Agile PCB Manufacturing With Box Build Assembly

Efficiency and Quality, the Key to Building a Superior Product

manufacturing tests like PCB functional test

Today’s manufacturing technologies guarantee that anything you need can be built, the tradeoff being that you may not get the quality you expect. With multiple vendors focusing on their little piece of the puzzle, it’s often difficult to unify all the pieces into one coherent picture. This is especially true in electronics manufacturing where precision is essential to success.

To maximize efficiency and quality, printed circuit board assemblers must find ways of becoming more agile in PCB manufacturing. One way is to combine the manufacturing of a circuit board with the production of the final system enclosure—known as a box build. At VSE we’ve done just that, improving efficiency and quality in electronics manufacturing by seamlessly combining PCB assembly with box build services. Here is more about this manufacturing process and how it can help you.

Initial Product Development with Agile PCB Manufacturing

The foundation of an electronics system are the circuit boards that drive it, so before the system can be built, the circuit boards must be ready. We’ve been building circuit boards at VSE for a long time, and our customers can rely on our commitment to delivering the highest quality in PCB manufacturing.


Beginning with the initial design review, our engineering team can provide numerous services to ensure the quality of your PCB builds. Included in these services are component engineering, mechanical design, PCB layout, and documentation control.


Our purchasing team has extensive experience in navigating the complicated supply chain of electronic component procurement. We have developed a vast network of part manufacturers and distributors to provide you with the highest quality parts quickly and at the best price.


We have multiple assembly lines to build thru-hole and surface mount technology boards with a variety of automated systems. Our full staff of experienced technicians is industry certified for circuit board rework, or manually built prototypes and unique PCB configurations.


Our test department has multiple test systems at their disposal to verify the accuracy of your PCB assembly including; ICT, flying probe, cable scan, and bench testing.

We have the experience you need for circuit board assembly, and to complement that, we have the capabilities you need for box builds as well.

Complete Product Development by Combining PCB Assembly with Box Builds

Building the circuit board assembly is only part of the battle when it comes to new system development. To completely test the board in its actual operating environment requires that the entire box build be completed for a fully functional system test. The difficulty is having to manage multiple vendors to get the job done correctly.

Prototypes must be built quickly, while still ensuring the build is the highest level of quality. When building a full system prototype, the quality can be lost trying to transition the system components between different manufacturers. Disasters can occur when one vendor is assembling the circuit boards, while another builds the system enclosure and still, another fabricates the cables and wiring harnesses. VSE can solve this problem by building all of these subsystems together under the same roof.

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The Benefits of Manufacturing PCBs and Box Builds Simultaneously

With all of the different components of your system being built by one manufacturer, you will gain important benefits that you wouldn’t get from using multiple vendors:

Reduced chance of error:

Using one manufacturer eliminates cross-vendor communication problems. With multiple vendors, there is an increased likelihood of miscommunication on system interfaces or other areas of co-design. For example, it is very easy for two vendors to pin out a cable and connector differently from each other.

Shorter design cycles:

By building all system components under one roof, the manufacturer doesn’t have to coordinate with a completely different vendor. This reduces the amount of time that one vendor spends waiting on another to complete their work.

Immediate testing:

With a single manufacturer, different subsystems can be tested together with the other subsystems while they are being built for fit and connectivity. This eliminates the delays that occur when a subsystem is sent back because it didn’t fit or function as expected.

Centralized project management:

Instead of having to coordinate between multiple vendors, all of the project management will be controlled by one manufacturer. You’ll be free to focus on design engineering instead of coordinating vendors.

At VSE, we can help reduce your development time and raise the overall level of quality in your product by leveraging these benefits with our combined PCB assembly and box building processes.

The Box Building Process at VSE

To successfully manufacture your box build, we’ll gather as much information as possible. This will include a bill of materials, electrical schematic, assembly drawing(s), wire list(s), and your test specifications. It’s also helpful to have an example unit if one is available. Once we’re prepared with the necessary data, the build will follow this general process:

All through the assembly of your box build, we’ll be documenting our work. This will provide you with a full and accurate set of “as-built” instructions and test reports to complete the product’s development.

  • Manufacturing and testing of the required printed circuit boards.
  • Cable and wire harness fabrication as well as testing them for fit and function.
  • Preparing the individual wires for assembly by cutting, stripping, and labeling them.
  • Begin the system assembly at the bottom and work up in a layer fashion according to the customer’s specifications
  • Inspect each level of the box build assembly for:
    • Fasteners that are torqued to specification.
    • Continuity at test points.
    • Routing of interconnecting wires and harnesses.
    • Labels and markings.
  • Continue the assembly upwards through each layer until the box build is complete.
  • Conduct a final inspection and test.

All through the assembly of your box build, we’ll be documenting our work. This will provide you with a full and accurate set of “as-built” instructions and test reports to complete the product’s development.

How VSE can Help with Your
Electronics Product Development

At VSE we have a long history of working together with customers across many industries in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards as well as full system box builds. Our box building services have been used in both the medical and biotechnical equipment industries where attention to detail is critical. This level of attentiveness is not unique to just these projects, however, and we strive for the same level of quality in all of the work that we do.

We understand the need for precision in your projects. By serving as your single source manufacturer for your entire system including the circuit boards, cable and wire harnesses, and the box build, we can deliver that high level of quality. Let us know what your box build requirements are, and we’ll gladly partner with you on your next electronics manufacturing project.

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