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Cheap PCBA vs expensive PCBA, comparing the price and the differences

Do you know if you have encountered this situation before? Even though the Gerber and BOM files are the same, different PCBA manufacturers have different quotes. What factors have affected the PCBA quote and caused price differentiation? Why are some PCBA prices cheap while others are expensive?

With intense competition in the industry, price wars have become a common tactic. Let’s discover what factors impact the cost of PCBA in SMT patch processing.

What determines the cost of PCBs? The key factors are the circuit board, components, batch size, tooling, and testing fixtures.

Pcba price difference

PCB Circuit Boards

For the same PCB manufacturing requirements, different pcb suppliers will have different quotes. PCB manufacturers vary their production equipment, technology, and process. These factors result in varying production costs, even for the same demand. 

For example, some PCB manufacturers producing gold-plated boards may have a high scrap rate. This is due to technological limitations or inadequate equipment. This leads to increased costs for the PCB boards and the entire PCBA project quote.

Component Prices
Manufacturers that handle big PCBA projects can reduce procurement and production costs. They can do so if they have a large project quantity and an efficient production line.
It is common to see that some components in the Bill of Materials (BOM) have a high cost due to market fluctuations. In some cases, the price of certain components may increase hundreds of times.
To help reduce the cost of PCBA, PCBasic will communicate with customers to consider alternative components.
Those alternative components provide the same functions while having a lower cost margin. This helps in reducing the cost of the PCBA while still meeting the customer’s requirements.

pcb Component

Batch production size
Manufacturers specializing in large pcb board assembly projects have the ability to reduce production costs. If the quantity of the project is large and the line is small, then the procurement cost and production costs will decrease. That is, when the product scale is larger, the unit price of each PCBA will decrease.
Small batches or sample products result in greater losses due to smaller quantities. When you produce a small batch of your product, the costs are higher compared to producing a large batch. When producing a small sample size of products, the price could be pricier. For Sample orders, the price will always stand out from mass production.
To cut this impact, it’s best to choose a PCBA processing company that specializes in the same size of project as yours.

Cost of fixtures and testing fixtures
For batch orders, PCBA factories need wave soldering fixtures, test frames, etc… If they don’t own these types of tools, they must find a supplier which could have high quotations. This leads to higher costs because both parties want to maintain a profit.
PCBasic has its own fixture and test frame production department. With the ability to make fixtures costs are lower compared to PCBA factories that outsource production.

Some manufacturers cut costs by cutting corners, leading to low PCBA quotes. By cutting those costs the manufacturers also sacrifice production quality. Poor delivery and defects may occur. Choose a PCBA manufacturer based on your needs.
PCBasic provides turnkey pcb assembly production services. By doing so, we help to control the final production costs. Controlling the costs and production quality will ensure the desired functions stand.


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