Prototyping is essential to any company that wishes to create its own line of branded products. It is also an important process for PCB companies that design new PCBs for their clients. PCB prototyping is important because it is one of the processes that affects the company’s bottom line.
There is a debate that goes on in the industry whether PCB prototyping should be kept in-house or whether it should be outsourced to a contractor. Earlier, the answer would have been mostly the latter. However, times are changing. Today, PCB manufacturers prefer opting for in-house prototyping.
Why In-house Prototyping is Better
There are a few reasons why in-house prototyping is being preferred in today’s markets.
Costs: The biggest argument for outsourcing work is that the costs are considerably less. It is true that investing in an in-house prototyping machine requires a considerable amount. However, over time, the amount that you will pay to an outside contractor for his services may be considerably higher than the amount you would have invested in the machine.
Easier to Make Changes in Prototype Design: These days, prototype designs are created using computer aided design programs. While a contractor may have the latest software, people tend to forget that a software cannot really predict the behavior of the prototype, once it is made. The prototype may showcase different signals or different reactions to applications with varying temperatures. Such problems can easily be taken care of by an in-house prototyping team.
Possibility of Alternative Designs: With an in-house prototyping team, it becomes easier to come up with numerous prototype designs. Design engineers can experiment and provide variations in terms of materials, weight, performance, etc. This task would be quite expensive if given to an outside contractor.
Fixing Current Designs: No outside contractor is perfect. There is always a possibility of the contractor making a mistake in the prototype design. While this may mean more work for the in-house designers, they will also have the freedom to make changes that they see fit so that the prototype will meet expectations.
These are some of the reasons why prototyping is being given first preference as compared to outsourcing