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Understanding the Potential Risks and Costs of Not Using Conformal Coating on PCBs


As the demand for increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness in PCB fabrication process continues to grow, suppliers and OEM manufacturers seek ways to reduce production costs and enhance capacity, starting from the design phase. However, cost reduction often involves using cheaper materials or minimizing the use of conformal coating whenever possible.


You may often ask some questions 
Why not eliminate conformal coating?」 
Is conformal coating a necessary material in the PCB fabrication process?


Why is it necessary to use conformal coating in the production of PCB (Printed Circuit Boards)

In PCB design, the material and manufacturing cost considerations are diverse. Typically, conformal coating accounts for approximately 1% to 2% of the total cost. The annual savings from not using conformal coating can amount to thousands of dollars. However, the decision to use conformal coating in PCB manufacturing goes beyond evaluating its cost; other factors must be considered.

The size of a standard PCB is around 5 inches by 5 inches, and the material cost for conformal coating is approximately $0.03 to $0.15 per unit. This cost depends on factors such as coating thickness and specific chemical properties, like silicone resin, acrylic resin, polyurethane, or UV-cured coatings.


PCB fabrication process– don't compromise quality for minor savings.


Comparing the above cost in dollars to the overall cost of PCB production reveals a significant difference. While the percentage of conformal coating cost may only be in single digits, the price of PCBs used in applications like automotive and white goods can range from tens to hundreds of dollars. Therefore, the cost of conformal coating as a percentage of production cost is likely to be small. Seeking continuous cost reduction by eliminating or reducing conformal coating use might offer temporary benefits but can bring about hidden risks with numerous consequences.

What are the other costs to consider if conformal coating is not used?


  1. Product maintenance costs : Whether on-site repairs or warranty returns, each repair incurs labor and new material costs, potentially ranging from tens to hundreds of dollars. For instance, the warranty repair cost for a brake ECU can easily reach hundreds of dollars.
  2. Product replacement costs : Similar to maintenance costs, in most cases, on-site PCB replacement or returns may be more economical. Costs again may range from tens to hundreds of dollars.
  3. Company reputation costs : Consumers place significant emphasis on product quality and brand reputation. A product's value, painstakingly built over time, can be compromised by negative reviews, resulting in recurring costs over the coming years.
  4. Future business costs : Based on past experiences, the cost of regaining lost customers can be up to five times the cost of retaining existing ones. In critical industries such as automotive and aviation, where chances for cost recovery due to negative product evaluations are minimal, the potential cost is even higher.


Q: Is conformal coating necessary for PCBs? Absolutely!


As suppliers of conformal coating for PCBs, we can assist you in evaluating product applications and processes, demonstrating how to improve process efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance product reliability. Our highly skilled technical team is available to provide reliable technical services.



For further  HumiSeal product  details, feel free to get in touch with us today!  Contact us

Resource link: https://blog.humiseal.com/the-potential-cost-of-not-conformal-coating-your-pcb