Why is PCB assembly so expensive?

20 Jan, 2022

By ren

What you should know about PCB assembly costs and why they are so expensive?

Technicians working on a project's design phase need to understand what it will cost to bring their concept to completion. The cost of PCB prototyping is determined by a variety of elements, including the intricacy of the design and the effectiveness of the project. A PCB assembly cost will be determined by the nature and complexity of the task. The cost of your final piece will be influenced by the quality of your designs and the components you use. 

Due to precise pitching and leadless components, the PCB assembly estimate might be expensive. This is because they need a special assembly procedure and testing methodologies. It is usually a good idea to grasp the actual impact of high pitch and limited-edition components on the parenthetical aside before placing a final order.

The Most Important Factors Affecting PCB Prices

  •  Buying and delivering periods for your goods are referred to as lead time. Advance notice plus price have an inverse correlation, having a longer lead time culminating in cheaper pricing.
  • Quality relates to the effectiveness of the design, and how effectively it functions. The quality of the PCB is determined by factors like intricacy, dependability, and yields. PCB traces, soldering points, and other elements contribute to complexity.
  • Functionality: Although some design flaws are obvious, some are more difficult to identify. As a result, the more operational testing you conduct on the Pcb assembly the higher overall quality assurance will be. Better thresholds will result, which will decrease rework and manufacturing delays.
  • Quantity order: When you understand your expenditures, you could create a budget plan and figure out how much profitability to be included in your Assembly process estimate. When you've done so, it'll be simple to establish pricing for each one of your company's products.

What is the reason for the High Costs of PCB Assembly?

The cost of PCB assembly is high due to the high cost of the fundamental ingredients. This is not to suggest that no businesses make less expensive PCB assemblies; rather, it is to say that quality is unaffected by price.

Businesses have been known to give or surpass the price indicated in the instance above they believe consumers, as a valued client, will be more prepared to spend the extra money in exchange for higher excellence in your finished product.

Costs of PCB Assembly by Product Type

Technology level, produce and assemble printed circuit boards (PCBs) to satisfy the demands of various sectors. As a result, the expense of PCB assembly has been influenced by elements tied directly to the company, specific products, and assembly choice.

PCB Assembly Costs by Assembly Option

The assembly method influences the cost for your PCB assembly in 2 directions:

 • Materials are more costly

 • Every assembly procedure necessitates some retesting due to irregularities in the production process.

Costs of PCB Assembly by Assembly Method

This is one of the most important factors influencing your prices; the method of assembling you select for your PCB design impacts the performance and intricacy of assembly, as well as the PCB fabrication cost. 

The top three reasons for mass manufacturing PCB assembly are quite costly

A few of my acquaintances had told me that people chose the lowest PCB but spend a lot of money on the mass production PCB assembly enclosure. To be truthful, several factors were influencing the price of mass production.

The first cause is the variation in FR-4 PCB base materials

Prototype PCB boards are often made of low-cost FR-4 PCB base material. Given the fact that a prototype PCB is only a testing order, the pricing is generally quite low. Men, on the other hand, are concerned about PCB performance rather than dependability and longevity. As a result of this predicament, the Overall expense of various multilayered PCB mass manufacturing processes may rise by as much as 10%.

Second, for mass production PCBs, TG and TCE lead to high Pcb assembly costs

 In the post TG vs TCE, we covered two definitions. The most essential metrics in multilayered PCB assembly were TG and TCE. Low-quality FR-4 PCB foundation materials result in lower TG or increased TCE boards, or perhaps both reduced TG and increased TCE boards. Most of the time, the mass PCB manufacturing process must consider two elements ahead of time. If you just utilize prototype PCB resources to make, you'll have a lot of problems in the future.

Finally, there are several issues with the mass manufacturing assembly PCB facility.

However, if you pick a PCB provider only based on pricing, you will run into this issue. As a result, even if the expense of PCBs is a lower price, the ultimate product price may not have been lowered.

Consideration while evaluating the PCB production cost

One of the most important considerations when selecting an assembly firm is cost. If you want to accomplish PCB assembly inexpensive for yourself, then you need to consider these factors:

The Credibility of a PCB Manufacturers

Choosing a firm with an international reputation assures that you will receive competent services that will meet your expectations with manufacturing PCBs. You should assess the company's products if they are accessible whenever you need them, how long it'll take those to get at your location, and their general degree of experience.

How Long Does It Take to Make Your Product?

Any printed circuit board product goes through several phases throughout production. The table below shows how long your PCBs would require achieving, based on the intricacy of your PCB design and the reliability of the Printed circuit board components.

Methods of PCB Assembly 

Assembling printed circuit boards can be done in a variety of ways (PCBs). Printing circuits are used to print a PCB on copper that has been covered with electrode materials. The Printed circuit board would then be placed on a device that has numerous heads that shoot hot solder paste or conductive inks onto the board. Flux is attached to the surface of the pads or components to aid the soldering process adhesion to the PCB fabrication. The components are then placed on every pad, and the solder mask is completed.

Board Size and Layer Count

The number of more layers on a PCB is critical for the density of the board as well as the quantity of power that may flow through all of it. An upper copper-clad allows the manufacture of a board using materials as thin as 0.020" thick. Denser material just above copper, on the other hand, diminish the actual thickness of a PCB fabrication by enabling more warmth to flow from the board's base.

Materials for the Board and Components

PCB thickness is indeed affected by the components used, with thinner components being utilized for even more important applications where better dependability is required for longer life.

Applied Technology (SMT vs. tht)

Through-hole boards are often less expensive and easier to set up than surface mount technology; nevertheless, typically are bigger. Because of their small size, SMT components are easier to install but more costly. There is a big price difference.

PCB design complexity

 The amount of layers in any project determines the design complexity. The more layers you have, the longer it will take to make your design.

Cost of Labor

Lower cost PCB assembly will be measured by the amount and type of labor and expertise you select, as well as the firm you outsource to. Because low-skilled labor is scarce outside this territory or location, over volume manufacture is restricted in developed nations with high-skilled people. The same issues arise in high-skilled labor markets. High-skill work is more costly than low-skill labor because it's much more competent and takes more time to educate. Labor costs play an important role in PCB board prices.

Component Dependability

The integrity of your components may have a significant impact on how well it works and how long this lasts. This is especially true for integrated circuits used in any product.

Parts Packaging

The proper packaging of the components will assist in the lifespan of the products themselves. The sort of packaging you employ will also have an impact on the level of security afforded to your goods. You may only create and utilize your packing for storage or transporting reasons, so you should do your study on the finest products for their unique demands.


So, unless you want to figure out how much PCB assembly costs, the first step is to select the item you require. Then you'll have to determine the level of PCB  layout intricacy and the sort of products you can make. Complex designs consume a long time and effort to create, so if you just want to keep the PCB board price down, go for simpler patterns that can be produced quickly.


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