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TECH ARTICLE

BOARD SIZE

T

he cost-driving factors in the manufacturing industry as a whole

all have some similarities, including the need for a facility, equipment overhead, and labor and raw material costs. In addition to these basic requirements, manufacturing a printed circuit board also utilizes chemical processes and waste water treatment systems, which require special (and expensive) approvals, permits, and zoning. Although every manufacturing

The size of the PCB is the first cost factor. Often referred to as the “real estate” of the board, the larger the board the more real estate required to manufacture it. One complicating factor is, depending on the dimensions, you may have a board that takes up less real estate but is actually higher in cost. The reason for this relates to the overall size of the panel used to manufacture the PCB. One dimension may fit the production panel better than the other. An example of this would be two parts with the exact same total square inches per board. The first is 2” x 6” and the second is 3” x 4”. On a standard production panel we can fit more of the 3” x 4” sized PCB on the panel and therefore the per-board cost would be lower.

industry has raw material costs, the raw materials used in the printed circuit board fabrication process can be very expensive (examples include copper, gold, lead, nickel, silver, fiberglass, epoxy resin, and a variety

“Often referred to as the “real estate” of the board, the larger the board the more real estate required to manufacture it.”

of chemicals). Manufacturing overhead aside, when a fabricator sets out to calculate the cost of a printed circuit board, there are both primary (board size, quantity, layer count, lead time, etc.) and secondary (tooling, finish type, drill type, lamination process, etc.) cost considerations. In this article, we’ll tackle the primary cost considerations.

QUANTITY Quantity is important because many manufacturers will have a minimum cost for an order. For instance, you may only need 10 pieces but the minimum order cost would include 20 pieces. As the quantity increases, the per-board cost will go down until you reach the minimum manufacturing cost. One benefit we provide our customers is by giving a higher quantity discount but delivering smaller quantities over time. For example, you could order at the 500-piece price and have 100 pieces delivered each month at the lower price.

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Modern Printed Circuits: Advanced Assembly  

A Look at Advanced Assembly's Proprietary Prototyping System; Breakthrough PCB Laminate; First-time-right Circuit Design - 4 Tips from the E...

Modern Printed Circuits: Advanced Assembly  

A Look at Advanced Assembly's Proprietary Prototyping System; Breakthrough PCB Laminate; First-time-right Circuit Design - 4 Tips from the E...

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