A Complete Prototyping Checklist for Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)

Archive: Jun 2022

A Complete Prototyping Checklist for Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)

The pillars of quality electronic manufacturing are precision, reliability, and functionality. Each project must meet a specific performance standard, and printed circuit boards (PCBs) are critical in gauging whether a project has succeeded or failed. PCB assembly systems risk becoming unreliable, imprecise, and nonfunctional without proper manufacturing. Prototyping is an essential step to guarantee these products function as planned. In effect, this blog breaks down the prototyping checklist and the benefits of the process. 

Benefits of Prototypes

benefits of pcba prototypingPrototypes for PCBs help prevent potential issues with the end product. Prototyping offers numerous advantages, such as:

Trained Eye Inspection

Firstly, multiple tests at every step ensure the project meets the original vision. In practice, tests involve a trained eye inspection of the product’s design, followed by specific testing methods, including automated optical inspection (AOI), solder paste inspection (SPI), and X-ray evaluations.

Supreme Time-Saver and Performance-Checker

Testing individual components enable manufacturers to pinpoint areas of failure in designs accurately. This process is critical, as a single defective piece is detrimental to a project. Simultaneously testing each feature helps optimize performance and save time.

Open-Line Discussion with Manufacturer

Prototype assemblies entail open communication with manufacturers. If certain areas require more focus than others, it’s easy to connect with the manufacturer to relay this need. Manufacturers will break down references, product life, component cost allocation, and documentation. Additionally, they can troubleshoot any problems that develop.

Early Discovery of Design Problems

Prototypes help ease the consequences of errors by providing sufficient time to fix design flaws or readjust concepts. This benefit stops issues from becoming more critical as manufacturers produce higher volumes, preventing resource waste and project delays.

Reduce Added Costs

Another benefit of prototyping is the ability to discover pitfalls on the road map instead of detecting fatal flaws at a later time. This step saves more money by ensuring successful production and replication.

Shorten Project Timeline

Prototyping helps avoid the winding roadblock and U-turns that could otherwise lengthen a project’s timeline. When developing new product designs, their impact on a given industry depends on their timing and effectiveness. 

Prototyping Checklist for Success

To help you get started on your next project, here’s a prototyping checklist that will guide you through each step to ensure your project’s success. These steps are as follows:

  1. 1. Send initial documents and design specifications
  2. 2. Receive feedback from PCBA manufacturers on the company and  initial machine compatibility
  3. 3. Receive a review of the bill of materials with a focus on end-of-life components
  4. 4. Review the visual model of the design with the manufacturer to ensure the project is feasible
  5. 5. Make any necessary adjustments to the PCBA design
  6. 6. Review the proof-of-concept (POC) with the manufacturer for a final check of feasibility
  7. 7. Make additional adjustments to the PCBA design as needed
  8. 8. Review the performance of the working prototype with the manufacturer to check functionality
  9. 9. Make more adjustments to the PCBA design if required
  10. 10. Review the functional prototype with the manufacturer for a final check of functionality
  11. 11. Make final necessary adjustments to the PCBA design
  12. 12. Greenlight the project for production

pcb assembly guide to prototyping

PCB Assembly and Prototyping at PGF Technology Group, Inc.

If you require reliable PCB assembly and prototyping for a project, PGF Technology Group offers complete PCB assembly services to help fully realize your vision. We have worked with many customers across many industries, including:

We’ll work with you to determine what you need for your unique project based on your specifications. We’ll then prototype the end product to ensure it’s fully functional and features an accurate and precise design. Contact us today to get started on your next project with us or learn more about our services

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ISO:13485 Benefits

What is ISO 13485?

ISO 13485 is a medical device manufacturing certification that ensures customers of the regulations and procedures necessary for product development. This certification applies to the medical industry manufacturing of wire and cable connectors, surface mount and through-hole printed circuit boards, cable, wire processing, wire harness, and panel wire assemblies. Accordingly, issued on October 29, 2021, PGF Technology is an ISO-certified company that provides many benefits for all medical industry customers.

What are the Medical Certification Benefits?

Manufacturing medical devices and similar services require immense precaution and regulatory action to provide customers and patients with the most efficient products. With a variety of potential processes and safety measures, medical certifications allow quality management systems to follow established appropriate measures. As a medical assembly certification, ISO 13485 benefits manufacturing plants and customers in providing transparent safety regulations. After all, customers seeking manufacturers to complete various medical projects are more inclined to work with ISO-certified companies as they are guaranteed proper processing and effective medical devices. 

Worldwide Access

The need for medical products, services, and industry manufacturers is a global and continuous market. To gain customers from all around the world, companies must provide effective products assembled from efficient processes. The medical certification provides customers the relief of knowing the necessary manufacturing assembly tactics are in place. Similarly, manufacturers gain more access to worldwide markets. With a standard certification, companies meet quality requirements to advertise their services internationally. Customer acquisition is more easily attainable, while potential customers increase with the ability of global outreach.

ISO 13485 infographic

Process Improvement

As the manufacturing processes are standardized, companies continue improving efficiency and safety. Additionally, other services offered by the company can follow a similar assembly protocol showcasing improvement across the organization.

Increased Efficiency

Standard certification regulations help to increase efficiency within the companies while providing the ability to monitor supply chain performance. Manufacturers have clear process guidelines to follow, allowing for faster and more productive assemblies.

Safety

The ISO certification demonstrates safer and more effective medical devices due to the safety measures in place. The medical industry requires immense precautions to ensure the success of all delivered products. Additionally, manufacturers provide transparent and credible processes for each project and customer concerning medical equipment.

Regulation Requirements

To receive the ISO 13485 certification, companies must meet the regulatory requirements, as well as essentially the customer expectations. Arguably the most critical aspect of the medical certifications, the medical service requirements provides the credibility of manufacturers. All in all, the medical industry globally focuses on the safety and requirements of assembly to claim a successful manufacturing process.

Medical Ebook

PGF Medical Service Expertise

As can be seen, PGF Technology’s ISO certification demonstrates the company’s devotion to credibility, transparency, and quality products and services. Effectively, customers’ satisfaction and product functionality is the highest priority during all medical projects. To learn more about the printed circuit board medical assemblies and prototype services, PGF provides free downloadable eBooks.

 

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Cables and Wire Harnesses: What’s the Difference?

What Is the Difference Between a Cable Harness Assembly and a Wire Harness Assembly?

Cables and wire harnesses are both responsible for supplying electrical components with power, organizing cables and wires to optimize space, and providing them with some manner of protection from environmental conditions. Despite their functional similarities, however, these assemblies are not interchangeable. Each has its unique advantages and optimal applications. At PGF Technology Group, Inc., our team can assist you in finding the right assembly for your project.

Just as these assembly types are two different products, the same is true of wires and cables. A wire is a strand of electrically conductive metal like copper or aluminum that can transmit power as well as information. A cable, then, is made up of multiple wires that are usually joined in a braided or bonded configuration.

The key variation between the two assemblies has to do with how protected their cables or wires are from chemicals, moisture, dust, extreme temperatures, and friction.

 

Cables vs. Wire Harnesses

Cable Assemblies

Cable assemblies bundle wires or cables together for organization and efficient electrical system operation. Of the two assembly types, cable assemblies are best suited to outdoor applications. They are superior for withstanding environmental stress because they utilize a durable cover of materials such as vinyl, thermoplastic rubber, or shrink-wrapped thermoplastic. This robust insulating sheath safeguards internal cables from high heat, dirt, or other contaminants, detrimental weather, compressive force, abrasion, and more. 

Wire Harnesses

Wire harnesses work well as cable system organizers, particularly in grouping smaller internal wires or cables for added connectivity. However, while these assemblies do include a protective casing to prevent short-circuiting in the wiring, it is far less rugged than a cable assembly cover. Instead, the grouped cables and wires in wire harnesses typically have their outer coverings already for that protection. While the assembly does group them in one harness, their sheaths still make it easy to see individual cables. Additionally, these individual sub-assemblies allow for highly complex projects that are adaptable for many unique uses. The harness’ simple outer sheath of thermoset materials or thermoplastic helps protect the wires and cables from their environment for indoor applications.

 

Looking for a prototype cable or wire harness solution? Make sure to download our free eBook.

Cable Assembly and Wire Harness Advantages

Cable assemblies and wire harnesses increase organizational and spatial efficiency. They also improve operational safety by preventing electrical fires and taming loose wires. However, each assembly type has its advantageous qualities. The covers that jacket cable assemblies are durable and strong, enabling more versatile applications as they can withstand a wider variety of environmental conditions. Also, as the internal bundled wires are all contained within a single outer sheath, it makes them more accessible for threading within smaller areas.

Wire harnesses are ideal for their ease of installation and simplified maintenance, resulting in reduced labor time. Providing less protection, wire harnesses work best indoors. This characteristic, added to their simplistic design, typically makes them more affordable. Also, the outer covering will still safeguard against moisture or chemical solvents.

 

Applications of Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies

Given the assemblies’ strengths, wire harness and cable assembly applications are varied, spreading across diverse industries.

Cable Assembly Applications

Cable assemblies organize or facilitate safe wiring in the following applications:

Military

  • Flight Simulators
  • Ground Equipment
  • In-Flight Medical Systems
  • Links for Field Communication 
  • Remote Control Weaponry
  • Navigation Systems
  • Rugged Computers

Aircraft

  • Cockpit Instruments
  • Drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
  • Electronic Systems for In-Flight Entertainment

Automotive and Transportation

  • Data Transmission Systems
  • High-Voltage Current Transmissions
  • Navigation Systems

Electronics

  • Audio Systems
  • Communication Systems
  • Flat-Panel Displays

Wire Harness Applications

Wire harnesses allow for orderly wire organization in:

Aerospace

  • Aircraft Power Transmission
  • Airplane Engines
  • Communications Systems
  • Drones
  • Satellites

Automotive

  • Dashboards
  • Lighting and Turn Signals
  • Navigation Systems
  • Engine Bays

Healthcare

  • Crash Carts
  • Dental Equipment
  • Diagnostic Equipment
  • Imaging Equipment

Robotics and Automation

  • Assembly Line Systems
  • Automated Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machines
  • Computerized Systems, Servers, and Electronics
  • Data Transmission
  • Power Distribution

Cable and Wire Harness Solutions from PGF Technology Group

At PGF Technology, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality, cost-effective wire harnesses and cable assemblies for industry compliance in some of the most demanding electrical applications. Backed by over 50 years of ISO-certified design and manufacturing experience, our team can work with you to determine your installation requirements, space limitations, power needs, and environmental challenges to develop a reliable assembly solution tailored to your specifications.

Our comprehensive capabilities for residential, industrial, and commercial applications include:

  • Product development
  • Prototyping
  • Design and Inspection Support
  • Fabrication and Manufacturing
  • Turnkey Component Assembly

Partner with PGF Technology

Determining the appropriate cable and wire harness assembly for your application will keep your systems and workspace organized, compliant, and functioning efficiently. PGF Technology specializes in assembly creation, with capabilities for C-Track cables, D-Subminiature cables, motor cables, sensor cables, data link assemblies, potting, and more. Contact us to learn about our electronic manufacturing solutions, or request a quote today.

 

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Question #1: CEO Series

Question #1:

Please describe some of Naji Gebara’s traits that have helped the organization succeed.

Naji Gebara’s industry knowledge, constant-learning ambition, and forward-thinking mentality have helped PGF excel in the electronic manufacturing industry. Every year, following his lead, brings further growth and aspirations for the long PGF road ahead. With each project and this “CEO success,” PGF provides all customers with timely, affordable, and high-quality products and services. 

Industry Knowledge

By starting at PGF as an assembly worker and moving up the ladder to CEO, Naji has already grown witPGF and is constantly pushing to surpass the next limit. This experience has given him the knowledge of prominent companies, business tactics, and best assembly practices. It is also noteworthy that many of the team members that started with Naji initially are still working at PGF decades later, accomplishing high-quality assembly projects. Gebara’s widespread industry knowledge effectively translates to exceeding customer expectations, while constantly growing PGF success. 

Constant-Learning Ambition

Map of CEO Succcess

Naji introduced himself to many cultures at a young age, where he learned quickly to excel in new spaces. After years of advanced schooling to receive a Doctorate of Engineering in Manufacturing Systems, Naji returned to PGF to lead the company into the next few decades. From this point on, Naji went from learning the languages of new countries to teaching the language of business. With his leadership role at PGF, Naji also spent some time teaching classes at Lawrence Technological University to advance future business-minded students in their endeavors. This learning mindset keeps PGF constantly moving forward, emphasizing the edge of technological advances. 

Forward-Thinking Mentality

When PGF began, it was a cable assembly company featuring simple assemblies for select industries. After years at the helm, Naji brought PGF into new opportunities by acquiring fellow Electronic Manufacturing Service (EMS) companies, new property, experts, and machinery. PGF Technology Group became a full-service electronics manufacturer, offering printed circuit board and cable assembly services. Over time, assemblies became more complex, and customers became more high profile. Today, we assemble turnkey solutions for the top companies in industries such as Aerospace, Electric Vehicles, Medical Devices, and Robotics. Looking forward, Naji intends to pursue larger manufacturing projects as well as advance internal employee skillsets. To further promise timely assembly work, Gebara continues to integrate technological advances for optimal manufacturing processes and PGF products overall. 

Customer Satisfaction is PGF Success

PGF Technology offers a variety of services from printed circuit board assembly to wiring harness assembly to companies around the world. CEO Naji Gebara continues to play a crucial role in the progression and success of PGF. Most notably, Gebara’s strengths cultivate a PGF reputation for timely, affordable, and high-quality services. Naji’s strong leadership confidently improves internal assembly and company structure, while fostering customer relationships to conduct universally favorable business. 

 

 

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