Does IPC Class 3 promote reliability?
The problem is that most PCBs are seldom sold at the right price. You may not notice that most customers don't always get what they ordered especially with a certain customer’s misunderstandings. PCBs are often ordered applying specifications with a very high standard or requirement, e.g. IPC Class 3; and perhaps at a price that doesn't cover up all the costs!
The PCB manufacturer may take the order for some reasons at a wrong price with price matrix without concerning much about a certain important criteria and relevant costs which in turn without delivering the desired quality of goods and reliability to the customer.
During the action of buying and selling between the buyer and the seller, a certain assumptions may occur such as a buyer may believe that he is getting the right product at the right price; and the seller may also believe he is selling the right quality of product to the customer.
Why this happens? What can we do? You may check this out and will find the answers
What factors determine the price of a PCB?
There are a quite a few factors or criteria that may affect the price of a PCB, i.e. the size, lead time, number of PCBs, choice of materials, number of layers, thickness of copper, thickness of gold, number of drill holes, vias, press cycles, outline profile, finishes or treatments, restricted tolerances, and erroneous advices, etc.
In this newsletter, we at SPCB want to shed some light on these factors and share with you our experience and information that will help improve your designing and purchasing. This Newsletter looks at these three most important factors.
Well-intended advices may lead to high production costs
There may also be risk that some advices provided by the prototype manufacturer with the best of intentions actually increases the price of a PCB. Shouldn’t all these advices be beneficial? Surely, the aim of advices is to provide a customer with better results from their designing and purchasing, but problems may also occur when an advice is given at an early stage of the design process, especially when developing the prototype thru the prototype manufacturer; such as advices about production tolerances, specific make of laminate, choice of prepreg, etc. may then be affected by the prototype manufacturer sometimes with very limited information, resources, equipment, experience and knowledge of huge volume production. This advice often only takes into account of what the prototype manufacturer has in the way of standard materials, surface finishes, internal layers, cores and production equipment that he’s working with.
That’s why some smart customer would only find a mill that can do both prototype and bulk goods production, only under this condition, you may get valuable advices for the development at the development stage, and there won’t be any problem to be found through out of the prototype production to bulk goods production. You may also consider that the equipment with a prototype manufacturer may not be 100% the same as with a PCB manufacturer with bulk good production and experience.
What a prototype manufacture’s greatest cost incentive mostly concerns is the lead time. When a complicated design arrives he can always choose to start production on several PCBs of a few designs. It is often of lesser importance for the prototype manufacturer if he starts production of 10 PCBs and then only delivers 5 to the customer, but this way of practices becomes impossible when it comes to large volume production, where the basis is not exactly what the customer needs.
The prototype manufacturer’s advices may be very costly in the end; therefore such practices may result in a product which can be very difficult and unrealistically expensive to produce in bulk goods production, merely due to a lack of knowledge in large volume production.