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Points to Consider before Buying PCB Products

A key step after you finish your PCB design and have tested it to make sure it works is to secure the parts to go beyond a prototype and into the development of an actual product. While that might seem as simple as doing a Google search for a PCB manufacturer, there are a few things you need to consider before selecting a distributor or manufacturer.

 

Minimum Orders

Obtaining a few odd parts for your prototype was pretty easy. Getting a few thousand to let you roll into production would be easy as well. What’s much more difficult is getting enough parts from PCB board suppliers to let you continue to test and refine without making a massive commitment in parts orders to a prototype that might not wear well in mass production. Make sure that you search for PCB suppliers that will allow you to buy a lower amount of PCBs for a reasonable cost. Look for a supplier that is familiar with and willing to pool parts orders to save you money and avoid any mandatory minimums.

 

Verity RoHS Compliance

The guidelines in the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) exists to make sure manufactured parts do not pose a threat to consumers. Have your product tested to make sure it adheres to these rules. Not only will it give you greater peace of mind in your product, having the certification will protect you legally if there is a hidden flaw or if your product is misused by consumers and the misuse results in injury.

 

It also will ensure your product can be sold beyond your immediate country. Some PCBs are illegal in certain countries because of Radio-Frequency Interference (RFI) or Electromagnetic Interference (EMI.) Ensuring your prototype components are compliant for sale in other countries will let you expand if your product is a success.

 

Assess the Prototypes Potential

Assume your prototype can be mass produced and you have a PCB manufacturing agreement in place. What happens if the success of your product exceeds the manufacturer’s capacity for production? You never want to put the “cart before the horse,” but you have to plan on success, which means ensuring your PCB and PCB component manufacturers can handle large orders with ease. You do not want to have to find a new manufacturer as soon as your product becomes a hot item.

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