For every beginner, determining the cost of PCB assembly is one of the most troublesome and time consuming tasks. Apart from being a significant addition to an electronic device, PCB assemblies have brought themselves to the level that they require expert hands to handle their connections.
With that being said, the PCB assembly cost is another worth considering area that manufacturers cannot overlook at any cost. Not only does this cost enables manufacturers to calculate their total expenses but also convince them to always keep all the methods in hand that could help to reduce the cost as much as possible. Even, the total cost or expense of the PCB assembly would help producers to set the best price for the final product.
Note that there are multiple factors behind the determination of cost, which will be discussed later in this article.
Transfer Data to a Reliable PCB Manufacturer
Are you worried about the cost of a PCB assembly? Want to know if there are any hidden fees to take care of? Well, to know all about this costing process, you have to start by finding a trusted PCB assembly manufacturer.
Don’t be overwhelmed with the number of options you would come across. Rather, the list would make your decision quite difficult since it’d be difficult to figure out which manufacturer is a good one and why to hire them. So, the rule of thumb is to approach some shortlisted PCB experts, according to the SMT technology used and availability of capital, and request a printed circuit board production quote based on the information provided.
Be sure that you have all the following details ready for the manufacturers to analyze:
- Number of circuit boards
- Gerber files: RS-274X
- Centroid data
- BOM or Bill of Materials
- Assembly files
- Point of uniqueness
PCB Assembly Cost Calculator
As soon as the manufacturer starts analyzing information, the cost calculator comes into action. The experts will input data in the required fields and wait until the calculator comes up with an answer. The figure so obtained depends upon many critical elements that might need some alterations, if the cost appears to be too high against the estimated one.
For this reason, it’s important to know the cost before assembly, especially material cost, so that it would be easy to make changes once the calculator provides a figure.
Material Cost Before Assembly
The manufacturing company starts by getting quotes for the electronic parts, PCB bare board etc. along with getting estimates for engineering and PCB assembly costs to include in the purchasing amount. The resultant has to cover around 5 percent of the lost material, due to capacitance disk loading, SMT chip and resistance. Though, for smaller PCBA quantities, the quotations are provided with changing SMT line, processing file, stencil etc.
Solder Joint Cost
Another worth considering aspect while calculating PCB assembly cost is DIP and SMT after welding, since every circuit board solder joint is different and therefore, the processing methods are different. Normally, one solder pad is referred to as 1 point while IC solder joints are calculated according to the number of feet. After 1206 SMD precision, a solder pad is counted to 2 points, except for CD54 inductance which counted to 12 points, unlike others with 24 points.
After calculating all solder joints, the cost varies between 0.008 and 0.03 CNY based on the type and other factors. The next evaluating aspect is the PCBA board test time that describes packaging logistics, cost of 3-proofing paint and special packaging materials. Also, customers’ transaction terms like FOB also need to be included in the PCB assembly cost calculator.
Standard PCB manufacturing cost calculator
There are mainly include three categories for The cost of standard PCB manufacturing, single board, board customer-provided, or PCB provided by EASHUB, hence standard PCB cost calculator will calculate the cost of standard PCB according to the following different parameters:
|Different design in each panel||1 2 3 4 5 6 or more available|
|Size (single)||Length * Width|
|Layers||1 Layer 2 Layers 4 Layers 6 Layers 8 Layers 10 Layers 12 Layers 14 Layers are available.|
|Material||FR4, Aluminum Board, Rogers HDI HDI(Buried/blind vias)≥4 Layers ,Copper Base option.|
|FR4-TG||TG 130-140 ,TG 150-160 ,TG 170-180 ,TG150 optional|
|Thickness||0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8 ,1.0 ,1.2 ,1.6 ,2.0, 2.4, 2.6, 2.8 ,3.0 ,3.2，≥1.7-6.0mm|
|Min Track/Spacing||3/3mil ,4/4mil ,5/5mil ,6/6mil 8/8mil optional;|
|Min Hole Size||0.15mm ,0.2mm ,0.25mm ,0.3mm , 0.8mm , 1.0mm , No Drill hole;|
|Solder Mask||Green, Red, Yellow, Blue, White Black optional;Purple Matte black Matte green None;|
|Silkscreen||White, Black, None;|
|Edge connector||Yes, No|
|Surface Finish||HASL with lead, HASL lead free Immersion gold(ENIG) OSP Hard gold Immersion silver(Ag) ENEPIG None(Plain copper)|
|Via Process||Tenting vias Plugged vias Vias not covered|
|Finished Copper||tip helpBare board(0 oz Cu) 1 oz Cu 2 oz Cu 3 oz Cu 4 oz Cu 5 oz Cu 6 oz Cu 7 oz Cu8 oz Cu 9 oz Cu 10 oz Cu 11 oz Cu 12 oz Cu 13 oz Cu copper|
Multi PCB manufacturing cost calculator
There are mainly include two categories for the cost of multi PCB manufacturing, through hole pcb and HDI PCB, hence multi PCB cost calculator will calculate the cost of multi PCB according to the following different parameters:
|Board Spec||IPC 6012 Class 2, IPC 6012 Class 3 ,IATF16949, ISO13485, Customer Standard|
|Board type||Single pieces, Panel provided by yourself, Panel by Eashub;|
|Different Design in Panel||1 2 3 4 5 6 or more;|
|Layers||1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 layers;|
|Material||Tg140 ,FR-4 Tg150 FR-4 Tg170 FR-4 Tg150 FR-4(Halogen-free) Tg170 FR-4(Halogen-free) High-CTI(>=600V) High-CTI(Halogen-free,>=600V) ≈High Speed(GHz) ≡High Frequency PCBs(DK) Special Material(High low temperature);|
|Thickness||≥0.1-0.2 (reviewed) 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.6 2.0 2.4 2.8 3.2 3.6 4.0 4.4 4.8 5.2 5.6 6.0 Other;|
|Min Track/Spacing||3/3mil 4/4mil 5/5mil 6/6mil 8/8mil ↑ track|
|Min Hole Size||tip help0.15mm 0.2mm 0.25mm 0.3mm ↑ No Drill hole;|
|Solder Mask||Green Red Yellow Blue White Black Pink Grey;Orange Transparent Purple Matte black Matte green None;|
|Silkscreen||White Black Yellow Blue Grey None;|
|Edge connector||Yes No|
|Surface Finish||HASL lead free Immersion gold(ENIG) OSP Hard gold Immersion silver(Ag) Immersion Tin ENEPIG None(Plain copper)|
|Thickness of Immersion Gold||2U” 3U”;|
|Finished Copper||Bare board(0 oz Cu) 0.5 oz Cu 1 oz Cu 2 oz Cu 3 oz Cu 4 oz Cu 5 oz Cu 6 oz Cu 7 oz Cu 8 oz Cu 9 oz Cu 10 oz Cu 11 oz Cu 12 oz Cu 13 oz Cu copper;|
Flexible PCB manufacturing cost calculator
There are mainly include two categories for the cost of flexible PCB manufacturing,flexible PCB and Rigid-flex board, hence flexible PCB cost calculator will calculate the cost of flexible PCB according to the following different parameters:
|Different Design in Panel||1 2 3 4 5 6 or more e.g.|
|Layers||1 Layer 2 Layers 4 Layers 6 Layers 8 Layers Stack-up for FPC|
|Board type||Single flexible pcb XXX Single pieces flexible pcb XXX In Panel In Panel;|
|Polyimide base material||Polyimide Flex PET (Transparent)|
|FPC Thickness||0.08 0.1 0.13 0.14 0.15 0.18 0.2 0.23 0.25 0.26 0.3± ≥0.35 ≥0.4|
|* Unit||mm thickness|
|*The FPC thickness does not include the thickness of stiffener and 3M tape.|
|Min Track/Spacing||≥ 0.06mm track|
|Min hole size/Pad size(diameter)||≥ φ0.15/0.35mm No Drill hole|
|Solder Mask(Cover lay)||Yellow Cover lay White Cover lay Black Cover lay None Transparent|
|Silkscreen||tip help White Black None|
|Edge connector||tip Yes No|
|Stiffener||without TOP BOT Both sides Stiffener|
|Surface Finish||Immersion gold (ENIG) OSP Immersion silver(Ag) Immersion tin|
|Thickness of Immersion Gold||1U” 2U” 3U”|
|Finished Copper||tip help0.5 oz Cu(18µm) 1 oz Cu(35µm) 1.5 oz Cu(55µm) 2 oz Cu(70µm) copper|
|E-test||tip help100% No|
|3M/Tesa tape||without or other|
|EMI shielding film||without or other|
PCB Assembly cost calculator
There are mainly include three categories for the cost of PCB assembly,turnkey PCB, consigned and combo, hence PCB assembly cost calculator will calculate the cost of PCB assembly according to the following different parameters:
|Board type||Single pieces ,Panelized PCBs|
|Assembly Side(s)||Top side,Bottom side and both side;|
|We suggest choose to do panel if single PCB qty is more than 20pcs or any side of single board is smaller than 50mm.|
|Note||Contains Sensitive components/parts No Yes|
|Do you accept alternatives/substitutes made in China?||No Yes|
|Number of Unique Parts||Components|
|Number ofSMD Parts|
|Total number SMT Pads|
|Number of BGA/QFP Parts||SMT Pads BGA|
|Number of Through-Hole Parts||XXX|
Factors Affecting PCB Assembly Cost
- Order Quantity
The first and foremost element is to determine the quantity of order so that it would be easy to apply the formula- the higher the quantity, the lesser will be the price.
When you plan to order 10 units for a 50 by 50 mm double-sided PCB, the cost would be anywhere between $30 to $35 for all but, if the quantity increases to 30 units, the unit cost might come down while the total would remain within the mentioned range. Now what does that mean? Although the total cost hasn’t been decreased, the benefit comes in the form of affordable production that would encourage manufacturers as well as customers to go for higher quantities within their budget.
- Single-Sided or Double-Sided Circuit Board
Availability of panels on the printed circuit board has a huge impact on the PCB cost i.e. it increases with every additional layer. Some producers are well aware of the extra costs they would have to incur due to which, they usually change around $16 for basic double-sided boards. However, customers can also go for some custom-made PCB boards but, that too against some additional cost.
- Materials Used
Manufacturers are well aware of those long lasting materials that can promise performance and productivity for a longer time period. Most of them use FR-4 because of its ability to face different temperatures. One of the significant additions is FR4-TG150 that is around 5% costly than regular FR-4 whereas, FR4-TG175 can give a raise of 10% to the PCB assembly cost.
- Surface Finish
Considering their aggressive usage, PCB assemblies must have corrosion-resistant surface finish. It’s important for the producers to use customized surface painting, finishing and coating to make the surface durable and protected. Sometimes, they go for silver and gold finishes upon your requests with the surety of providing the highest protective layer, especially for industrial applications. Just be sure that this selection will have a visible impact on PCB assembly cost calculator and the result may be a bit beyond expectations.
- Evaluate Reputation
No doubt, the internet has become the best source of getting as much information on a product or brand as needed. You can easily get to know about the best electronic websites and compare the features different manufacturers are providing against the pricing. Even, you can ask for suggestions for the PCB ideas in your mind.
- Inspection Charges
Last but not the least, the PCB assembly cost isn’t complete without inspection fees. Their aim is to make sure that the assemblies are of good quality in terms of:
- Ionic composition
- Electrical performance
Therefore, these charges will bring the total PCB assembly cost up by almost 10% or 15%, irrespective of manufacturers’ efforts to keep it at the least possible level. Here, the thing to remember is that manufacturers shouldn’t compromise on the product quality just to reduce PCB cost.
Methods of Inspection
Practically, there are many methods to inspect PCB assemblies. Top 3 of them are:
Automated X-ray Inspection- AXI
Automated Optical Inspection- AOI
How To Calculate And Estimate PCB Assembly Cost
Successful electronic product development is inseparable from professional and efficient PCB assembly manufacturer services. If you are looking for these answers:
- How much does PCB assembly cost?
- How to evaluate PCB assembly cost?
- How to reduce PCB Assembly costs?
Then the article is the right place. As a PCB assembly manufacturer with more than 10 years of experience, EASHUB will introduce to the details of PCB Assembly costs.
How much does PCB assembly cost?
Generally speaking, the cost of PCB assembly consists of the following parts:
- PCB production cost
- Component purchase cost
- SMT processing cost (SMD patch + DIP post welding)
- PCB assembly testing fee and assembly fee
- PCB manufacturing cost
If you will not provide the PCB board, and need a one-stop PCB assembly solution, then you can provide the PCB file and BOM list, and the PCB assembly factory will manufacture the PCB bare board according to your PCB file. However, the price of PCB bare board is affected by many factors, such as the number of layers, processes, materials, etc., we will list the following factors affecting the PCB price.
PCB production cost
There are single-sided, double-sided PCB and multi-layer PCBs according to different applications. For the most commonly used double-sided PCBs, the materials used include FR-4, CEM-3, etc., with thicknesses ranging from 0.6mm to 3.0mm, and covering copper thickness is also different. Therefore, due to the difference in the materials used and thickness, even if it is a double-layer PCB, the price varies greatly. In addition to materials, there is also a big difference between ordinary thermosetting ink and photosensitive green oil in terms of solder resist ink. So, the price of PCB varies according to PCB materials.
PCB manufacturing process
PCBs can be made by a variety of production processes, and different production processes are also one of the main factors that affect the price of PCBs. For example, for gold-plated boards and tin-sprayed boards, silk-screen lines or dry-film lines can be used. Both manufacturing process differences will cause price changes.
Suppose the materials used and processing are the same, if the PCB requirements are different, it will cause price changes. For example, if other conditions are the same, 1000 holes need to be made, the hole diameter of one PCB is greater than 0.5mm, and the hole diameter of another PCB is less than 0.5mm, then the difference in hole diameter will also cause the price of PCB change.
In addition, if the material, processing and aperture are the same, but the line width and distance on the PCB are different, it will also cause changes in the production cost. since the latter is more difficult to produce, it will increase more bad rate,resulting in increasing the cost of producing PCBs.
PCB production grade
Following different PCB production grade standards will also cause price changes, for example, if the user need Class 1 or Class 3. The qualification rates required by the two are different, which will affect the cost of the PCB.
Different PCB manufacturers
Even if the PCB with the same specification, the quotations from different PCB manufacturers are different. Because different manufacturers have different procurement costs, management costs, technical costs and manufacturing processes and so on. All these factors will affect the cost of the PCB.
Different PCB payment methods
Different payment methods will also affect the PCB price. If the payment can be made in full, the supplier will give more discount. If the payment period becomes longer, the PCB price will increase in a certain extent.
PCB Manufacturer location
Different PCB manufacturers’ locations will affect the cost of PCB. Generally speaking, in the same country, if the PCB manufacturers are located in a complete supply chain and convenient transportation and logistics area, it will give a more affordable price.
Of course, you can also supply the PCB by yourself, but in terms of price and efficiency, it is recommended that choose a PCB assembly manufacturer.
Component purchase cost
PCB assembly patch processing requires purchasing a variety of components. If you cannot provide components by yourself, you can give a BOM list. The PCB assembly manufacturer will quickly allocate inventory or purchase according to your list. Since PCB assembly manufacturers have established a complete supply chain with component suppliers, the procurement costs are lower, and the required components can be found faster and more completely.
SMT processing fee (SMD patch + DIP post welding)
if you are a PCB assembly beginner, you may need to know the following items. If you are an expert, you can skip it and directly check the calculation method of SMT cost
What is SMT?
SMT is the abbreviation of Surface Mount Technology, called surface mount or surface mount technology. It is the most commonly used technology and process in the electronic product assembly industry.
It is a kind of surface mount component without leads or short leads (referred to as SMC/SMD) on the surface of the printed circuit board (PCB) or the surface of other substrates. A circuit assembly technology assembled by reflow soldering heating soldering method.
What are SMT process material requirements?
- sheet PCB
- Material Components
- Consumables Solder Paste
What equipment does SMT need?
Printing machines, placement machines, and reflow soldering are the three main production equipment.
In the actual production process, there are many testing equipments, SPI, AOI, etc.
What technology does SMT need?
A complete set of process flow for surface assembly, and problem control.
Programming techniques for device use
Quality process control techniques
What kind of production environment does SMT need?
Anti-static treatment in the workshop, temperature and humidity control (temperature 25± 2 degrees, relative humidity 40%-60%), and anti-static clothing for operators.
The main difference between post-welding processing of DIP plug-in and SMT chip processing
SMT chip processing and DIP plug-in post-welding are both important processes in PCB assembly processing, and their processing quality directly affects PCB assembly quality.
SMT is to print the components on the PCB board of red glue or solder paste through the placement machine, and then solidify through the soldering furnace;
DIP plug-in is to insert the components into the PCB board hole with DIP structure, and the DIP plug-in can be made by manual or automatic machine.
SMT chip processing is currently the most popular technology in the electronic assembly industry.
SMT chip processing technology features:
- High assembly density, small size and lightweight;
- High reliability and strong earthquake resistance;
- Low defect rate of solder joints;
- Good high-frequency characteristics, reduce electromagnetic and radio frequency interference;
- Effectively improve production efficiency and save costs;
DIP is one of the basic components of electronic components, which is called dual in-line packaging technology. If you use DIP by manual method, you need to wave soldering later to solder electronic components on the board.
For the inserted components, it should check whether they are incorrectly or missed.
Features of DIP Plug-In Process:
- Strong anti-bump performance;
- Low failure rate, easy to check;
- Product performance is more stable.
SMT chip processing and DIP plug-in have their own characteristics and relation, and they are one of the important processes in a series of PCB assembly production.
How to calculate SMT processing price?
At present, the SMT chip processing technology mainly includes lead-free soldering process, lead soldering process and red glue soldering process, etc.
When calculating the PCB SMT processing cost, the first part is whether the engineering cost needs to be charged according to the amount of your order. Generally speaking, if the number of PCB boards you purchase is greater than 2000PCS, the PCB assembly manufacturer will not charge you additional engineering costs, otherwise, it will be charged. The engineering cost is about $300-$1000 depending on the processing difficulty.
The second part is some suppliers may charge a small amount of stencil cost between $50-$100.
The third part SMT patching cost is calculated based on the number of patch points. For example, 2 corners of SMT patch material count as one point, DIP One corner of the plug-in counts as one point. For more detailed points, please refer to the following table:
SMT patch point calculation method:
|NO||Patch Name||Calculated Points||Remarks|
|1||Capacitor, Resistor (0402-1210)||1|
|2||Capacitance and resistance (below 0402)||2||Throwing material for too small|
|3||Secondary and tertiary tubes||1.5||Directed|
|4||Tantalum capacitors, aluminum electrolytic capacitors, inductors||2||Larger components count as 4 points|
|5||SOP、QFP chip||3 feet/count 1 point||The component feet cannot be seen|
|6||QFN、BGA chip||2 feet/count 1 point||The component feet cannot be seen|
|7||Pin header||3 feet/count 1 point||minimum 3 points|
|8||Other special-shaped components||2 feet/count 1 point||minimum 3 points|
|NO||Patch Name||Calculated Points||Remarks|
|1||Electrolytic capacitors, power sockets, Y capacitors, diodes, etc.||1 pin/count 1 point|
|2||pin headers||2 pins/count 1 point||minimum count 2 points|
|3||the larger pad of the back soldering component.||1 pin/count 2 points||Calculate the multiple of the normal point|
|4||Other common components||2 feet / 1 point||Calculated according to the actual situation|
The unit price of patch points is between 0.0015~0.002 USD range. The total SMT processing cost is calculated by multiplying the total patch points by the unit price.
PCB assembly testing cost
The cost of PCB assembly testing is generally between $0.3 per piece of PCB, and the cost of PCB assembly and packaging is about $0.15 per piece. The cost of PCB assembly testing will decrease according to more quantities.
How to Reduce PCB Assembly Cost
- Solder Paster Printing
SMT assembly comprises of solder paste printing that focuses on putting the right amount of solder paste onto solder pad where the parts will be soldered. Primarily, the quality of printing depends upon scraping angle, scraping speed and solder paste condition.
SMT assembled PCBs are required to be properly applied and stored in a fridge so that it would remain in good condition until the time of use. However, be sure to maintain its room temperature before application in SMT PCB manufacturing.
- Solder Paste Inspection or SPI
Solder paste inspection is one of the effective but optional ways to reduce PCB assembly cost because of the opportunity to eliminate defects now than to trace them later. The best part about this inspection is to cut down on manufacturing expenses with improvement in product quality at the same time.
- Chip Mounting
The next owrthy step towards cost reduction is chip mounting, which is completed with chip mounters that vary in terms of mounting and speed capability. High-speed chip mounters work on small components to attach them with pad through the solder paste.
- Reflow Soldering
In this method, solder paste is heated and melted to produce Intermetallic Compound (IMC) that connects circuit board and component pins together. The temperature profile throughout the process includes preheating, temperature increase, reflowing and cooling.
There are multiple methods to determine the cost of PCB assembly and so do the PCB assembly cost calculator. All you need to do is to evaluate the scope of project and the number of PCB assemblies so that it would be easy to plan the steps and calculate the cost. Analyze the above mentioned factors and come up with the options to enjoy profitability.