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The main factors affecting the cost of PCB assembly

The cost of printed circuit boards is determined by the materials used, commonly used materials are FR4, polyimide, PTFE, metal, etc. Generally speaking, the cost of FR4 is lower than metal materials. But remember, the choice of PCB materials should not only focus on the cost, it is more important to pay attention to the performance of each material to ensure that the materials used to meet the requirements of your product.

PCB assembly of layers and assembly techniques

The number of layers is a very critical factor affecting the cost of PCB assembly. The more layers of PCBs you need to assemble, the higher the cost. For example, the cost of multi-layer PCBA will be higher than single-layer PCBA. but the number of layers of PCBA should depend on your specific requirements. For somecomplex devices, multiple layers of PCBAs are required to ensure that the device performs as expected.

The technology used to assemble the components will also affect the PCB assembly cost. Typically, surface mount technology (SMT) costs less than through-hole technology (THT) because the SMT process is automated and more efficient, while THT takes more time because it requires perforation on the board. In addition, some PCBs may also need to be assembled using ball grid arrays or BGAs, which can increase assembly costs. So before we start assembling, we need to figure out the requirements of your project and choose the right assembly technology, do not ignore the performance of the components to reduce assembly costs, because it may lead to PCB failure or even the entire device.

PCB assembly of national labor costs and order volume

Labor costs will largely affect the cost of PCB assembly, and labor costs vary by region. For example, labor costs in the United States and Europe are much higher than in South Asia, and access to assembly services in cheap labor countries may save about 50% of the assembly labor costs. But when you choose labor from different countries, you should also pay attention to their expertise in PCB assembly, especially for some complex PCB assembly projects, such as multilayer PCBA.

The order quantity of PCBAs can significantly affect the assembly cost, PCB assemblers will offer preferential pricing for larger orders, while for smaller quantities, you may spend more for each PCBA, especially when the quantity cannot reach the minimum starting quantity, and then setup fees, engineering fees, and other one-time costs, which will definitely increase the assembly cost. But for some high volume orders, you may need to bear the expensive shipping costs, which is another factor you also need to consider when developing your project budget.

Customization of PCB Assembly Costs

The more customization you need, the higher the cost, so it is important to pay close attention to custom specifications. customization of the number of layers on the PCB, alignment size and coating will increase the cost of PCB assembly. In some cases, the PCBA needs to achieve specific properties such as water resistance, assembly costs will be higher because the assembler needs to customize from the bare board to the electronic components on it, which is a very time-consuming process.

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