Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are an integral part of most electronic devices and products we use every day. From computers and smartphones to home appliances, PCBs provide the necessary electrical connections and pathways between components. As products become smaller and more complex, the PCB assembly process requires precision and expertise to ensure a properly functioning board. This is where utilizing a professional PCB assembly service can be extremely beneficial, especially for startups and smaller companies without in-house SMT manufacturing capabilities.

Choosing a PCB assembly service near you allows for greater convenience, communication and project oversight. In this guide, we’ll discuss key factors when selecting a nearby PCB assembly provider and review top services available across the United States. With the right partner, companies can have their prototype builds, low-to-mid volume batches and onshore high-mix production handled accurately and efficiently.

How to Choose A PCB Assembly Service Near You

Selecting a PCB assembly service within your region offers several advantages. However, you still need to carefully assess each provider’s specific capabilities, quality, delivery guarantees and costs. Here are the most important criteria to evaluate:

Range of Assembly Services Offered

A complete PCB assembly service should be able to handle SMT and through-hole component population, soldering, inspection, testing and other secondary processes like conformal coating. Having all assembly and post-assembly services in one place streamlines the process versus working with multiple suppliers.

Assembly Quality Processes

The assembly facility should follow IPC industry standards and have quality control procedures like First Article Inspections, in-line automated optical inspection (AOI) and testing. This helps verify quality and repeatability for each board batch.

Flexible Order Volumes

Whether you need 5 prototype boards assembled or a mid-volume batch of 300 PCBs, the service should be able to accommodate you. Look for assembly services equipped to handle low to mid-volume orders, not just high-volume production.

Fast Turnaround Times

For time-sensitive projects, partner with an assembly service that can deliver finished boards in 5-10 business days or often less. They should also provide expedited build options when needed.

Design for Manufacturing (DFM) Services

Choose a PCB assembly service that reviews board designs to catch any errors or issues before the build process begins. This DFM analysis helps prevent faulty board assembly and iterations later on.

Communication and Responsiveness

You want regular project updates and the ability to ask questions and provide feedback. Opt for an assembly partner that assigns dedicated account managers and is responsive across multiple channels like email, phone and web.

Pricing and Budgets

PCB assembly costs depend on order volumes, board complexity and the components used. However, the service should be transparent about pricing and work within your budget constraints.

Location Near You

Using an assembly service in close proximity allows for easier in-person project collaboration when needed. It also minimizes shipping times and damages.

Top PCB Assembly Services by U.S. Region

To help you find top-quality PCB assembly services located near you, we’ve compiled this list of leading providers across different states:

West Coast PCB Assembly Services

  • Advanced Circuits – Colorado – Volume production and prototyping with over 25 years of experience. Offers same-day PCB assembly.
  • Sierra Circuits – California – Leading PCB manufacturer handles small to large production runs. Excellent engineering support.
  • Sunstone Circuits – Oregon – Specializes in advanced PCB prototyping with 24-hour and rush services.

Midwest PCB Assembly Services

  • EPTEK – Wisconsin – Full-service PCB assembly with quick 5-day standard turnaround times.
  • PCB Assembly Express – Minnesota – Complete assembly services with small minimum order quantities.
  • Bittele Electronics – Michigan – Fast 3-5 day assembly turnaround on low to mid-volume orders.

East Coast PCB Assembly Services

  • PCBPlus – New Hampshire – Design, fabrication and assembly services for prototyping through production.
  • Imagineering – New York – Provides complete PCB assembly focused on low-mid volume and quick-turn needs.
  • Screaming Circuits – New York – Excellent quality assembly and very fast prototyping services.

Southern U.S. PCB Assembly

  • Pad2Pad – Florida – Quick-turn assembly specialist with 3-5 day standard delivery.
  • Brookfield Engineering Labs – Florida – Complete PCB services with small minimum order quantities.
  • Akilux – Texas – End-to-end PCB manufacturing including assembly, DFM and testing.

This list covers some of the top rated domestic PCB assembly services across the U.S. However, we recommend getting multiple quotes to compare pricing, lead times and capabilities. Reach out to the short-listed providers to get a personalized quote for your specific PCB assembly project.

Key Steps of the PCB Assembly Process

Understanding the assembly process helps you know what to expect when working with a PCB assembly service. Here are the typical steps for SMT assembly and soldering components to a PCB board:

SMT Stencil Creation

Based on your PCB design files, the assembly provider creates a metal stencil used for applying solder paste to the board. The stencil has cutouts matching the pads where surface mount components will be placed.

Solder Paste Application

The stencil is aligned above the PCB and a thin layer of solder paste is applied through the stencil openings to the pads on the board. This “prints” the solder paste pattern.

SMT Pick and Place

SMT machines use vacuum nozzles to pick surface mount components and accurately place them on the wet solder paste. All components are oriented uniformly.

Reflow Soldering

The PCB board passes through a reflow oven melting the solder paste to form solder joints that electrically and mechanically connect the components.

Through-Hole Component Insertion

Any through-hole components are inserted into their designated holes on the board. The leads are soldered for securing parts like connectors.

Conformal Coating (Optional)

A protective coating can be selectively applied to safeguard against moisture, chemicals or corrosion during use.

Testing and Quality Checks

100% electrical testing verifies all connections and that the board works per design. Automated optical inspection and x-ray are also used to check assembly quality.

Final Approval

The fully assembled boards are safety packaged and shipped out after validation testing and inspection. Any repairs occur before shipping to the customer.

This entire assembly process is carefully managed by the PCB assembly company based on the client’s test specifications and quality requirements.

Factors That Determine PCB Assembly Costs

As you budget for your PCB assembly project, it helps to know the main factors that influence cost. These include:

  • Board Size – Larger PCBs require more components, materials, handling and storage costs.
  • Component Types – Costs vary based on the SMT parts needed like BGAs vs standard chips. High-density boards cost more.
  • Layer Count – Multilayer boards with more conductive copper layers are pricier to manufacture and assemble.
  • Order Volume – Assembly small runs of 10-25 PCBs is more expensive per board versus volumes of 500+. High volume orders get volume discounts.
  • Testing Needs – Extensive testing, burn-in cycles, and debugging increase assembly costs.
  • Lead Times – Rush turnarounds and expedited assembly fees apply to very short lead times.
  • Special Processes – Additional steps like x-ray, conformal coating or programming add to base costs.
  • Location – Where you get boards assembled affects pricing based on labor, shipping and duties.

While assembly costs vary significantly between projects, discussing requirements in detail with potential providers is the best way to get an accurate quote.


I hope this overview has helped explain what to look for when choosing a PCB assembly service nearby and how the assembly process works. Partnering with a high-quality domestic provider that offers quick-turn prototyping, mid-volume production, and rigorous quality control provides important benefits for electronics companies. It allows you to accelerate time-to-market and scale efficiently as your product needs grow and change. Use the guide above to find the ideal PCB assembly service that fits your budget and manufacturing needs, whether those are low volume prototype builds or longer production runs. With their expertise and experience, you can ensure your printed circuit boards are assembled correctly the first time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the most important factors when selecting a PCB assembly service?

A: Look for capabilities like SMT and through-hole assembly, quality processes, flexible order volumes, fast turnaround times, design reviews, customer support and competitive transparent pricing. Location near you is also ideal.

Q: Should I use offshore or domestic PCB assembly?

A: For prototypes and lower volumes, domestic assembly services are recommended for better communication, project visibility and quality control. Offshore can make sense for very high volumes if you’ve already established reliability.

Q: What data do I need to provide the assembly company?

A: You’ll need Gerber, BOM, centroid and placement files from your PCB design software. Any special assembly notes should also be provided upfront before assembly can begin.

Q: Can PCB assembly services source components for me?

A: Many assembly providers can procure components on your behalf, which simplifies the process. However, you pay a premium over sourcing yourself.

Q: How can I lower PCB assembly costs?

A: Optimize your board design for efficiency and least parts. Compare quotes between assembly providers. Order larger volumes and provide flexible lead times to reduce costs.

Categories: PCBA


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