The Importance of Providing Detailed Information for Accurate Printed Circuit Board Quotes

When outsourcing the production of your printed circuit board (PCB) to an electronic contract manufacturer, receiving a fast and accurate quote upfront is important for your bottom line. However, both the manufacturer and the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) face risks when it comes to quoting. A quote that is too high may scare away the OEM, while a low quote may win the business but lead to hidden costs and potential harm to the newly formed partnership.

To ensure you obtain a precise quote from an electronic contract manufacturer and set the foundation for a successful partnership and build, it is essential to provide as much detailed information as possible about your product when requesting a quote. Here are some key factors to consider:

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Bill of Materials (BOM)

The electronic contract manufacturer will typically request a bill of materials or BOM as one of the first steps. A BOM is a comprehensive list of every component your build will require. Your BOM will include any raw materials, components, and other critical information necessary for manufacturing. It helps identify an approved list of electronic contract manufacturers and enables a comparison of PCB quotes based on components and materials.

When providing the BOM, it is recommended to use a spreadsheet format and allow for alternates for standard capacitors and resistors. Ensure that the BOM is shared in a non-editable format to prevent unauthorized changes. Consider creating a BOM template for future use to maintain uniformity and prevent the omission of critical information.

Gerber Files, PCB Fabrication Drawings, and NRE Pricing

In addition to the BOM, you should also provide Gerber files, PCB fabrication drawings, and any information related to Non-Recurring Engineering (NRE) if applicable. The PCB fabrication drawings should include details such as board dimensions, thickness, number of layers, part numbers, and the most recent revisions. If the project involves NRE, provide the pricing with as much detail as possible.

More Than Design

Assembly Standards and Inspection Requirements

Specify the standards your assemblies must meet, including any industry-specific or IPC-regulated requirements. It is important to inform your electronic contract manufacturer about these standards as early as possible. Additionally, communicate your assembly’s inspection requirements, such as X-ray, automated optical inspection (AOI), and flying probe tests.

Quantities and Release Sizes

Include details about the order quantity, estimated annual usage, and the expected amount of product to be purchased in the next 12 months. Provide the first delivery date and indicate if quick-turn prototypes are required.

Additional Considerations

If you are uncertain about what additional information to include, it is always better to reach out to your electronic contract manufacturer and double-check rather than risk delaying the process due to missing information. Some electronic contract manufacturers may provide a checklist of materials required to deliver a Request for Quote (RFQ), which can be useful to keep for reference.

Remember that each electronic contract manufacturer may have specific requirements, so it is advisable to prepare your documents in advance and adjust the information based on their requests. By providing accurate and detailed information from the start, you can effectively compare electronic contract manufacturer quotes, saving time, money, and ultimately ensuring a successful outcome.

At Levison Enterprises, we understand the importance of a seamless quoting process. We strive to thoroughly understand your business goals and the design of your product to ensure accurate and transparent quotes. Our experienced team is ready to guide you through the process and deliver quotes tailored specifically to your project’s needs. If you are considering an electronic contract manufacturer for your next project, contact Levison Enterprises today.

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