I came across report recently that included some great information regarding PCB (printed circuit board) design and why PCBs play an important part of the overall process to improve a company’s bottom line.

It summarizes a report from the Aberdeen group titled, “Why Printed Circuit Board Design Matters to the Executive: How PCBs Are a Strategic Asset for Cost Reduction and Faster Time-to-Market” (see link at bottom of page). The following point was particularly interesting to me, “On average, companies report that the PCB represents 31% of the overall cost of the product,” reports Michelle Boucher, research analyst in Aberdeen’s Product Innovation and Engineering practice.

This is a useful piece of information for printed circuit board manufacturers and suppliers to understand where we fit in the entire product process. And it’s an important reminder to PCB designers, engineers, buyers, etc. to understand that 1/3 of your cost comes into play when considering a shop to have your boards manufactured. This means that unless your pcb designers are “best-in-class” (per the report), you will be required to prototype your pcbs several times more to ensure that the design works.

For pcb designers, this is useful information because it reinforces that by improving the overall PCB design process, it will help to reduce overall costs . This also makes for an excellent case study to superiors on the value of designer’s expertise and why the design stage is so important to the bottom line.

I would recommend you download the research paper for yourself here:  Why Printed Circuit Board Design Matters to the Executive