Advanced Circuits, Inc. (ACI)

As experts in the manufacture and assembly of printed circuit boards, we work to make our blog a helpful resource on PCB topics and the industries that we work with, including automotive, consumer electronics, aerospace and many more. Here you'll find insights into PCB design, tech trends, assembly issues, and trending topics in the general news media as they relate to printed circuit board technology.

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Common PCB Manufacturing and Design Pitfalls to Avoid

Designing a circuit board can be difficult. The problems could begin in the design phase, or they might occur during PCB manufacturing. If you have a problem in the design that somehow makes it through the other levels of testing and you aren’t dealing with a quality manufacturer, you could end up with a lot of useless boards. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you start off right when going through the design phase long before it even gets to PCB manufacturing.

Not Using Quality Software for the Design

Even though you might have a great idea for your printed circuit board design, it is important to make sure that you are creating that design in quality software. Of course, finding the right software can sometimes be difficult. There are some free options on the market that do not have all of the features and options that you are going to want and need. Some have small component libraries. Other software products cost several thousand dollars. This is not money that everyone is able to spend.

To make things much easier and to be sure that you are using quality software, you can opt for PCB Artist from Advanced Circuits. We provide a robust piece of software that has more than half a million components. It is easy to use and it can provide checks for the circuit board to ensure it is working properly. One of the best features of the software is the fact that it is free of charge.

Not Prototyping the Printed Circuit Board

While it’s true that not everyone will need to have a prototype for the circuit boards they design, it is still a helpful option. You want to make sure that your PCB is functioning as intended before going through a full production run. It would be very expensive to have a large run of PCBs made that you will not be able to use. Prototyping and testing the board in a real-world environment before continuing with the PCB manufacturing process can be a great option just to be on the safe side.

Burnt Circuit Boards

In some cases, when the PCB manufacturing standards are not up to par, it is possible for the boards to become too hot, which can end up burning them. Having several or even just one burnt circuit board can set back your project. Sometimes, you might not even notice until it’s too late. If you are using them to manufacture products that you make it could mean sending out products that simply don’t work. Instead of relying on your own quality control to catch these issues, it’s better to work with a PCB manufacturing company that produces high-quality materials from the start.

Bad Quality Components

If you are not working with a great PCB manufacturing company like Advanced Circuits, you may not know exactly what you are getting in terms of the components. Sometimes companies will try to cut corners, and this will involve using low-quality components. This helps them to keep their costs down, but it certainly doesn’t do anything to help your PCB. Even though the printed circuit boards are supposed to be durable and robust, poor components will cause a problem as they will not last as long. Whether you are using the boards for a personal project, or you are using them for electronic devices that you are assembling and selling, you don’t want bad components. If you have units that keep failing because of this, your customers will lose faith in your products very quickly.

Bad PCB Manufacturing

Even if the components are high-quality, it will not make a difference if the PCB manufacturing and assembly processes have issues. Companies might want to rush so that they can get orders out the door. They are concerned with quantity over quality, and while customers might appreciate getting the boards early, they will not appreciate them if they are not working properly.

In some cases, the PCB manufacturing company will even outsource part of the work to other companies. You might not even realize that the work is being outsourced. Instead, it makes more sense to choose a company like Advanced Circuits. We have a large facility with tens of thousands of square feet, and we take care of everything in-house. We are able to get orders out very quickly. In fact, some orders that are placed with us can ship out the same day.

Choosing a Poor Quality Manufacturer

Those who are just starting to look at companies to provide them with PCB manufacturing may only be looking for the cheapest price or the fastest service. Many people make the mistake of choosing a company without doing the full research that is necessary. Doing this will end up causing them a number of problems throughout the process of getting those PCB boards designed and manufactured. Fortunately, there is an easy way to fix this and avoid these various pitfalls.

How to Fix the Problems

We have detailed some of the common problems that people have had with printed circuit boards. Fortunately, there is a very easy way to make sure that these problems are not going to affect your designs or your PCB manufacturing. Rather than opting to work with a cheaper, low-quality PCB manufacturing company, choose to work with a trusted company like Advanced Circuits. We can help you make all of those other issues disappear at the same time.

Advanced Circuits has more than 25 years in the field of printed circuit boards. All of the work, including the manufacturing and assembly, can be done in-house in our facility. As mentioned, there is even easy to use software that will make the design of the circuit board much faster and easier. With the available testing, support, and the components and manufacturing prowess, it is an ideal way to make sure that all of the design and manufacturing needs go off without a problem.


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