Whether you’re an established company adding to your product line, or a first-time entrepreneur working to bring a new electronic product to the marketplace, the PCBA (printed circuit board assembly) prototyping process is a critical first step in manufacturing. Through prototypes and subsequent testing, important insights are gained:
- Does the product actually work?
- Are the PCBA design and specifications adequate?
- Can the components be manufactured efficiently and cost-effectively as designed?
Unless you have an experienced manufacturing partner, the responsibility for answering these questions likely rests on you alone. This can be challenging for some customers—especially if your expertise is developing ideas and implementations, rather than circuit board assemblies. And with so many overseas PCBA manufacturers promising cost savings through outsourcing, you may find yourself struggling through language barriers and time zone conflicts that make it harder to get feedback and recommendations.
Circuit Works, however, as a U.S.-based contract PCBA manufacturer, offers flexibility and customer service that delights our clients.
- Need to make a change? We work hard to accommodate modifications, quantity adjustments, and other requests. And we make sure materials are on hand to support order increases.
- Need to talk about your prototype or see it in person? We emphasize open lines of communication with customers, welcome customers coming in to observe their product during manufacturing or to speak in person, and we’re always open to visiting the customer’s site to see where the final product will be used.
- Concerned about who will pick up the phone when you call? We have dedicated customer liaisons so you can contact your support person directly. And while we can save you money with manufacturing either in the U.S. or Mexico, all of our customer support is in the U.S.
The Circuit Works Prototyping Process
PCBAs are used in products in just about any industry, so Circuit Works is used to meeting individualized needs in a very fluid and flexible environment. These wide-ranging capabilities and quick turnaround make the process even easier for customers.
Most customers will contact Circuit Works with a prototype design in hand. We’ll then generate a quote based off that design and its specifications, the required quantity, and any industry requirements the PCBA will need to meet (such as ISO 9001 certification, FDA compliance, or ISO 13485 medical certification).
When the customer signs off on the quote, we go to work with internal planning—choosing materials, buying components, developing CAD drawings, directing operations staff on how to build the product. But this is a dynamic process for us, constantly staying in communication with the customer. Based on our experience building the prototype (and the innumerable prototypes in our portfolio), we provide regular feedback and capabilities:
- Product improvement recommendations
- Manufacturing process and efficiency optimizations
- Extensive testing
- Exhaustive documentation
- Traceability compliance for medical devices
- Document reviews after prototyping
- Cost-saving ideas (for example, in materials or placement of components)
Just as the industries requiring PCBAs vary, so do the sizes of prototype orders. But at Circuit Works, we can give you the same individual attention whether your order is 1 or 2 pieces, a few dozen, or even a thousand or more. Bringing a new product to the market is complex, but we’re here with the flexibility and close working relationship you need to move from idea and design to prototype to finished product.