How to Choose a Single Sided PCB Manufacturer
The role played by Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) in the electronics industry cannot be downplayed. It is because of the use of PCBs in the design and manufacturing of those appliances that it became easier for the wires and other components to be well structured.
At the same time, it has become obvious that there are some upgrades and innovations in the global PCB industry. It has now led to the disparities in the types of PCBs, which in turn, aids in the selection of the best circuit board for the job.
What Is a Single Sided PCB?
The single-sided Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is one of the most used types of circuit boards. We want you to understand what this type of circuit board has to offer and which makes it better than the others.
This content also explains why the single-sided PCB is better than its competitor – the double-sided PCB.
The single-sided PCB is a type of circuit board that has the component/spare parts layered on one side while the circuit is layered on the other side.
As much as the single-sided PCB is restricted in the circuit design because of the one-sided conductor, it still plays a vital role in the low-density use cases.
Benefits of Single-Sided PCB
There are many reasons why customers are using the single-sided PCB. And PCB manufacturers are always ready to offer that service because of the benefits that they also derive in the process.
Here are some of the key features and benefits of using the single-sided PCB in your next circuit board design.
1. No Overlapping
The first reason why the single-sided PCB is better is that there is no lapping when it is used.
Because this circuit board has one conductive layer, it becomes easier to prevent the conductive paths from overlapping or cross over one another.
2. Suitable for Low-Density Designs
Many Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are used for high-density designs and applications. But, things get a little bit better when you are using the single-sided PCB.
It is because this type of circuit board is suitable for low-density designs and applications.
3. Used for Simpler Applications
It is not out of place to use Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) to design and manufacture different types of electronics.
However, it is pertinent to extend the same applies to other types of use cases. That brings us to another use case of the single-sided PCB. This circuit board is used for simpler applications.
Some of the potential applications and use cases of the single-sided PCB:
- Timing circuits
- Low-cost devices like calculators
- FM radios
- Power supplies
- Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting boards
4. Simplified Design
It is pertinent to mention that the simplicity of design is something of utmost consideration when designing a Printed Circuit Board (PCB).
That informs the reason why the single-sided PCB is one of the most used types of the circuit board. It has a simplified design that makes it ideal for application in different use cases.
5. Faster Production
The other reason why the single-sided PCB is better than the other types of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) is because of the faster production.
That way, it becomes easier for the PCB manufacturer to design and produce the circuit board in the shortest time possible.
6. Higher Volumes
Producing more circuit boards at the speed of light is another benefit that the single-sided PCB has. Hence, the manufacturer can process your high single-sided PCB orders in real-time.
7. Reduced Costs
You don’t have to break a bank anytime you want to design a Printed Circuit Board (PCB).
The single-sided PCB has one of the most affordable costs.
Single-sided PCB vs. Double-Sided PCB
There have been debates bordering on the differences that exist between the single-sided PCB and the double-side PCB. An overview of the two circuit boards shows that the major difference is on the number of circuit boards and the components thereof.
Aside from that, there are many other reasons why the single-sided PCB is better than the double-sided PCB.
Here are some of the differences between the two:
Number of Components
The single-sided PCB has the components and spare parts mounted on one side of the circuit board.
However, there are more components and spare parts in the double-sided PCB. In this case, the double-sided model enables the mounting of the components and conductive copper on both sides of the circuit board.
It doesn’t take more time than required to produce the single-sided PCB. That is because the circuit board isn’t complex.
However, more complexity is tenable when manufacturing the double-sided PCB. It is partly because of the need for more complex use cases and mainly because of the production demands more efforts.
If you are looking at manufacturing a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) that doesn’t cost much, the single-sided PCB is the one to go for.
On the other hand, you may need to spend more funds to design and manufacture the double-sided PCB.
A Guide on How to Choose a Single-Sided PCB Manufacturer
We will now consider one of the most important aspects of the single-sided PCB. That is the manufacturer that will handle the job.
More often than not, some PCB manufacturers may not successfully design the circuit board as you wanted. It may because the manufacturer doesn’t have the expertise to deliver what you want. It can also be that your expectations are unrealistic at the immediate time.
Whichever is the case, you must understand that you need to learn how to select and choose the best single-sided PCB manufacturer for the job.
Below are the criteria and the things you must look for before deciding on the PCB manufacturer that will handle the project:
1. The Manufacturer’s Reputation
The first thing you must have in mind is the reputation of the manufacturer. If the manufacturer has some shady deals in the past, it wouldn’t be long before you discover that.
A serious background check must be done so you will discover some of the reasons and credentials that make the single-sided PCB manufacturer qualified for the job.
Here are some of the ways you can check and confirm the reputation of the single-sided PCB manufacturer:
The first thing you must check for is the credential of the PCB manufacturer. It will make more sense if you have an idea of the latest credentials and certifications in the PCB industry so you will check if the manufacturer has the same.
The verification of the credential helps you to understand if the single-sided PCB manufacturer has met all the conditions that are required before taking to PCB design.
In some cases, the single-sided PCB manufacturer will allow you to see the catalog and the list of PCB designs it handled.
You want to go through the past designs to confirm if the manufacturer can deliver the quality you expect on the job.
Depending on the agreement you have with the single-sided PCB manufacturer, you may be allowed to visit its factory.
The visit allows you to have an on-the-spot assessment of how the manufacturer goes about the design.
If you are satisfied with what you see, it means you can rely on the manufacturer to do justice to your single-sided PCB design.
Otherwise, you may have to look for another single-sided PCB manufacturer that will offer you the design you expect.
2. Lead Time
It is not out of place for some single-sided PCB manufacturers to claim to offer the best lead time. That isn’t always the true position of things because some times, the design may take longer than expected.
What Is Lead Time?
So, what does lead time mean? Lead time, simply put, is the amount of time or the duration it will take before the single-sided PCB will be designed and manufactured.
What Influences Lead Time?
We must mention that in this time of automation, many types of equipment are often channeled to make PCB designs and productions faster.
As much as those will facilitate the design, more efforts should be put in by the manufacturer.
By and large, there isn’t much to worry about the lead time of the single-sided PCB. It is because this type of circuit board doesn’t take more time to manufacture because of the less-complex design.
The shorter lead time of the single-sided PCB also implies that it can be synthesized in a few days and made available to you.
Nevertheless, do not relent to select the best single-sided PCB manufacturer based on the lead time. You would want to go for the manufacturer that offers the shortest lead time without having to compromise or reduce the quality of the circuit board.
3. Circuit Design
Indeed, the single-sided PCB doesn’t always require a complex design. That doesn’t in any way imply that it will always be easy to design.
Instead, the nature of the circuit has more roles to play in the complexity of the single-sided PCB. That is why you want to use the circuits with simplified layouts, as they make the job faster and easier.
4. Component Sourcing
Who will be responsible for sourcing the components of the single-sided PCB? Will you be the one to do that or will the manufacturer have to handle it?
While some single-sided PCB manufacturers will offer to source the components, others may not. If you are lucky to get the one that can source the components, do not leave it at that. Instead, proceed to enquire about where and how the components will be sourced.
Having an idea makes it a lot easier for you to figure out if the single-sided PCB manufacturer has the capacity to source and use the best components and parts for the circuit board design.
5. Budgetary Constraints
What is your budget like? Can you afford to pay for the services of the single-sided PCB manufacturer?
Of course, this type of circuit board doesn’t cost as much as the double-sided PCB does.
Aside from the general overview that the cost factor for the single-sided PCB is lower, you must also check other things. The additional specifications you may have and the numbers of units you want to be manufactured are some of the factors that influence the cost of the single-sided PCB.
6. Delivery Timelines
Time is of the essence and you mustn’t overlook that when selecting the best single-sided PCB manufacturer.
You are looking at the delivery timelines and how long it will take the manufacturer to design, manufacture, and ship the circuit board to you.
Of course, you may have set a timeline you expect the board to get you. So, ensure that the single-sided PCB manufacturer can deliver the circuit board on time and in good condition too.
What is the quality of the single-sided PCB? If the circuit board doesn’t have the quality you expected, it may be a waste of time and resources.
Of course, you can always determine the potential quality of your single-sided PCB by checking some of the designs that the manufacturer did for the other customers.
8. Reviews and Recommendations
One important consideration that many people tend to overlook is the reviews and recommendations of previous clients.
The rule is simple – if a single-sided PCB manufacturer has more positive reviews and recommendations, it means that it is doing a great job. However, more negative reviews are an indication that the manufacturer should be avoided.
Some single-sided PCB manufacturers have a “Testimonial” page or section on their websites where you can check to see the reviews and thoughts of the previous customers. You may also check on the manufacturer’s social media handles and pages to see what the customers have to say too!
9. Aftercare Services
One of the best ways to select a single-sided PCB manufacturer is by checking to see if it offers aftercare services.
The essence thereof is to see if the manufacturer can offer to repair the circuit board if it develops some issues.
Interestingly, the single-sided PCB is easy to repair in case something goes wrong in the circuit board. So, tracing and fixing the issues wouldn’t be a problem.
The single-sided PCB is not complex and it can be used in many applications. The key to enjoying what this circuit board has to offer is to get the best single-sided PCB manufacturer.
The details we covered in this content give you a headstart on what the single-sided PCB is all about, and how you can select the best manufacturer.
What are the services you expect your favorite single-sided PCB manufacturer to offer?