What is consigned PCB assembly?

20 Jan, 2022

By ren

Consignment PCB Assembly

With a consigned PCB assembly process, you supply us with all the parts and components required for your circuit boards, while we handle the fabrication and assembly for you. A consigned PCB assembly process makes sense if you manufacture proprietary or highly expensive products featuring unique parts that are difficult to replicate. It can also be a smart cost-saving move if you have a large backlog of parts in your inventory. We have the expertise to use your parts to produce a custom PCB assembly that meets your exact specifications.

Consigned printed circuit board assembly is identical to our turnkey services as it relates to the manufacturing of products. Both services can accommodate project needs ranging from high-volume production of standard PCB assemblies to specialized, low-volume orders. The only difference between the two is who is responsible for supplying components about the project.

Consignment Manufacturing

Electronic consignment manufacturing is a technique whereby the inventor (you) would maintain full control over your manufacturing and supply process. Shipping, purchasing of materials, and inventory maintenance remain in the control of the inventor and developer. You would also monitor all materials, packing, and sorting of materials before it is handed over to the production and manufacturing facility for final assembly.

Using this method, you would maintain more control over making sure the materials were ordered correctly and that everything is in order before being passed on for manufacturing. This is a good extra security step that you may want to take especially if you have a product that is difficult to create or assemble or if you are unsure that the assemblers will spot a problem if there is one before the final product is rendered.

When to go with this option:

It seems reasonable to go with the consignment PCB assembly process if you manufacture expensive products having exclusive parts. This will ensure that your product is not replicated and yet the manufacturing process stays cost-effective.

Partial Consigned PCB Assembly

The partial consignment PCB assembly is a viable alternative to the fully consigned PCB assembly. In this process, the client may supply some of the parts needed for manufacturing the PCB. However, the vendor will furnish the rest.

When to go with this option:

This is a viable option if you are only able to find some of the parts for your PCB or if you lack PCB assembly capabilities. It is also a good choice if you want components for your PCB to have better quality.

The Demand of Consignment PCB Assembly Services

Consignment PCB Assembly finds favor when as a client you manufacture expensive or exclusive products. In such a scenario it works well for you to provide the parts to the contract manufacturer. It, in turn, ensures that the manufacturing process is cost-effective and also that it isn’t easy to replicate your product.

A manufacturing company will work very closely with the client's in-house distribution chain to just get PCBs manufactured and to market rapidly using consignment assembly services. The assembling is handled by the manufacturers when they get the materials essential for PCBs.

Consignment PCB Assembly services are in high demand because they have a lot of advantages. So, here are some of these benefits,

1. Quality Control

The customer procures some or all of the components. Hence, the customer can exercise quality control and ensure that the PCBs are of premium quality.

2. Mass production

If you lack the manufacturing setup then it is a great option for you. This is because it will allow for convenient mass production.

3. Reduced Turnover Times

Most manufacturers offer automated production lines. Hence, the turnover time tends to reduce significantly compared to if you manufactured on your own.

4. Reduced Manufacturing Costs

It allows customers to outsource operational personnel and labor. Additionally, no capital is required. Hence, it reduces the overall manufacturing costs. Consignment Assembly finds extensive application where:

  • The PCB relies on a specialized component.
  • The company has a patented product and therefore has easy access to components.
  • The components are complex.

In many cases contract manufacturers also offer an in-depth inventory process to ensure that all parts are available before PCB assembly. They also offer storage and warehousing facilities so that the products are available for an upcoming project.

Overall, as a client, you are assured of the quality of the PCB as you count on your contract manufacturer to offer you assembly options such as:

1. Surface Mounted Technology (SMT)

2. Plated Through Hole (PTH)

3.  Mixed Technology

Difference between turnkey PCB assembly and consigned PCB assembly

After you’ve designed your new electronics product, you’ll need a way to build a working prototype and then bring the product to market with volume production. This means that you must have someone to do the PCB fabrication and assembly for you. There are two main avenues you can take for this phase of the project, each with a different cost/benefit and risk/reward analysis. You can choose to have your electronic manufacturing completed by a turnkey provider or consignment provider. You should carefully weigh each option to ensure that you are picking the one that best fits your needs and your business strategy.

Turnkey Assembly


There are many steps involved in manufacturing a PCB, from printing and storing circuit boards, ordering components to the warehouse, assembly, and testing to ensure functionality to specifications. Turning that PCB into a successful product then requires installation and shipping of the final product. With full turnkey PCB assembly services, all of these steps can be outsourced, leaving you free to focus on designing great products and running business operations while manufacturing professionals handle all the things outside your wheelhouse. Using a turnkey manufacturer means that you have one point of contact for any problems or changes that need to be made without having to juggle communication between several vendors to track down and resolve issues. Having the same company source and assemble parts also reduces lead times by removing you as a middleman procurer.


When you partner with a turnkey manufacturer, you are handing over control over the manufacturing process to them. Some businesses may be wary of assigning the production of their product to someone else. But partnering with a reputable manufacturer ensures that your product is handled with professionalism. Properly vet different providers and be confident in choosing a turnkey solution.

Consignment Assembly services

Under consignment assembly, you are responsible for ordering and warehousing all the components yourself. You will keep track of all inventory needed to assembly your PCB boards. You will then need to pack and ship those components to the company handling assembly for you. This gives you a level of control that some companies are equipped to handle, but it also puts significantly more responsibility on your staff to keep the manufacturing process going.  How does that impact the manufacture of your product?


Every company has a different idea of how much control they should have over the manufacturing process once their design work is done. If you are working with a reputable turnkey provider with a solid history of putting out quality work, then you can trust them to ensure that the components will meet or surpass the 3specifications and/or tolerances that you have given. But if you introduce a third-party manufacturer, you transfer control of the process. If you are the type of person that wants to be sure that everything is exactly as you want it to be, and you have the resources to handle everything, then consignment assembly is a good option for you.


Choosing to have your product assembled via consignment puts a lot of extra responsibility on your plate. You’ll need to allocate space to warehouse the components, manage the inventory and procurement for every part, manage multiple supply chains, and then sort, pack, and ship the components to the company that builds them. This requires a lot of extra staff, money, and knowledge that not every business has or is willing to take on. In addition, something could go wrong with any one of the suppliers or any step of the operation on your end. This means that there are a lot more moving parts on your side of the process that you’ll need to problem-solve.


The regular Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) services require the manufacturer to take responsibility for everything right from procuring materials, to designing, and manufacturing. However, in consignment PCB assembly service, the customer has to procure the materials, and parts required to assemble a PCB, and the manufacturer is responsible for procuring the balance of material. Consignment assembly is the perfect option for customers who prefer to supply their components for their printed circuit boards. This will eliminate any type of material procurement on our end and leave this to be handled by the customer.


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