If you are going to place an order for a large volume of PCBs, you need to eliminate any mistakes or errors in the design and manufacture process otherwise you will have a lot of useless PCBs. Although by definition prototypes are much more costly to produce on a per unit basis, they are still relatively cheap when you consider only a few will be made. Identifying an error by first making a prototype is therefore a logical way to proceed.
It might be the case with complicated requirements that several prototypes are required to get to iterate towards the right solution. In other cases one prototype will be sufficient. We can advise you when we dsicuss your requirements with you.
The prototype should be manufactured as close to the volume process as possible and fully tested in its intended environment. At Hi5 Electronics we have extensive experience in perfecting the design and manufacture of PCBs using protoypes to ensure when it comes to the full manufacturing run of Printed Circuit Boards we virtually eliminate the chances of failure. Our skill and expertise both in house and from our suppliers give us the confidence to manufacture your products successfully.