Author Topic: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe  (Read 2961 times)

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Offline VEGETA

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PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« on: January 10, 2022, 08:38:22 am »
Hello,

I used a lot of Chinese companies such as AllPCB, PCBway, and JLCPCB. However, here in Jordan the customs don't believe the BOM and bill coming from Chinese companies in general, therefore I paid a lot for mere 2 boards assembled!

I asked and they told me they believe bills coming from USA or Europe only, otherwise they will estimate it using their own opinion.... and what a freaking stupid opinion and estimation that is!!

Therefore, kindly recommend to me such companies which can do turnkey for PCB manufacturing and assembly for very small quantities. like 3-5 small panels or something similar.

regards

Online tszaboo

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2022, 08:54:30 am »
Eurocircuit does PCBA. Otherwise, you are looking for 800-1000 EUR setup fees.
 

Offline VEGETA

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2022, 09:22:36 am »
Eurocircuit does PCBA. Otherwise, you are looking for 800-1000 EUR setup fees.

I guess Eurocircuit doesn't serve my country.

hmm 800-1000 euro setup? Chinese companies have about 30-100$ setup cost at most so why this much? you sure no one has similar cheap rates?

if not, then Chinese is better for me since no way customs estimation can reach 800 euros xD :palm: :palm:

Online tszaboo

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2022, 09:34:49 am »
Eurocircuit does PCBA. Otherwise, you are looking for 800-1000 EUR setup fees.

I guess Eurocircuit doesn't serve my country.

hmm 800-1000 euro setup? Chinese companies have about 30-100$ setup cost at most so why this much? you sure no one has similar cheap rates?

if not, then Chinese is better for me since no way customs estimation can reach 800 euros xD :palm: :palm:
It's this much because people in Europe are payed a living wage.
Additionally, if you reserve production in a European EMS, it means they will setup the production line according to your board. You need to pay for the downtime. And we don't race to the bottom.
Though I just looked up a quote from 1 years ago for a personal project, and it was only 460 EUR, so less than from the top of my head.
 

Offline VEGETA

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2022, 09:48:59 am »
I checked Eurocircuits and they don't support assembly for my country. Do you know another USA\European supplier?

All I can hope for is getting a quotation and see how it goes.

Offline PinheadBE

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2022, 05:47:44 pm »
As an hobbyist I also used Chinese manufacturers, only for producing small batches of PCB's for my personnal projects.
Now, with the EU taxes and delivery additional fees, the cost for a simple project has sky-rocketed.

I checked EuroCircuits, but they are very expensive for my budget.

Anyone knows about other (cheap) manufacturers in Europe that are OK to produce in small batches ?
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Offline Warhawk

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2022, 09:01:04 pm »
I use Aisler in the Netherlands. They are the cheapest manufacturer I could find in Europe. However, not everything is great but in general I am happy with it. A decent alternative to OSH park but within the EU zone. I know for sure they do assembling (I am also a corporate customer).
Alternatively, you can try Betalayout.   
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2022, 12:07:19 pm »
I use Aisler in the Netherlands. They are the cheapest manufacturer I could find in Europe. However, not everything is great but in general I am happy with it.
Interesting but from their own website it seems that they are simply sub-contracting the actual assembly work. So it must be possible to find even cheaper assembly houses; probably in Germany.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline PinheadBE

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2022, 02:43:09 pm »
In fact, I am not interested in the Assembly part.   Just the production of the PCB is enough to suit my needs now.
Indeed, the one you mention seems to have reasonnable prices for hobbyist.    I'll try this one and let you know about how it goes.

Thanks for your input !
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Offline woody

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2022, 03:04:48 pm »
+1 for Aisler.

Used them exclusively the last couple of years. Good quality, turn-around time and prices. Started using them for (smd) assembly 6 months ago and there my experience is also good. I like them.

Paul

 
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Offline Warhawk

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2022, 09:36:13 pm »
I use Aisler in the Netherlands. They are the cheapest manufacturer I could find in Europe. However, not everything is great but in general I am happy with it.
Interesting but from their own website it seems that they are simply sub-contracting the actual assembly work. So it must be possible to find even cheaper assembly houses; probably in Germany.

They even describe it on the website. Some PCBs are made in the Czech Republic, some in Germany. If you quote a PCB somewhere you quickly find out that for prototype manufacturing the most expensive part is actually human labor (CAM operator, data preparation). It does not matter if you want a board 10x20cm or 2x2cm. This is how Aisler makes money. They don't give many options and they highly automated the process. You won't get it cheaper anywhere else (I tried, I am Czech and know a couple of PCB houses there).

Online nctnico

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2022, 11:20:38 am »
I tried to get an assembly quotation from Aisler but they can't deal with Excel files + Gerbers and the support is useless. Smells like amateur hour to me.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Warhawk

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2022, 11:03:14 am »
I tried to get an assembly quotation from Aisler but they can't deal with Excel files + Gerbers and the support is useless. Smells like amateur hour to me.
Well, you get what you pay for. You can't expect state of the art service, quick turnaround and prices of China. If you provide just gerbers and excel, there has to be a CAM operator putting this together. This is easily 80-100 Euro/hour. That's how much a qualified personnel costs in Europe.

Side note: As a teenager, I had to save money before buying my first microcontroller (PIC16F84). Then I had to build a programmer. Oscilloscope was a dream. Now, everything is available for cost of a coffee and people still complain that it is not even cheaper. Weird world.
BTW: I still have that very MCU.

Online nctnico

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2022, 07:32:47 pm »
I tried to get an assembly quotation from Aisler but they can't deal with Excel files + Gerbers and the support is useless. Smells like amateur hour to me.
Well, you get what you pay for. You can't expect state of the art service, quick turnaround and prices of China. If you provide just gerbers and excel, there has to be a CAM operator putting this together. This is easily 80-100 Euro/hour. That's how much a qualified personnel costs in Europe.
How is that any different compared to using an Altium or Kicad file? One way or another they need to convert the output into Gerbers (or any other photoplot format), pick & place data and bill of materials. I'd say loading a file into Altium and getting the production files from it is more work compared to getting the ready-to-go production data. For example: Eurocircuits, Seeed and JLCPCB have no problems with using a bunch of Gerbers and drill file to produce a PCB correctly. Aisler has no idea what to do with the exact same dataset!
« Last Edit: February 04, 2022, 07:39:54 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Warhawk

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2022, 08:44:39 pm »
I tried to get an assembly quotation from Aisler but they can't deal with Excel files + Gerbers and the support is useless. Smells like amateur hour to me.
Well, you get what you pay for. You can't expect state of the art service, quick turnaround and prices of China. If you provide just gerbers and excel, there has to be a CAM operator putting this together. This is easily 80-100 Euro/hour. That's how much a qualified personnel costs in Europe.
How is that any different compared to using an Altium or Kicad file? One way or another they need to convert the output into Gerbers (or any other photoplot format), pick & place data and bill of materials. I'd say loading a file into Altium and getting the production files from it is more work compared to getting the ready-to-go production data. For example: Eurocircuits, Seeed and JLCPCB have no problems with using a bunch of Gerbers and drill file to produce a PCB correctly. Aisler has no idea what to do with the exact same dataset!
I have professional experience with BetaLayout. They are not going to touch assembly unless I provide them data in the exactly same format as they want. And by "exactly" I mean even columns and rows in excel. I remember this because I had to re-upload data for some of my projects before.
And the difference is big. Both KiCad and Altium are known formats and they can export exactly what they want with a single click. Or better with executing a single script. High level of automation is the reason why Aisler is cheap (considering Europe).
Also, if you want electrical test, you need to upload the PCB file (at least that's what I was told) - again, it is about automating the PCB manufacturing process.
Aisler has definitely some gaps and room for improvement. Nevertheless, I've been using their services since the beginning for both - professional and hobby use. I get PCBs in typ. 5 working days shipped from Europe for very affordable price. Additionally, Aisler supports KiCad.
What else should I want? I rarely shop outside of Europe. I value Europe, environmental protection, human rights and 40-hours work week.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2022, 08:47:18 pm by Warhawk »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2022, 09:23:34 pm »
I tried to get an assembly quotation from Aisler but they can't deal with Excel files + Gerbers and the support is useless. Smells like amateur hour to me.
Well, you get what you pay for. You can't expect state of the art service, quick turnaround and prices of China. If you provide just gerbers and excel, there has to be a CAM operator putting this together. This is easily 80-100 Euro/hour. That's how much a qualified personnel costs in Europe.
How is that any different compared to using an Altium or Kicad file? One way or another they need to convert the output into Gerbers (or any other photoplot format), pick & place data and bill of materials. I'd say loading a file into Altium and getting the production files from it is more work compared to getting the ready-to-go production data. For example: Eurocircuits, Seeed and JLCPCB have no problems with using a bunch of Gerbers and drill file to produce a PCB correctly. Aisler has no idea what to do with the exact same dataset!
I have professional experience with BetaLayout. They are not going to touch assembly unless I provide them data in the exactly same format as they want. And by "exactly" I mean even columns and rows in excel. I remember this because I had to re-upload data for some of my projects before.
And the difference is big. Both KiCad and Altium are known formats and they can export exactly what they want with a single click.
Knowing Altium I'm sure you can't since fields may have different names; Altium designs can be a real mess where it comes to manufacturing data. Also their format is binary so even if you have an Altium design, you still need to load it and export it into Ascii format before you can run any automated script on the design. All in all my conclusion is that Aisler has some more development work to do in order to really streamline their process. It is kind of odd they went to supporting PCB packages first before supporting the most basic manufacturing process using gerbers + drill + bom. Like companies are going to handover their design files to a third party...
« Last Edit: February 04, 2022, 10:27:21 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2022, 01:18:30 am »
Quote
It is kind of odd they went to supporting PCB packages first before supporting the most basic manufacturing process using gerbers + drill + bom.

Might be because they farm work out, so they might need to provide different files depending on where they go - perhaps one place wasnt ODB++, another gerberx2 or whatever. Rather than have the punter provide all possible variations, they just run off the required one from the PCB package.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2022, 03:06:14 am »
That sounds unlikely to me. It could be that a lot of people are not able to produce the right Gerbers from their package and they want to catch that. But that shouldn't exclude a traditional Gerber workflow. Also: what to do if the design doesn't meet the track width/clearance requirement? Who is going to fix that? For example: Eurocircuits and Seeed (IIRC) have pretty sophisticated online Gerber/drill/routing checking that catch 99% of the potential problems before submitting the design for production and it takes them zero effort.

In my experience the use of ODB++ is rare. So far I have had 3 projects in my entire career for which the assembler asked for ODB++ and those cases where for complicated PCB layouts far exceeding what Aisler is offering. Other than that, Gerber has never been a problem for the many PCB manufacturers that have produced my PCB designs.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Uky

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2022, 08:18:06 am »
Some time ago, I tried getting a quotation from Aisler using Gerbers as input data.
The response was late and their comments "avoiding". I can understand that it is so much easier
using the board files from eg. KiCad or Altium as input but the fact that they did not accept
compressed standardized formats such as ODBC++ or IPC-DPMX (IPC2581) was a disappointment.
 

Offline Warhawk

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Re: PCB + PCBA in USA or Europe
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2022, 09:01:48 am »
I tried to get an assembly quotation from Aisler but they can't deal with Excel files + Gerbers and the support is useless. Smells like amateur hour to me.
Well, you get what you pay for. You can't expect state of the art service, quick turnaround and prices of China. If you provide just gerbers and excel, there has to be a CAM operator putting this together. This is easily 80-100 Euro/hour. That's how much a qualified personnel costs in Europe.
How is that any different compared to using an Altium or Kicad file? One way or another they need to convert the output into Gerbers (or any other photoplot format), pick & place data and bill of materials. I'd say loading a file into Altium and getting the production files from it is more work compared to getting the ready-to-go production data. For example: Eurocircuits, Seeed and JLCPCB have no problems with using a bunch of Gerbers and drill file to produce a PCB correctly. Aisler has no idea what to do with the exact same dataset!
I have professional experience with BetaLayout. They are not going to touch assembly unless I provide them data in the exactly same format as they want. And by "exactly" I mean even columns and rows in excel. I remember this because I had to re-upload data for some of my projects before.
And the difference is big. Both KiCad and Altium are known formats and they can export exactly what they want with a single click.
Knowing Altium I'm sure you can't since fields may have different names; Altium designs can be a real mess where it comes to manufacturing data. Also their format is binary so even if you have an Altium design, you still need to load it and export it into Ascii format before you can run any automated script on the design. All in all my conclusion is that Aisler has some more development work to do in order to really streamline their process. It is kind of odd they went to supporting PCB packages first before supporting the most basic manufacturing process using gerbers + drill + bom. Like companies are going to handover their design files to a third party...
Well, I use Altium. I can simply just drag-n-drop Altium PCB file to the website and order the board. I used to do Gerbers but I don't bother anymore. Time is money and I do just small prototype boards. I don't think Aisler developed some Altium parser. I can imagine that they have a solution directly from Altium (as well as betalayout and many other sites that directly support Altium file upload). And with that, they can have just *.outJob that generates all the data.


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