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Prototype

It is vitally important that electronic/mechanical design engineers get a PCB assembly/unit manufactured as quickly as possible once their design has largely been settled upon. This allows the engineers to 'test' the pcb assembly/unit to ensure it behaves the way they thought it would, to ensure it passes any statutory or legal requirements e.g. EMC testing and that they have not made any mistakes in circuit architecture or component tolerances.

As a result, an alpha build or prototype batch of assemblies is usually made.

There are a number of specialist companies which have evolved to cater for this particular requirement. These companies offer services ranging from hand build through to automatic placement/insertion of components depending upon the customers requirements.

In addition, companies specialising in prototyping offer a range of turnaround times, typically from 1-5 days although the unit pricing will reflect the timescale required by the customer.

Once an assembly has been manufactured and 'checked out', it is not uncommon for minor changes to be made to the initial designs and a second or beta build batch of products produced prior to launch of a production batch.

PCB Assembly Topics

Prototype

SMT

PTH

Prototype Companies

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Guide Written by Paul Wilson

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Prototype Articles

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