A low volume PCB assembly refers to lesser quantity PCB assemblies compared to bulk production. The quantity is usually more than the prototype PCBs and always less than high-volume PCB assembly. It could be 20-1000 pieces or even a bit more.
PCB buyers are not always after bulk production or high-volume PCB assembly; they also prefer low-volume PCB assembly because of its advantages and due to various reasons. In this article, we will discuss the advantages of low-volume PCB assembly. It will give you a complete idea of when low-volume PCB assembly is beneficial and why some buyers prefer it.
Advantages of Low Volume PCB Assembly
Ideal for New Products
After creating the best prototype, you can order PCBs in bulk, but it is better to stick to low-volume PCBs. There are chances of issues and problems that might arise after using the products. It is not the design that will work for eternity, so it is better to be more confident about the design before ordering in bulk.
For new products, low volume PCB is ideal because it takes less investment and does not burn too much cash. Startups can easily begin their journey with low-volume PCBs. The launch of new products becomes easier and quicker.
Moreover, due to the low volume of PCBs, you don’t have to stick to the same design of the product. You can make changes to make the PCB better. Once the batch of low volume is finished, you can order a new batch of low volume PCBs that will have a better design.
For OEM orders, low volume PCB is perfect. If you are a manufacturer and you need to design products for your customers, you must go with low-volume PCB assemblies. If they need any changes in the PCB, it is possible in low volume. The quantity is low, so the risk is bearable. Once your customer is satisfied and wants to order bulk, you can go with high-volume PCB assemblies.
Easy Testing and Troubleshooting
For testing, low volume PCB assembly is ideal. When you are not sure about the long-term performance of the PCB, it is better to go with a low volume. After testing the product for a year or so and taking feedback from customers, you are now ready to have bulk production of PCB assemblies.
The best thing about low-volume PCBs is that reworking is easier. If there is any problem with the design, you can amend the PCB, and it will cost less as you have a low volume. But if you ask for rework in bulk production, it will cost you a hefty amount.
Imagine you have ordered a bulk number of assemblies, and there is a major issue or fault with the design. It is almost impossible to discard all these PCBs, and you cannot give faulty products to the customers. Thus, you are stuck in this case. In the case of low assembly, you can discard them. You can also order a batch of low-volume PCBs and bear the loss.
Design Changes are Possible
If you need to make some changes in the design, it is possible in low-volume PCBs. Some designers also leave spaces on the board so that they can add new components or make minute changes later.
For testing any component or part of the PCB, you can leave some space on the board, and this space can be used to add more components and make the required changes to the PCB.
Ideal for Limited Edition Products
Some manufacturers introduce limited edition products. The intended quantity of the product is limited. It could be for the testing of new features and functions or for any other purpose. With that being said, they do not need high-volume PCB assemblies. Low volume is the ideal option for limited edition products.