How much does a PCB Assembly Cost?

23 Jan, 2022

By ren

Circuit board cost influencing variables

1. Material of PCB

The most popular PCB board material is FR4, Aluminum, Rogers, FPC/Rigid-Flex, with board thickness ranging from 0.2mm to 4.8mm; in addition, the solder mask used, whether it is the most common solder mask or the photosensitive green solder mask, has an effect on the pricing. The PCB material differs, as does the cost of the PCB board. Some substrate and laminate PCB materials are more expensive than others, thus if excellent performance is required, your materials will be more expensive. All of these factors can have a significant impact on the pricing of a PCB board and the cost of PCB assembly.

2. PCB dimension

Varied PCB board sizes result in different PCB board pricing, i.e., the more material used to construct a PCB, the more expensive it will be. Instead, it will be a low-cost PCB assembly.

3. PCB layers number

The price of a PCB board is dependent on the number of layers on the board. The more layers there are, the more costly it is. The majority of high-speed PCBs are multilayered layers. Different PCB layers, PCB costs, and PCB assembly costs will all be different.

4. Treatment of the surface

The price of a PCB board and the price of a PCB assembly will be affected by the variations in surface treatment processes.

Surface finishes include HASL with lead, HASL lead-free, Immersion gold (ENIG), OSP, Hard gold, Immersion silver (Ag), ENEPIG, and a variety of combinations. The foregoing distinctions in each technique have a significant impact on the price, for example, ENIG is more costly than HASL with lead.

5. Via quantity and Process

The price of a PCB board varies depending on the structure of the vias. For example, through-hole vias will cost less than back drilling, back drilling will cost less than blind/buried vias, tiny size holes will cost more than huge holes, and so on. The higher the number of vias on the PCB board, the higher the cost. On the contrary, PCB assembly will be inexpensive.

6. Complexity of the PCB

PCB complexity refers to the difficulty of fabricating a PCB. For example, a PCB with 0.3mm holes and fewer than 0.2mm holes will have differing drilling costs. Laser drilling, which is more costly than mechanical drilling, is required if the holes are smaller than 0.15mm, such as 0.1mm. Furthermore, the minimum track/spacing has an impact on the pricing.

For example, many PCB manufacturers' typical track width is 4 mil, but the client demands 2.5 mils. In this instance, the cost will most probably be far greater. Furthermore, certain circuit boards use non-standard processes, such as half holes, buried blind holes, Via in pad/ Via filled with resin, carbon mask, impedance control, and edge plating, which all add to the cost.

10. Printed circuit boards Quantity

The more PCBs you order, the less

it will cost. As a result, the unit price of a PCB prototype is always greater

then the cost of mass manufacturing, because the engineering and labors

ts are shared among a larger

several people.

11. Cost and Inspecting method

In the PCB prototype process, a PCB board is required to use the flying probe test. When mass manufacturing is required, the test frame is used to test the product, which is faster but more expensive. And the fee varies depending on whether you opt for a complete examination or a sample inspection.

 How much budget does a circuit board requires?

PCB assembly costs are calculated as follows: PCB board price + component procurement price + SMT/DIP soldering price + PCBA test price + special packaging and logistics cost.

Following that, the discussion will be made for some of the elements that influence PCB assembly costs, as well as ways to lower PCB assembly costs.

1. parts procurement cost

The cost of procuring components is included in the cost of the printed circuit board. The most significant expense in PCBA SMT processing is component procurement. According to the BOM ( bill of materials), the PCBA maker acquires the components.

2. Solder pads numbers

The price of solder pads is included in the price of a PCB board. The number of solder pads determines the price of SMT. Now, the price of SMT is based on the number of solder pads to calculate; the more solder pads, the higher the price. Solder pads differ, and the cost of PCB assembly differs as well.

4. Engineering cost

The cost of engineering is included in the cost of a PCB board. A few years ago, there were engineering charges/set-up costs, which factories frequently charged, especially for small quantity orders; currently, these costs are included in the PCB assembly and SMT prices. 

5. Stencil cost

The cost of stencils is included in the cost of PCB assembly. The PCB assembly process necessitates the use of a stencil, which can be either frameless or framed. The cost of a framed stencil is somewhat more than that of a frameless stencil. Framed stencil is utilized at the PCBA factory, but you may use a frameless stencil for prototyping or DIY soldering at home to save money. 

6. turnaround time cost

The price of a PCB board includes the cost of an expedited turnaround time. The order will be organized at the PCBA facility according to the time it was placed. Customers who require expedited assembly in a short period will be charged an accelerated fee.

7. Design of printed circuit board

Knowing how to design PCBs properly is the first step to lower assembly costs. The final price of bare PCBs is determined by several factors, including the following:

  • Type of surface finish
  • Dimensions and form
  • the number of layers
  • Through the use of technology

Each of the aforementioned aspects can be modified to lower PCB manufacturing process costs. "Vias," for example, is in charge of making connections on the circuit board. The price of the product will be affected by whether you choose a blind or a buried via which can cause PCB assembly cost breakdown. This production process helps to reduce the costs of PCBs assembly.

8. PCBA inspection cost

The cost of PCBA testing is included in the cost of PCB manufacture. Customers will be charged an additional PCB testing cost if they require further PCBA function testing or programming.

9. Quantity

The cost of PCB assembly includes quantity. Large volumes result in cheaper assembly costs owing to economies of scale in production costs. To put it another way, once the product is mass-produced, the price per unit per PCB will plummet. Expanding the number of PCBs can save firms money in the long term by eliminating one-time charges.

10. Cost of the labor

The cost of labor is included in the cost of PCB assembly. Manual labor is required in each step of the PCB assembly process, particularly in the DIP soldering process, hence labor costs account for the majority of the total cost.

How savings can be done in PCB assembly costs? 

1PCB boards standard size

The cheaper the price of a PCB board, the smaller the size. A portion of the PCB size has become a minimum standard, and the standard PCB board size may significantly cut costs.

2, Use of SMT parts

More components may be put on the PCB board with SMT parts, and SMT assembly is less expensive than plug-in parts (DIP).

3, PCBA board layer numbers

The PCB with fewer layers would often raise the size requirements, therefore under the premise of guaranteeing that the size of the PCBA fulfills the requests, the right fewer layers of PCB board may effectively lower the cost.

4, Drilling

The more holes in the design, the longer the PCB fabrication will take; thus, the fewer holes on the PCB, the more time and money you will save.

5, Blind hole

The blind hole is generally more costly than the through-hole, which needs more technical expertise. As a result, if a through-hole is available, the through-hole might be chosen to effectively lower the cost.


There are several PCB manufacturers in China, and the price of a PCB manufactured in China varies depending on the level of expertise of each company. For more than 15 years, concentrated on PCB design have been produced, PCB manufacture, component sourcing, SMT assembly, PCBA testing, conformal coating, Box Build assembly, and other one-stop electronics manufacturing services as one of China's most competent PCB assembly businesses. Furthermore, UETPCBA offers low-cost PCB assembly. Quality will not be compromised to save money on PCB assembly.


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