Printed circuit boards or PCBs are the backbones of electronics. PCBs are used to allow the electrical components to be placed on them and generate functionalities. PCBs are used in every sector that relies on electronics.
On the other hand, PCB manufacturers are behind the scenes who bring the thinking into reality. When you want to select PCB manufacturers in the UK, you must check their quality of PCB making.
So, how could you choose a PCB manufacturer in the UK? Who are the best PCB manufacturers in the UK? What is the PCB industry condition in the UK?
If you have these types of questions, the rest of the entire post may help you. You will be able to find out the top PCB manufacturers in the UK by reading this whole post.
The Strength Of The UK PCB Industry
The electronics and PCB industry has been performing moderately for the past few years. In the UK, for the last five years, the PCB industry has been doing poorly.
PCB market lost 5.5% of CAR over the last five years stats till 2021-2022. The most significant decline happened during the Covid-19 pandemic, 27%.
It is because of an increase in the prices of PCB-related peripherals. And the profitability fell due to overcoming as well. The current 2020-21 market is also under severe pressure as well.
The total market is now standing at £778.7 million. However, the market is growing as the post period of Covid-19 breakout. The industry is expected to grow fast soon. The authority expects 7.9% of revenue growth during the 2021-22 fiscal year.
What Are The Notable Types Of PCBs Manufactured In The UK?
PCBs are divided into different types. PCB classification takes place based on various entities. This includes frequency range, layer count, the base material of PCBs, etc. The PCB manufacturers in the UK produce the following types of PCBs.
Single-sided PCBs are the most common PCB manufacturers in the UK produce. A single-sided PCB contains only a single base conductive layer. The conductive layer consists of copper.
You will see a solder mask and h silkscreen on the surface of the single-sided PCBs. Single-sided PCBs are less costly than any other type of PCBs. Also, it is manufactured for bulk production.
Single-sided PCBs are used for simple applications like toys, remote control, earbuds, etc. Simple circuit designs are implemented on single-sided PCBs.
A double-sided PCB has two conductive copper layers on both sides of the PCB. Holes are drilled to join both conductive layers. These holes are called vias.
You can use two types of component mount technologies to install the electrical components of the PCBs. They are surface mount technology and thru-hole technology.
In the through-hole technology, you can directly insert the components lead into the drilled holes. Then it would help if you soldered them with soldering iron.
On the other hand, in surface mount technology, you can directly mount the components on the surface of the PCBs.
Surface mount technology facilitates more benefits than through-hole. You can design more sophisticated designs by the surface mount.
On the other hand, double-sided PCBs are used in various applications. The applications include smartphones, amplifiers, power monitoring, test devices, etc.
Multilayer PCBs consist of more than two conductive layers. In more simple words, you must ensure at least three conductive layers to form a multilayer PCB.
It is the extended version of double-sided PCBs. The layer count for a multilayer PCB can go up to 100 or more layers if needed.
You need to use different insulating layers to separate the conductive layers. Multilayers help to minimize the size of PCBs, as well as being compact. It reduces the weight of the PCBs as well. Multilayers PCBs allow design flexibility.
Multilayer PCBs empowers high-speed and high-frequency circuits.
The PCBs are made from solid and rigid materials. You cannot bend or fold the base material of the rigid PCBs.
Rigid PCBs are strong enough, and their compactness allows them to design more sophisticated circuits.
You can repair and maintain rigid PCBs easily. Also, everything is marked clearly on the board.
Flexible PCBs are made from flexible PCB substrates. Teflon, polyimide, etc., highly insulating base materials make flexible PCBs.
Flexible PCBs are foldable and bendable. Flexible PCBs reduce the complexity of installing in narrower and compact places.
Flexible PCBs are lightweight, compact, and highly dense in signal integrity. Flexible PCBs are highly tolerable to the extensive temperature as well.
A combination of rigid and flexible PCBs results in a rigid-flex PCB. The objective of the rigid-flex PCBs is to collaborate the functionalities between rigid and flexible PCBs. Check this video about rigid-flex PCB design:
Their name reflects high-frequency PCBs’ objective. When you need a high-frequency range for applications like communications, microwaves, etc., you have to use high-frequency PCBs.
The basic range of a high-frequency PCB is between 500 MHz to 2 GHz.
Aluminum-backed PCBs are used for high-temperature applications. It helps to reduce the expansion rate and increase heat dissipation.
Applications Of PCBs
Modern electronics are founded based on printed circuit boards. So, you may ask, PCBs are not where. You will find PCBs in every sector. We may somehow elaborate the uses of PCBs as below.
Consumer electronics are the most common sector that uses PCBs broadly. Billions of people use daily-basis electronics, indirectly depending on the PCBs. For example, smartphones, tablets, TVs, communications, FM radio, network devices, and home appliances.
PCB Inside Smartphone
PCBs are one of the most vital key role players in the industrial sector. Production lines are directly dependent on electronics functioning with PCBs.
Also, assembling machines, presses, control systems, measurement equipment are powered by PCBs.
The medical sector is one of the most critical sectors that widely use PCBs. Automation in the medical industry has already grown significantly, and PCBs are the behind the scene power-up of the devices.
PCB Inside CT Scan Machine
Heart monitoring, scanning devices such as x-rays, MRI, CT scanners, etc., are among the devices that use PCBs.
The automobile sector is another pioneer that uses PCBs. Auto piloting, navigation, control system, etc., are powered by PCBs.
Besides these, aerospace, defense, naval, and numerous sectors widely use PCBs in their own needs.
Factors To Consider Before Choosing The Top PCB Manufacturer In The UK?
As you might think, choosing one of the best PCB manufacturers in the UK is not that easy. Because, as a general pupil, you might not be aware of the quality and ability of a PCB manufacturer. Specialists must undertake PCB.
Your PCB production process will be simple if you select a suitable and highly qualified PCB manufacturer. But, if you fail to choose the right PCB manufacturers in the UK, you may regret it.
So, choosing the right PCB manufacturer is one of the essential aspects of PCB production. The following suggestion will help you select the proper PCB manufacturer for your PCB production.
Excellent and capable PCB manufacturers in the UK must be able to produce large-scale production at a time. That means they have an excellent infrastructure, technology, and highly professional staff.
A good PCB manufacturer should have long experience in the industry as well.
Only PCB production is not the last word. Ensuring PCB quality is among the essential aspects. The manufacturer should be able to manufacture faultless products, as well as meet the exact requirements.
Your PCB size and shape should be in the correct alignment, and traces must comply with required signal passes. Also, ensure the holes are correctly drilled and correctly placed the components. You need to make sure that the board can pass the quality test.
Ability To Provide The Exact Design
You may need custom PCBs. So make sure the PCB manufacturers in the UK can produce the PCB with provided designs.
They have to meet the desired design format, layers, PCB materials, required PCB characteristics, etc.
Proper certifications are one of the most vital aspects of choosing the right PCB manufacturers. Certificates reflect the capabilities of the PCB manufacturers.
Because of the different quality and standard certifications, organizations must ensure the proper quality, then issue the certificates. IPC certification, ISO certification, etc., are among the valuable certificates a PCB manufacturer should acquire.
PCB Manufacturing Expenses
Costing is another vital factor of PCB production because more costing will lessen your profit margin.
On the other hand, quality products with less cost will help you profit in the PCB business. A highly skilled and experienced PCB manufacturer must ensure cost-effective manufacturing without compromising the quality of PCBs.
Manufacturing Deadline Meeting Ability
Quickness might certainly hamper the quality of the PCBs. But, a good PCB manufacturer must manufacture the PCBs within the predefined deadline.
Deadline meeting capability reflects the overall capabilities of a PCB manufacturer.
The PCB manufacturer should be cooperative-minded. Cooperation with different areas and design teams bring quality quickly. Also, cooperation brings quick manufacturing completion.
On the other hand, cooperation can quickly solve any issues if they occur.
Component And Material Selection
The base materials are the most critical fact for forming a PCB board. A reputed manufacturer must ensure the best materials for PCB manufacturing instead of cheap ones.
On the other hand, high-quality components are pre-conditioned for PCBs’ proper functioning. The PCB manufacturers in the UK must ensure the quality of PCB components as well. Watch this video about PCB materials for high-speed designs:
Rules And Regulations
A good and honest PCB manufacturer must obey the rules and regulations of PCB manufacturing set by the government.
They have to avoid hazardous substrates, comply with the RoHS standard, maintain the registration, evaluation, and authorization of chemicals, etc.
Also, make sure that the PCB manufacturer can ensure the UL-approved PCBs.
Top 10 PCB Manufacturers in the UK
When you are getting started to pick the top of the industry, you must face some difficulties. Because picking the top ones is not a fact of fun. Many people trust you, and they might make decisions based on your preference.
So, we had to research a lot and make a list of the top 10 PCB manufacturers in the UK. Remember one thing, our list is not the last word. Because many deserving manufacturers deserve a place in the top ten. But, because of picking just 10, we could not pick them all.
Also, the serial in our list does not refer to the serial for being 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on. They have just the ability to be among the top. So, let’s check the list of the top 10 PCB manufacturers in the UK.
1. Total Circuit Solutions Ltd
Total Circuit Solutions Ltd is one of the leading PCB manufacturers in the UK providing services for 35 years. They have specialized knowledge in printed circuit board design, printed circuit board assembly, prototyping, and manufacturing.
The company has highly skilled technical support personnel, including engineers, operators, project managers, and other professionals. They provide large-scale prototypes, sampling, and manufacturing services, among other things.
Total Circuit Solutions
Total Circuits manufactures printed circuit boards (PCBs) in a variety of configurations, including single-sided, double-sided, multilayer up to 40 layers, micro vias, blind vias, and more. They assure the design of complicated PCBs, as well as the creation of simple ones when required.
They guarantee product delivery between 24 to 15 days, depending on the kind and number of PCBs purchased and ordered. Total Circuits is compliant with the RoHS regulations as well as the ISO 9001:2015 quality standard.
Address: Total Circuit Solutions House Peterborough PE6 7TB, UK
2. Blue Lightning Solutions
Blue Lighting Solutions is among the top PCB manufacturers in the UK. They supply their customers with complete PCB solutions from A to Z. PCB schematic design, PCB manufacturing, PCB assembly, and PCB testing are some of the services they provide.
They have been in the business of making PCBs of various kinds. Single-sided, double-sided, multilayer, high-frequency, high-voltage, and a variety of other configurations are among the options. They have built up a substantial PCB knowledge base that allows them to generate perfect printed circuit boards.
Blue Lighting Solutions
They collaborate with industry professionals, including not just their in-house employees and technology, but also with outside consultants as necessary. They make certain that the final PCB assembly is completed with the highest level of testing.
They are capable of generating 3D files of the PCB design imported from PCB design tools such as Altium, Solidworks, Eagle, or others.
3. Quick-Teck Electronics Ltd
Custom PCB services are also available from them, such as PCB design, PCB shape, PCB sizing, and other services. Quick-Teck is one of the most dependable PCB manufacturers in the United Kingdom, offering competitive pricing.
Even though they make it possible to save money, they do not sacrifice quality. Another important characteristic of theirs is that they deliver on time. One of the most important things to remember is that if they fail to deliver on time, they will give you a 30 percent discount on your next transaction.
Address: Quick-teck Electronics Ltd, Unit 7, The Quadrant, Newark Close, Royston, UK
4. Clarydon Electronic Services Limited
Clarydon Electronic Services Limited is one of the premier PCB manufacturers in the UK, offering one-stop solutions for all of your PCB manufacturing needs. They offer services for PCBs, PWB, and CEM, among other things. Clarydon will also provide you with the relevant printed circuit board services.
Clarydon has over 20 years of experience in PCB manufacturing and electrical solutions, making it one of the most cost-effective companies in the industry. They offer PCB manufacturing services ranging from low to large volume, as well as PCB assembly. They put through-hole and surface-mount technology (SMT) into practice.
Additionally, they can manufacture any sort of printed circuit board, including single-sided, two-sided, multilayer (up to 24 layers), and others. They also make printed circuit boards (PCBs) with high frequencies, high speeds, and high voltages.
Address: Strawberry Lane, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 3RS, UK
5. The EuroTech Group PLC
Eurotech, the parent company of Eurotech PCB, has been in the business of providing printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing services since 1968. They have been producing printed circuit boards (PCBs) for the last 54 years, and have done it with quality and devotion.
They have more than 400 consumers who have taken use of their services. They manufacture several sorts of printed circuit boards (PCBs), including single-sided, double-sided, multilayer, and others, and they are known for providing high-quality services.
Their printed circuit boards are utilized in a variety of industries, including medical, aerospace, military, and consumer products. Their reputation for quality and dependability in the printed circuit board sector has elevated them to the top of the list of prominent manufacturers and suppliers across Europe.
6. Cambridge Circuit Company Ltd
Cambridge Circuit Company Ltd is one of the leading PCB manufacturers in the UK. They are quite sensitive to the timing of the delivery. Cambridge Circuit makes product delivery possible in as little as 8 hours and as long as 5 days.
Cambridge Circuit Company
They are capable of producing single-sided, double-sided, multilayer, flexible, stiff, rigid-flex, high-frequency, and a variety of other kinds of printed circuit boards (PCBs) Their highly skilled employees guarantee that the items are of the highest possible quality.
Cambridge Circuit is certified to ISO 9001-2015 quality management standards, as well as to UL standards. Aside from that, they are also capable of providing PCBs in large quantities. Cambridge Circuit provides the PCB solutions you want for any application you may have.
7. Tate Circuit Industries Ltd
TATE CIRCUIT INDUSTRIES LTD is one of the major PCB manufacturers in the United Kingdom, specializing in high-quality printed circuit boards. Since the beginning of their operations, they have focused on providing cost-effective services to their customers.
They also provide services to customers all around the globe. They hired and provided ongoing training for highly competent employees. They provide the industry with customized, cost-effective offshore printed circuit board production. In addition to single-sided and double-sided PCBs, Tate also offers multilayers, high-frequency, and other types of PCBs.
Tate’s printed circuit boards are utilized in a variety of industries, including automotive, lighting, aerospace, medical, audio devices, navigation, and others. They hold various required certificates including ISO-9001 quality and UL approval certificates.
Address: Unit 1 Europa Way, Britannia Enterprise Park, Lichfield, Staffs, WS14 9TZ, UK
8. Wrekin Circuits
One of the fastest PCB manufacturers in the UK who can manufacture PCBs in one day. With the fastest turnaround time, they also maintain the quality of the PCBs as well. They have extensive experience in the PCB manufacturing industry.
Their highly qualified R&D team ensures the highly experienced work staff including engineers, operators, managers, and others.
Wrekin Circuits provide PCB manufacturing services from A to Z. Their services include PCB design, schematic, layout, board manufacturing, component sourcing, assembling, testing, and so on.
They provide single-sided, double-sided, multilayer, high-speed, high-frequency, and other types of PCBs.
Address: 29/30 Hortonwood 33, Telford Shropshire, TF1 7EX, UK
9. Merlin PCB
Merlin PCB is a great sustainable PCB manufacturer in the UK that has been providing PCB manufacturing services for more than 35 years. They have employed among the most experienced staff in their company.
Merlin PCB Group
They are also one of the capable PCB manufacturers in the UK with a worth of £20 million. Merlin provides all types of PCB solutions to customers. Their PCBs include single-sided, flex, rigid-flex, multilayer, double-sided, and others.
Merlin provides prototyping, bulk supplies, samples, and other PCBs around the UK. They have implemented high-technology in their manufacturing services.
10. ALN Printed Circuits Ltd
ALN PCB has been providing quality PCB services for more than 30 years. They can deliver prototypes and samples in the quickest time. They provide medium to high volume PCB manufacturing services.
Their PCBs, including plated through-holes, multilayer, and others obey the compliance of RoHS and other standards.
Their goal is to satisfy customers by providing the utmost quality services. They have IPC certification, BSI, UKAS membership, and UL approval.
Address: Unit 7, Alfred Court, Saxon Business Park, Hanbury Road, Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove B60 4AD, UK
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is RoHS Compliance For PCBs?
RoHS refers to “Restriction of Hazardous Substance”. RoHS restricts the use of several environment-harming substances such as Lead, Mercury, Polybrominated Diphenyl, Cadmium, Hexavalent Chromium, DIBP, etc.
The PCBs that comply with the RoHS standard are RoHS compliance in PCBs.
What Is The PCB Repairing Cost In The UK?
PCBs with slightly damaged parts may be repaired. Also, you might be able to repair some moderate level damage. Based on the damage types, it may cost you $20 to $150.
What Is IPC-A-600?
IPC-A-600 refers to the certification for individuals who work to make printed wiring boards. It is related to the manufacturing and assembling of PCBs. PCB manufacturing, assembling, equipment supplies, etc.
What Is The Standard PCB Thickness?
The standard PCB thickness ranges from 0.031(0.78 mm) inches to 0.062(1.57mm) inches.
What Is SMT Stencil In PCB Manufacturing?
The SMT stencil is the device that transfers the solder paste to the bare circuit board. It is also known as solder paste stencil, PCB stencil, and laser stencil.
When it comes to selecting the top printed circuit board manufacturers, there are various aspects to consider. As a result, we have attempted to balance the facts while picking the best PCB manufacturers in the UK.
For the development of excellent printed circuit boards, a fantastic and highly experienced PCB manufacturer is always a key aspect. Inability to choose the appropriate printed circuit board manufacturer will result in an inability to generate the desired products.
We hope that this article has helped you in your search for competent and qualified PCB manufacturers in the UK. Aside from that, additional in-depth research would aid you in making more precise judgments. You are welcome to contact us for more assistance.