The electronics manufacturing industry is fast-paced. Getting your printed circuit board (PCB) assembled quickly and correctly can make or break your product launch. This is where quick turn PCB assembly services come in.

Quick turn assembly refers to the rapid production of assembled PCBs, with lead times ranging from 24 hours to 10 days. This accelerated schedule enables companies to validate designs, get prototypes built, and meet tight production windows.

Below we’ll explore when you need quick turn assembly, top providers, what to look for when choosing one, costs, and steps to ensure an efficient process.

When Do You Need Quick Turn PCB Assembly?

You may require quick turn assembly in the following situations:

Prototyping & Design Validation

Getting prototypes assembled rapidly allows you to test design concepts and make modifications early on. This prevents extensive redesign work later that can delay projects and inflate costs.

Accelerated Product Development

Fast assembly enables you to speed up testing, verification, and release of new products to keep ahead of the competition.

Supply Chain Disruptions

Quick turn services provide a backup if your normal assembly line experiences delays or parts shortages. This helps prevent costly production interruptions.

Unexpected Demand Spikes

Rapid assembly allows you to quickly increase manufacturing capacity to meet sudden rises in demand.

Trade Shows & Other Events

Getting boards assembled in days rather than weeks allows you to have working products ready for demos, exhibits, and other promotional activities.

Mid-Production Design Changes

Fast assembly enables on-the-fly adjustments if issues emerge during a production run. New boards can be turned around rapidly without major delays.

Lean Manufacturing Strategies

Quick turn assembly complements lean principles by allowing minimal finished goods inventory and rapid response to demand changes.

Top Providers of Quick Turn Services

Many full-service electronics manufacturing services (EMS) providers now offer quick turn assembly. Here are some of the leading options:

Advanced Assembly

With factories in the US and China, Advanced Assembly delivers 5-day turnarounds for prototype through mid-volume orders. They offer SMT, thru-hole, and mixed technology assemblies.


Elecrow provides PCB assembly and manufacturing services out of China. They offer 3-day build times and have a track record on complex, high-mix boards.


PCBCart has assembly facilities in China and focuses on fast turnaround of high-quality boards. They have build times down to 48 hours.


PCBWay has multiple factories in China and offers 4-day turn assembly of prototypes and production orders. Their online ordering is convenient.


RapidPCB specializes in advanced HDI, flex, and rigid-flex PCBs made in the USA. They offer 5-day assembly turnarounds.

Screaming Circuits

Another US-based option, Screaming Circuits provides 5-day assembled prototype builds. They are known for high mix, low volume orders.

Seeed Studio

Seeed Studio operates factories in China and offers PCB fabrication, parts sourcing, and final assembly with build times as fast as 72 hours.

Sierra Circuits

Sierra Circuits focuses on fast PCB protoypes and low volume production out of their USA facilities. They deliver within 5 days including assembly.

This list just scratches the surface of quick turn assembly providers. Make sure to get multiple quotes to compare service capabilities, quality, and cost tradeoffs.

What to Look for When Choosing a Quick Turn Assembly Service

Here are key factors to evaluate when selecting a quick turn assembly partner:

Fast Turnaround Time

Of course, speed is the name of the game. Make sure the provider can consistently meet the lead times you require.

Order Quantity Flexibility

Choose a service that can meet your needs whether you need a handful of prototypes or a few hundred boards quickly assembled.

Quality Processes & Controls

Even at accelerated schedules, the provider should adhere to robust quality procedures and inspection. Ask about their process controls.

Complex Assembly Experience

Evaluate experience with the complexity of your boards including fine pitch components, BGAs, 0201s, etc. as well as number of layers.

Supply Chain Capabilities

Make sure the provider has solid relationships and procurement capabilities to obtain all the required components on tight timeframes.

Responsiveness & Communication

The ability to address questions and issues quickly is critical during fast turn projects. Evaluate ease of communication.

Location & Logistics

Choose an assembly partner with an efficient facility location and shipping capabilities to meet your delivery requirements.

Engineering Support

Look for assembly providers that offer design for manufacturing (DFM) reviews and engineering assistance to avoid issues that can delay quick turn orders.

Online Tools

Convenient and capable online ordering, custom portals, inventory/WIP visibility, and stencil design tools boost efficiency.

Trusted Reputation

Check reviews and talk to references to ensure they deliver consistent quality and performance at accelerated schedules.

How Much Does Quick Turn PCB Assembly Cost?

Exact costs will vary significantly based on order details, but here are some typical price ranges:

Build TimePrototypesProduction
24-48 hours$250 – $800$1500 – $4000
3-5 days$150 – $400$800 – $2500
5-10 days$100 – $350$500 – $1500

Keep in mind that more complex boards with tighter tolerances, finer pitch components, and more layers will fall at the higher ends of these ranges.

Rapid delivery also adds a premium over standard lead times. For prototypes, quick turn can be 2X the cost or more compared to 2-3 week turns.

Higher costs are typical for American vs. Asian assembly as well. However, domestic providers can sometimes meet tighter deadlines.

Get quotes from multiple assembly partners to find the best balance of quality, cost, and lead time for your specific needs. Negotiate pricing for ongoing production rather than one-off prototyping rates.

Tips for an Efficient Quick Turn Assembly Process

Follow these best practices to ensure your quick turn orders go smoothly:

Engage Early in the Design Stage

Involve your assembly partner via design for manufacturing (DFM) reviews during the design process rather than throwing the board “over the wall” when finished. This allows improvements to avoid assembly issues that impact schedules.

Provide Clear Documentation

Supply complete assembly drawings, bills of materials, gerbers, etc. ensuring all information is clear and consistent. Missing or incorrect data can delay rapid builds.

Use Standard Components

Stick to common, readily available parts to minimize procurement delays. Avoid long lead time or hard to obtain components especially for prototypes.

Check Component Availability

Have your assembly partner confirm availability of all your specified components, especially for complex or high demand items. Substitutions can be made early to prevent delays.

Start Sourcing Early

For production runs, initiate procurement of long lead items well before assembly to prevent shortages. Your assembler can assist with forecasts.

Leave Sufficient Slack in the Schedule

Even with quick turn services, building in a few extra days provides margin in case unexpected issues pop up. Don’t promise deliverables on the exact turn day.

Order Inventory for Multiple Builds

For production, don’t cut component quantities too close. Have sufficient inventory on hand for both the initial quick turn order plus replenishment orders to avoid stock-outs.

Stick With One Assembly Partner

Maintaining a relationship with one provider improves efficiency through design familiarity and procurement history rather than switching between multiple assemblers.

Validate Before Full Production

Do an initial quick turn prototype or pilot run to verify all is correct before committing to the full production order. This avoids problems ramping up.

Following these tips will help ensure your quick turn orders proceed smoothly and avoid easily prevented errors that can derail tight schedules.


Quick turn PCB assembly provides invaluable speed for prototyping, supply chain flexibility, and meeting demanding production windows. However, balancing speed, quality, and cost factors can prove challenging.

Carefully evaluating prospective assembly partners on their technical capabilities, track record, and communication processes is key to making the right selection. Providing optimized design data and initiating orders with sufficient planning and inventory buffers will help your quick turn orders proceed efficiently.

When faced with tight deadlines, utilizing quick turn assembly services allows you to accelerate development cycles, validate designs faster, and respond more rapidly to shifts in customer demand. With the right provider relationship and execution, you can meet aggressive schedules confidently and consistently.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the fastest turnaround time for PCB assembly?

A: The fastest quick turn assembly times are typically 24-48 hours. However, this is usually limited to simpler boards and small quantities for prototypes. Typical production-level turnarounds for more complex PCBs are 3-5 days.

Q: What types of components work best for quick turn assembly?

A: Standard surface mount parts in 0603, 0402, and 0201 sizes from common manufacturers are easiest for rapid assembly. Avoid highly specialized or long lead time components when possible.

Q: How can I reduce costs for quick turn PCB assembly?

A: Optimize your design for manufacturability, provide complete documentation, order larger quantities, use standard parts, and maintain ongoing relationships with assemblers to improve pricing and performance.

Q: Are domestic or overseas assembly services better for quick turns?

A: Both have tradeoffs. Overseas options in Asia often have lower costs but longer logistics lead times. Domestic providers can meet faster schedules but usually have higher Minimum Order Quantities.

Q: What are the risks of quick turn PCB assembly?

A: Risks include increased defects, substitutions of non-preferred parts if desired components are unavailable, incomplete testing & inspection, and reliability issues if engineering changes are rushed. Vet your assembler thoroughly.

Categories: PCBA


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