Is scavenging parts from consumer electronics for own commercial products, a good idea?

I have a product that I'm trying to bring to market testing and if successful I'll get them manufactured. For prototype I pulled a camera PCB from an old webcam. It so happens that because my volume of production is low it is actually three times cheaper to buy brand new webcams and pull the PCB and camera off it. Could I get into trouble for doing this?

Yes.

  • For a prototype or the first beta units, it’s a fine idea. However, your time disassembling the units will eat into your profitability.
  • Bad idea for production. Many cheap consumer products have a short lifespan, so you’ll end up redesigning your product when you can’t get the product.
  • Plus, cheap products use the lowest quality electrolytic capacitors which fail at an early age (within a couple years), especially capacitors in switching supplies.

From the perspective of sustaining profitability and product quality, it is more advisable to design PCBs on your own. Or, if you are not capable of electric circuits, outsource the design job and prototype making. The cost of this will be lower than the long-term trouble brought by using camera PCB pulled from an old webcam.

Read More: Life Cycle Management Services

#PCB Design #PCB Assembly #PCB Testing

Picture of Oliver Smith

Oliver Smith

Oliver is an experienced electronics engineer skilled in PCB design, analog circuits, embedded systems, and prototyping. His deep knowledge spans schematic capture, firmware coding, simulation, layout, testing, and troubleshooting. Oliver excels at taking projects from concept to mass production using his electrical design talents and mechanical aptitude.
Picture of Oliver Smith

Oliver Smith

Oliver is an experienced electronics engineer skilled in PCB design, analog circuits, embedded systems, and prototyping. His deep knowledge spans schematic capture, firmware coding, simulation, layout, testing, and troubleshooting. Oliver excels at taking projects from concept to mass production using his electrical design talents and mechanical aptitude.

What Others Are Asking

How do components not get knocked off or fall off during reflow?

Last week we visited a PCBA factory. We were looking at reflow ovens. A lot of them have a metal conveyor belt the boards sit on. On a double sided board, when you put the board on the metal belt, won’t the metal belt knock components off as they are only held on by paste?

How do you usually organize SMT parts during PCB assembly?

Suppose one is hand-assembling a board with many SMT components. Unlike THT, SMT components are often not labeled. How might one keep small (<100) quantities of such parts properly organized during assembly? Are there particular tools? Storage devices? Methods?

Read Detailed Advice From Blog Articles

Strategies on Designing PCB Layout
Ryan Chan

Strategies on Designing PCB Layout

Why PCB Layout is Needed We use Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) for connecting electronic components by using conductive tracks. This allows for prototyping electric circuits

The Essential Guide to PCB Controllers
Will Li

The Essential Guide to PCB Controllers

PCB controllers enable the smarts in electronics of all types, from tiny wearables to industrial robots. These ingenious chips act as the brains of countless

Scroll to Top