as opposed to providing data files in separate formats for board fabrication, PCB assembly and component acquisition.

3. No need to acquire components:

Eliminating the need to devote man-hours or have dedicated personnel to order, track and deliver components can amount to significant time and cost savings.

4. Better quality control:

Having project management concentrated in a single company allows for better oversight of the process and product quality.

5. Faster turnaround time:

The time required to ship items among various service providers is greatly reduced with centralized control that eliminates the need for you to be an intermediary stop.

The above are inherent benefits of utilizing a turnkey fast PCB prototyping service. You may, of course, experience additional benefits depending on your choice of CM.

Tempo Automation is the industry standard for turnkey custom PCB manufacturing. Besides providing you with the inherent benefits of turnkey, we will also work with you starting on Day 1 of your prototype design and development process.

Tempo‘s Custom PCB Manufacturing Service

  • Performs entire turnkey process in as fast as 3 days.
  • Emphasizes DFM to eliminate time-consuming back-and-forth design corrections.
  • Performs BOM verifications to reduce possibility of component obsolescence issues.
  • Sources components from the most reputable suppliers in the industry to reduce procurement time.
  • Performs multiple automated inspections during assembly to ensure PCB quality for prototyping.
  • Provides support throughout the PCB manufacturing process, beginning with design.
  • Smooth transition from prototyping to production.

At Tempo, we strive to form a symbiotic relationship with you by transforming the traditional black box of PCB manufacturing into an open and transparent white box such that your design is optimized for our equipment and process capabilities so the manufacturing process can accurately incorporate your design intent.

And to help you get started on the best path, we furnish information for your DFM and enable you to easily view and download DRC files. If you’re an Altium user, you can simply add these files to your PCB design software.

If you are ready to have your design manufactured using our fast PCB prototyping service, try our quote tool to upload your CAD and BOM files. If you want more information on turnkey PCB manufacturing or how to choose the best manufacturing service for your boards, contact us.

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