PRINTED CIRCUIT FABRICATION
Q. What types of bare board fabrication are you best suited for?
A. We build single-sided, double-sided and multilayer plated-thru-hole boards. Currently, we are best equipped for prototype, small and medium production quantities on FR4 material. Size and complexity of the boards will determine what our capacity is. We offer soldermask with or without SMOBC, legend silkscreening, nickel/gold-plated tabs and CNC scored or routed boards. We specialize in scoring panelization for fast efficient assembly of your bare boards.
Q. Why was my quote so much higher or lower than it was last time?
A. Two possible reasons for this would be that you either requested a different quantity or a different delivery. Allowing for nominal increases for the rising prices of material and labor, the price you are quoted should be consistent with previous quotes or orders as long as the quantities and deliveries remain the same. Circuit boards are custom manufactured and the price is very dependent on the quantity being manufactured and the time allowed. Since we have to perform as many steps in the manufacturing process for 1 board as we do for 1000 boards, effeciency dictates that the more product that we can run through the numerous processes required, the more time we save per board. That time saved results in better pricing for larger quantities.
Q. What is SMOBC?
A.Simply stated, it stands for Solder Mask Over Bare Copper. Traditional soldermask coatings are done over a reflowed tin/lead finish. Although the tin/lead finish is desirable for the pads for better solderability, this tin/lead coating is not necessary for the rest of the circuitry if it is protected by soldermask. The real reason for developing this process was to prevent the wrinkling effect of the tin/lead trapped under the soldermask when it is again reflowed during the assembly operation when the components are soldered with a wave solder machine.
Q. How can I save money when I create a new design?
A. You can save money 2 ways. It's called DFM - Design for manufacturability. This consideration in designing the artwork will save money over and over again during the manufacturer of the bare boards and the assembly of these boards. See our "Tips" under the various headings for suggested ideas to make your product easier to build.
Q. What do you need in order to quote a job?
A. Keep in mind that the more information you give us, the better the quote will be. Quantity and a fab drawing consisting of outline dimensions, drilling info and any special fab notes. You may simply fill in our quote form with this info or call us for a quick response. You can email this information with gerber files and we will extract this info but it may delay the quote.
Q. How long will it take to get a quote?
Q. Can you perform an electrical test on our boards and if so, how is this done.?
A. We prefer to test your boards but this is an optional process requiring a test fixture charge. You will not pay for this fixture again if the board does not change. The test is a bed of nails netlist test for opens and shorts based on the nets extracted from the gerber files supplied for the fabrication. Once tested, the boards have been verified to match the gerber files 100% against opens or shorts.