What are the most common mistakes made with working with a manufacturer?

Whether it’s working with a turnkey contract manufacturer, an assembler, or bare PCB fab, what are some pitfalls that people often fall into?

The first thing you need to do is get a list of their capabilities and use them in your design.
Thing like what in minimum track size, track to track spacing, minimum drill sizes.
What materials do they normally stock and what board thickness can they manufacture.
I’ve seen people design board with .05um tracks and the shop not able to handle it. The boards get outsourced and then the cost go up. Or design the board stackup with Rogers when the shop does FR4.
These things add to cost and time.
The bottom line talk to the vendor and understand what they can and can’t do. A little time will save a lot of money.


I believe the biggest mistake is leaving the manufacturers in the dark until after the design has been finalized. Getting manufacturer inputs at early stage of design can be very beneficial:

  • you will be able to gauge how vested they are for your business by the level of interest they show in providing you with feedback: Design for Manufacturing (DFM) is one way that you could get them involved from the start
  • every shop has different skill sets and know-hows, and by making them aware and involved in your design guarantees that the final product is something both you and the manufacturer is comfortable with.

a problem i run into is technology limitations. all the cheapo houses do 6/6 ( 6 mil track and 6 mil gap ) But i can not find one that does 4/4 or even 3/3 at reasonable prices ( for prototypes ).

free_electron: We can do 2/2 for prototypes at pretty reasonable pricing. Specialty materials as well. Contact us for more details.


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