In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, time is a valuable resource that cannot be wasted. PCB fabrication is no exception, with deadlines becoming increasingly challenging to meet. To meet these stringent timelines, quick turn PCB fabrication has become a necessary solution.
A quick turn PCB is a printed circuit board that is designed, manufactured, and assembled in a short amount of time, while still maintaining the highest quality standards. It is often the ideal choice for companies facing tight schedules and demanding timelines, while ensuring the production of top-quality PCB products.
This article delves into the concept of quick turn PCB fabrication and its benefits for businesses seeking to achieve their objectives. Furthermore, it emphasizes how quick turn PCBs offer exceptional product quality and rapid turnaround times, rendering them a preferred solution for many companies.
Quick Turn PCB Definition
Quick turn PCB refers to the process of designing, manufacturing, and assembling a printed circuit board (PCB) within a short timeframe while maintaining high-quality standards. Quick turn PCBs are typically produced in response to tight deadlines or urgent requirements and are designed to help companies meet demanding timelines. The quick turn process involves streamlining the PCB fabrication process, reducing lead times, and using various tools and technologies to ensure speedy production without compromising on the quality of the PCB. Quick turn PCBs are an essential solution for businesses that require fast turnaround times without sacrificing the quality of the product.
Importance of Technology and Physical Requirements for Quick-Turn PCBs
While many Internet-based companies can quickly and inexpensively provide small quantities of 2-layer PCBs, Jarnis Technologies specializes in producing complex PCBs that demand absolute quality and consistency throughout the development and production phases. To ensure reliable delivery dates, we prioritize understanding the technology and physical requirements necessary to manufacture each specific PCB.
Every quick-turn PCB request is unique and requires attention to factors such as technology, delivery requirements, and volume of parts needed. At Jarnis Technologies, we focus on meeting the demanding needs of customers who require high-quality and complex PCBs. Our expertise in understanding the technology and physical requirements of each PCB ensures that we deliver products with 100% quality and consistency throughout their entire life cycle. A few common definitions:
There are various types of PCB prototypes available, and the first step in any project is to obtain a PCB quickly to test out the concept. In many cases, the PCB designer may not have completed the design when submitting Gerber data for production, resulting in fast and inexpensive work that may require jumpers on the board.
However, if you need to produce prototypes for testing form, fit, and function and require a deeper understanding of how the electronics will work together, a higher level of quality is necessary for the PCB. In such cases, it is important to collaborate with your PCB fabricator to ensure that rigorous design rule checks are performed to guarantee that the prototypes are of the same quality as the production PCBs.
Pre-Production or Beta Run PCBs
When a customer is ready to test their production process or send units into the field, they typically require a significant volume of PCBs, ranging from 20 to several thousand pieces. In such cases, the PCB fabricator must have the capacity to run all of these production panels efficiently. Unfortunately, customers often encounter issues when transitioning from prototype to pre-production, as changes in PCB materials, multilayer stack ups, drill sizes, and other factors can cause unforeseen problems.
At JarnisTech, we eliminate these issues by seamlessly moving from the prototype phase to pre-production. We achieve this by using the same materials and Gerber data for all of our factories, ensuring that our customers see no changes in the product’s quality. Our delivery times range from 2 days up to our standard delivery of 20 days, depending on the customer’s needs.
Production Quick-Turn PCBs
Customers often require higher volume quick-turn PCBs in emergency situations when a supplier is unable to deliver, or when transportation of products from Asian countries becomes difficult. However, working with the right PCB fabrication partner can eliminate these issues. At JarnisTech, we have the facilities and experience necessary to produce high-volume PCBs in short lead times, and our pre-CAM process ensures that production can commence without delay.
In addition to our streamlined production process, JarnisTech has a longstanding partnership with UPS at our hub in Hong Kong. This partnership guarantees us dedicated and guaranteed space on UPS aircraft every day, even during peak holiday seasons, ensuring that our products do not experience delays during transit.
Pre-Production or Beta Run PCBs
● Quick-turn pre-production circuit boards.
● Production quick-turn circuit boards.
● Small volume prototype, high technology quick-turn circuit boards.
● Small volume prototype, low technology quick-turn circuit boards.
Benefits of Quick Turn PCBs
The demand for quick turn printed circuit boards has been on the rise in recent times, with many OEMs and electronic device manufacturers moving in the direction of quick-turn PCB fabrication. Quick turn PCBs offer numerous advantages to both manufacturers and customers, making them a popular choice in today’s evolving electronic technology landscape.
One of the major benefits of quick turn PCBs is their time-saving advantage. PCB creation offers quick turnaround times, allowing customers to gain a competitive advantage in the market by quickly executing new ideas and bringing products to market faster. This, in turn, translates to quicker sales and profits.
Another significant benefit of opting for quick turn printed boards is the cost-saving advantage. Assembling requires a limited period and a minimum trace time, resulting in a significant reduction in production costs. Additionally, the fabrication process cuts costs, particularly when cost-effective materials or components are employed in production, bringing down the overall price.
Some other benefits of quick turn PCBs include:
One of the critical advantages of quick turn PCBs is their ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions and resist heat, undulating vibrations, and other physical factors. This advantage is possible because most quick turn PCBs are manufactured with flexible boards that make them easily bendable and occupy less space.
Quick turn PCBs are commonly used in the IoT arena, where the compact nature of the boards makes them the ideal choice for meeting the growing demand for small-sized communication devices.
Overall, quick turn PCBs help board engineers optimize time-to-market capacities for the final product, enabling the manufacture of highly technical PCBs in a reduced time frame. Quick turn PCBs support prototyping and accelerate the speed of producing a prototype PCB, encouraging research and development and helping manufacturers to boost their time-to-market strength.
In addition, prototype PCBs help to find and fix faults in the early stage of production. With prototyping, more features can be added to increase performance and efficiency, leading to a higher quality final product.
Fast Turn PCBs: Design, Manufacturing and Assembly
The rapid turnaround times offered by PCB manufacturers today can be enticing for customers who prefer to outsource the manufacturing process instead of establishing in-house capabilities. By outsourcing, they can save on substantial investments in specialized equipment and staff, alleviating associated stresses.
The complexity of PCB design directly impacts the delivery time. Fast turnarounds for rigid PCBs can be as low as 24 hours, whereas flex and rigid-flex PCBs typically require a turnaround time of 7-10 days. While many manufacturers claim to provide 1-day or 2-day fast turn services, not all are able to fulfill this promise. Often, this is due to overlooking design complexities when committing to quick turnarounds.
Now, let’s examine the main factors that contribute to complexity and subsequently increase delivery time:
Incorporating blind, buried, and micro vias in a PCB design necessitates the use of laser drilling. Each blind and buried via introduces an additional lamination cycle, which contributes to the overall manufacturing time. Laser drilling, lamination, and plating processes require extra time and attention. Moreover, the process of filling vias is time-consuming, as it requires thorough elimination of voids or air bubbles and proper plating over the top.
To ensure efficient turnaround and minimize delays, it is crucial to engage in detailed discussions with your PCB manufacturer regarding the design and placement of vias. By addressing these considerations upfront, you can assess and understand how the use of these via types will impact the overall delivery time of your PCB project. Collaborating closely with your manufacturer will help optimize the manufacturing process and streamline the production timeline.
Hybrid PCBs, Cavity Boards, Air-pockets
In the case of advanced or specialized PCB types, the choice of materials directly impacts the turnaround time. These PCBs often have stringent machining tolerances that cannot be accommodated by traditional PCB CNC equipment. To avoid delays in procuring specialty materials, it is crucial to engage in early discussions with your manufacturer, highlighting your specific requirements for these specialized circuit boards.
When selecting a manufacturer, give preference to those equipped with the necessary capabilities to handle specialized PCB manufacturing and assembly. This ensures that your unique PCB needs are met efficiently without compromising on quality or delivery timelines. By choosing a manufacturer with the appropriate equipment and expertise, you can mitigate potential delays and achieve optimal results for your specialized PCB projects.
Collaborating with your PCB manufacturer to optimize material stocking is vital for achieving a quick turnaround time. Delays in delivery can arise if any required materials are out of stock at the time of confirming your PCB order. To mitigate such issues, provide accurate and detailed material specifications to your manufacturer. This allows them the flexibility to source readily available materials, reducing procurement time and minimizing the risk of material unavailability.
By working closely with your manufacturer and establishing clear communication channels, you can ensure that material stocking is optimized for your specific project requirements. This proactive approach helps streamline the manufacturing process and minimizes the chances of delays due to material shortages or lead time constraints.
Rigid-flex and flex PCBs
Flex and rigid-flex PCBs necessitate longer lead times compared to rigid PCBs due to the following factors:
Multiple Lamination Cycles: The manufacturing process of flex and rigid-flex PCBs involves multiple lamination cycles. These additional cycles contribute to the overall production time, as each lamination cycle requires proper curing and bonding of the flexible layers.
Smaller Panels: Flex and rigid-flex PCBs are often manufactured in smaller panel sizes as compared to rigid PCBs. Working with smaller panels involves careful handling and precise alignment, adding complexity and time to the manufacturing process.
Laser Drilling/Cutting: Flex and rigid-flex PCBs may require laser drilling or cutting operations to create vias or intricate shapes. These processes are more intricate and time-consuming than traditional drilling methods, and they further extend the lead time of production.
Considering these factors, it is important to factor in the longer lead times associated with flex and rigid-flex PCBs when planning your project timeline. Collaborating closely with your PCB manufacturer can help ensure that realistic expectations are set and appropriate delivery schedules are established for flex and rigid-flex PCB manufacturing.
Quality and Inspection
In terms of quality standards, the IPC establishes Class II as the baseline requirement. However, achieving Class III or meeting military-grade specifications (Mil Specs) involves additional processing time. When opting for fast turn PCB services, it is essential to determine the specific quality standard that needs to be met for your project.
As an IPC member, JarnisTech prioritizes adherence to industry-recognized quality standards in PCB manufacturing. Our highly skilled team includes dedicated in-house engineers and quality assurance specialists who provide expert guidance throughout the entire PCB manufacturing and assembly process.
With our commitment to quality, we ensure that your PCB project meets the required standards and specifications. By partnering with JarnisTech, you can rely on our comprehensive expertise and stringent quality control measures to deliver PCBs of exceptional quality.
Managing Fast Turn PCB Manufacturing Effectively
Efficient management of fast-turn PCB manufacturing requires attention to all aspects of the PCB design to ensure timely delivery and adherence to desired quality standards. It is essential for the manufacturer to fulfill 100% of the required specifications within the specified timeframe. The ability to meet these requirements hinges upon investing in superior, specialized equipment and employing qualified staff. Manufacturers equipped with such resources are best positioned to deliver fast turn PCBs while upholding quality standards.
To effectively manage fast-turn PCB production, the following points should be considered:
Design for Manufacturability (DFM)
The successful execution of your fast-turn PCB order greatly relies on Design for Manufacturability (DFM). Introducing complex features during PCB manufacturing and assembly can escalate costs, prolong delivery time, and potentially increase rejection rates. When dealing with intricate PCBs, it is advisable to submit your design files to the manufacturer for thorough review before placing the order. This step allows for addressing any production-delaying issues in advance. The manufacturer should provide a comprehensive review report, outlining potential problem areas for manufacturing and suggesting appropriate remedies. Additionally, the manufacturer must promptly furnish a complete list of Technical Questions (TQs) upon order receipt. It is important to note that the delivery period commences only after resolving all TQs. Be cautious of manufacturers who attempt to extend lead-time by raising TQs after production commencement.
Know Your PCB Manufacturer
Evaluate the capabilities and infrastructure of your PCB manufacturer to ascertain their ability to meet your requirements for fast turnaround time. It is important to consider various aspects to make an informed decision. Some factors to take into account include:
How Big is the PCB Manufacturing Company ?
To determine if your PCB manufacturer can meet your fast turnaround time needs, it is crucial to assess their investments in new equipment and backup mechanisms to mitigate breakdown risks.
Additionally, consider whether they possess all the necessary in-house equipment for efficient PCB manufacturing. Assessing their control and influence over the material supplier base is essential as well, including their purchasing power to acquire high-quality raw materials.
Furthermore, evaluate whether the manufacturer receives technical support from their suppliers when needed. These considerations will aid in determining the manufacturer’s capability to meet your fast turnaround time requirements.
What Processes Do They Outsource ?
To minimize costs, manufacturers often subcontract surface finishes like HASL, ENEPIG, and Hard Gold, as these processes require significant investments. Similarly, precision processes like laser drilling/cutting, via filling, lamination, and plasma etch are commonly outsourced by customers. Some PCB manufacturers focus exclusively on in-house operations such as drilling, solder masks, and ET, while outsourcing other processes to smaller units or lower-cost suppliers.
However, outsourcing introduces challenges in maintaining fast turnarounds and quality control. Opting for a local PCB manufacturer that provides all required facilities in one location is generally preferable. Localized manufacturing enables better control over quality and may justify the associated costs.
An exemplary company that exemplifies these characteristics is JarnisTech, a Fast Turn PCB Manufacturer with 100% on-shore production facilities situated in China.
What Resources Do They Have ?
Workforce: Evaluate whether the PCB manufacturer employs in-house engineers or relies on contractors for their engineering needs. In-house engineers often demonstrate better familiarity with the company’s operations and offer more effective communication and collaboration.
Logistics Strategy: Assess the manufacturer’s logistics strategy, particularly in terms of shipping and suppliers. Consider their shipping capabilities, reliability, and efficiency. Additionally, evaluate their relationships with suppliers to determine if they have established partnerships that ensure timely and consistent delivery of materials.
Financial Resources: An important factor to consider is the PCB manufacturer’s financial resources. Gauge whether they possess adequate purchasing power to procure high-quality materials. Sufficient financial strength allows them to invest in premium raw materials, which significantly impact the quality of the final PCB product.
When selecting a PCB manufacturer, it is crucial to consider more than just the budget. The cheapest option may not necessarily offer the best outcome. It is important to thoroughly assess the capabilities of the manufacturer and the complexity of the PCB design. Keep in mind that not all manufacturers are equal in terms of quality, turnaround time, and price. Therefore, it is vital to choose your PCB manufacturing partner wisely by evaluating their suitability based on various factors, ensuring a successful outcome for your project.
How to Choose the right Quick Turn PCB Fabricator?
It is essential to approach the process of selecting a reliable Contract Manufacturer (CM) diligently and avoid compromising on quality for cost considerations. Collaborating with a certified CM that provides turnkey PCB solutions brings numerous benefits, including reduced turnaround time (TAT) and assured quality. These CMs employ skilled professionals who leverage the latest technologies to deliver standardized products within agreed timelines.
Several factors require consideration during the selection process:
● Location: The location of the CM is critical, especially for quickturn services. Opting for a local CM can offer advantages in terms of faster turnaround. Choosing onshore manufacturers, particularly those based in the U.S., can leverage a robust supply chain and established supplier contacts, leading to significantly quicker turnaround times.
● Product lead time: Faster prototyping by the fabrication partner expedites the finalization of your design for large-scale production.
● Certifications: Ensure that the CM operates in adherence to global quality standards such as IPC, ISO, UL, RoHS, and possesses the relevant certifications.
● Consistency: The CM should consistently deliver high-quality PCBs, regardless of the scale of production—whether it is small-scale or large-scale.
● Communication and support: Regular and effective communication with the CM is vital. The manufacturer should provide comprehensive support at every stage of the prototyping process, addressing your inquiries and concerns promptly.
Remember, investing time and effort in selecting the right CM will contribute to the success of your PCB projects. Prioritize quality and reliability over cost considerations to achieve optimal results.
Why Choose JarnisTech ?
For the past two decades, engineers, assemblers, and designers worldwide have relied on our expertise in delivering quickturn PCBs. We have established ourselves as a trusted partner for companies of all sizes, offering reliable solutions for their mission-critical PCB requirements. Our commitment to punctuality is unmatched in the industry, with an exceptional on-time delivery record that has earned the loyalty of our customers. We prioritize customer satisfaction and stand behind our promises with a robust guarantee. If, for any reason, you are dissatisfied with your order, we are swift to rectify the situation and ensure your complete contentment.
To serve you better, we kindly request that you inform your sales representative of your timeline, including the desired dock date for your project. This information allows us to accurately gauge the urgency of manufacturing your boards and meet your specific requirements.
|PCB Layers||Order Quantity (m2)||Fabrication Time||Extra Urgent (Hours)|
|2 Layers||<1 m2||4 Days||48 Hours|
|1-5 m2||6 Days|
|>5 m2||7 Days|
|4 Layers||<1 m2||4 Days||48 Hours|
|1-5 m2||6 Days|
|>5 m2||11 Days|
|6 Layers / 8 Layers||<1 m2||6 Days||72 Hours|
|1-5 m2||8 Days|
|>5 m2||11 Days|
|10 Layers||<1 m2||10 Days||96 Hours|
|1-5 m2||10 Days|
|>5 m2||15 Days|
|10 or more Layers||<1 m2||10 Days||96 Hours|
|1-5 m2||10 Days|
|>5 m2||15 Day|
What sets us apart from PCB brokers is that we handle the entire printed circuit board manufacturing process in-house. This inherent advantage makes us more agile and responsive. We are directly available to address any inquiries you may have without the need to relay information to an external PCB house. Whether you need information about our material inventory, updates on your current order status, or require urgent modifications, you can trust that you are dealing directly with the manufacturer, ensuring accurate and timely communication.
The lead time plays a crucial role in efficiently prototyping new PCB designs, providing a competitive advantage by enabling faster testing compared to competitors. Prominent companies like Space X, Honeywell, and Boeing now prioritize faster lead times to expedite their entry into the market. We would appreciate more information about your specific products and goals, as it will allow us to better comprehend your requirements and contribute to your success.
TIP: When prototyping multiple PCBs, significant cost savings can be achieved by consolidating them into a single gerber/drill file set. As long as the combined design fits within our standard panel’s usable space of 10″x16″, you will only be charged our lot charge as though you had a single unique board. It’s worth noting that you can even combine 2 and 4-layer boards, with the two internal layers of the double-sided board remaining empty. However, please consider that the surface finish, mask, and silkscreen color will be the same for all the boards involved.
Get a Fast PCB Quote with Custom Circuit Boards
We highly encourage prospective customers to submit their PCB specifications through our dedicated PCB quote page. However, if you prefer, you can also directly provide us with your information via email or by calling our toll-free number at 0086-0755-23034656. We are confident that once you have had the opportunity to experience the exceptional quality and service provided by Custom Circuit Board, you will choose us for all your future quickturn PCB needs. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to provide you with a competitive quote for your PCBs and to earn your valued business.
The demand for quick turn printed circuit boards has been steadily increasing among OEMs and electronic device manufacturers. Quick turn PCB fabrication is the latest innovation that is changing the landscape of the electrical and electronic industry, offering numerous advantages that far outweigh the disadvantages.
Quick turn PCBs can save both time and money, as they can detect errors before final production, eliminating costly mistakes. Working with an experienced quick turn PCB manufacturer with a proven track record of delivering consistent PCB assembly services is the best way to ensure high-quality PCBs with a quick turnaround time.
Quick turn PCBs can save time and money by avoiding changes after the manufacturing process is complete, and by manufacturing prototype PCBs before the main production process, thus avoiding costly rework. The fast turnaround time for quick turn PCBs also saves valuable time.
If you have any inquiries or would like to learn more about our services, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] Our team of experts is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and high-quality PCBs to meet our customers’ needs.