Author Topic: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap  (Read 44510 times)

0 Members and 3 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline JLCPCB Official

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Country: hk
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #250 on: June 24, 2020, 02:37:53 am »
One question: can I combine the shipment of JLCPCB and LCSC?
Sorry, no. The two cannot be transported together. The PCB factory(JLCPCB) and the components factory(LCSC) are separate. And our 5 PCB factories also located in different provinces. So maybe your different order are produced in different places :-DMM
 
The following users thanked this post: thm_w

Offline JLCPCB Official

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Country: hk
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #251 on: June 24, 2020, 09:22:35 am »
We've been using JLC PCB quite prolifically for the past year (for both prototypes and production) and today found our first issue. After lots of headaches trying to get the prototype working I sound that the pads on one component had been screwed up and there was no connection to the through hole plating on either side! This was the second revision of this board and the first one was fine, so the issue certainly shouldn't be with my footprint. I can't see how it would be the gerber/drill files either though.

Fortunately this was just a prototype and not production!
Very strange, can you show us how your gerber copper layer looks?
Gerbers all look good. Here's the top copper.
is the distance between the pad and the through hole not enough?
 

Offline jmw

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 154
  • Country: us
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #252 on: June 26, 2020, 05:40:40 pm »
I needed a lot of a LEDs placed. I tried out the assembly service, and ... game changer! They didn't have the shift register in stock, but not a huge chore to do by hand compared to hundreds of LEDs.

It's a little unfortunate the second row is perfectly spaced and the top shows some irregularity, but functionally all of the prototypes have no bridges - the 0603s are 1mm apart so there is .2mm space between each.

 :-+

[attachimg=1]
 

Offline danie1

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 26
  • Country: gb
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #253 on: June 26, 2020, 07:22:17 pm »
Something with that number of LEDs is a great use-case I recon. It's changed the way I design PCBs - now if I think "it would be nice to ... with the spare pins" or "it would be more robust with extra ..." I just do it because A) I don't have to solder the extra stuff and B) the smaller components than I'd be comfortable doing by hand let me cram a heck of a lot more in.

Regarding the alignment, I dunno if my sample size is big enough but I've found rounded rectangle pads and the least exposed area possible gives me better alignment. I usually leave the pads big to get the soldering iron on but since using the assembly service I've been shrinking the pads to the bare minimum and keeping the mask opening small. My hunch is the rounded corners help the surface tension pull the components nice and square. I'm also careful to route the tracks directly out either side of the small packages I want to end up nice and straight to avoid asymmetric heating pulling them off center.
 
The following users thanked this post: bitseeker, jmw

Offline WillTurner

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 16
  • Country: au
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #254 on: June 27, 2020, 07:24:17 am »
I'm in the early stages of working up a design for assembly. It seems to me that part rotation is a problem. Since I'm not yet that familiar with the LCSC component selection I've been looking up the data sheets. It seems to me that it's not that much more difficult to look at the EasyEDA footprint on the same page, and jot down the orientation. If necessary, I can then create a rotated KiCAD footprint to match. Won't that solve the problem? The downside is that it may be necessary to keep multiple footprints in different orientations for a given standard package, keeping track of which circuit symbol is linked to which footprint, but I already have to link the circuit symbol to the LCSC part number. I know it's not ideal, but having to later check the orientation of every package on the board isn't ideal either.
  Is this a reasonable approach or folly?
 

Offline WillTurner

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 16
  • Country: au
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #255 on: June 27, 2020, 07:42:52 am »
One other thought ... the JLCPCB basic list of LCSC components incorporates part numbers and manufacturers that I wouldn't otherwise recognize. I find myself going back to specifications to select components. Where I would previously trust a manufacturer's reputation, I am now placing my trust in JLCPCB's selection of parts from LCSC. It would be worth good money to be able to get your company's product onto the basic 600 component list with the list constrained by physical numbers of pick and place machines on the assembly line. What a master stroke! Somewhat similar to paying for product placement on the supermarket shelves. The only catch is, if JLC puts up a dud component, it's reputation goes down the toilet.
 

Offline MarkR42

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 98
  • Country: gb
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #256 on: June 27, 2020, 08:22:21 am »
I'm in the early stages of working up a design for assembly. It seems to me that part rotation is a problem.

It is not really bad, because JLC's component placement previewer will show you exactly where and in what orientation every component will be. If they get it wrong, you can tell fairly easily (if it's a complicated board, it might be a good idea to get a 2nd pair of eyes on it).

While their rotations aren't completely standardised, it's easy to detect errors. For simple boards you might be able to manually modify your placement file to fix it. For more complicated things, create a tool or script (similar to the several which are linked to in this thread) which fixes them automatically.

Quote
I know it's not ideal, but having to later check the orientation of every package on the board isn't ideal either.

I think it's a good idea. If we have boards assembled by some other service, we usually have to trust their technicians to spot any incorrect rotations and fix them in their own pnp software which we cannot see.
 

Offline OwO

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1236
  • Country: cn
  • RF Engineer. Discord: https://discord.gg/SYZ4WwH9Z
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #257 on: June 27, 2020, 11:10:50 am »
I only ever use JLC SMT to place passives. It's useful for prototyping, but don't think about using it for production. You will never be able to get a design to use only JLC SMT parts, and even if you do they have trouble keeping those chips in stock anyway. What I do find useful is to design with passives on one side of the board and chips on the other side. That theoretically makes it possible to do small production runs, with JLC assembling one side and your home pnp machine doing the other side. That way you only need <20 feeders on your machine.
Discord: https://discord.gg/SYZ4WwH9Zu
Email: OwOwOwOwO123@outlook.com
GitHub: gabriel-tenma-white
 
The following users thanked this post: exe, SilverSolder, thinkfat

Offline JLCPCB Official

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Country: hk
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #258 on: June 30, 2020, 02:19:42 am »
One other thought ... the JLCPCB basic list of LCSC components incorporates part numbers and manufacturers that I wouldn't otherwise recognize. I find myself going back to specifications to select components. Where I would previously trust a manufacturer's reputation, I am now placing my trust in JLCPCB's selection of parts from LCSC. It would be worth good money to be able to get your company's product onto the basic 600 component list with the list constrained by physical numbers of pick and place machines on the assembly line. What a master stroke! Somewhat similar to paying for product placement on the supermarket shelves. The only catch is, if JLC puts up a dud component, it's reputation goes down the toilet.
Hello sir, can you tell me more about the meaning of your last sentence? I'm really sorry I didn't understand. Do you mean the components we provide are not good, or the way we run the SMT service is not good?
 

Offline WillTurner

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 16
  • Country: au
Trust in Biscuits
« Reply #259 on: June 30, 2020, 07:39:31 am »
Hi JLCPCB "Official"!

Firstly, I appreciate that JLCPCB takes an interest in forum discussions. I really appreciate what is being offered, and have no hesitation in recommending JLCPCB to others. JLCPCB should be proud of the innovative service being provided. I am also aware of cultural differences, as you should be too. Perhaps some things are best left to slide.

Nevertheless, in response to your "please explain", I think I pointed out something obvious from thinking about the assembly service with a beginners mind. The assembly process sets a limit on the number of basic components that are loaded permanently on the line. That number is approximately 600 components. Those components obviously need to cover the generic components needed in every design, a range of resistors, capacitors, etc that are the principal incentive for the user to submit a board for assembly and accordingly reduce the amount of hand assembly (or OwO's method of using two sides and perhaps another automated assembly process on the other side).

Again, to point out the obvious, we all develop a sense of trust in the vendors that we use. I think the supermarket analogy works well in this context. If I like Arnott's Monte Carlo's, I'm much more likely to try Arnott's new Chilli Blueberry Tim Tams. (No offense Arnott's, we like your products too  ;) ). In fact, looking behind the scenes, Arnott's probably employs a bunch of psychologists, marketing managers, product placement staff and the like to engage with the supermarket chains, get their product onto the shelves, and into the shoppers trolley.

Like the supermarket shelves, space for components in the "basic" list for JLCPCB PCBA is limited. That makes the space valuable.

So, say I like Sunsang MLCC capacitors. In fact, say I love them in X7R. Sadly, what if the 13pF 0906 capacitor isn't available, even though it is a common value :o. I might extend my circle of trust to an otherwise unknown vendor's component within the "basic" range. Even better, it might be in C0G. Next time, it won't matter so much, because I'll trust the new vendor just a bit more. They will have entered my circle. Strewth, I might even prefer the home brand gingernuts in time.

So, my basic point is that the supermarket shelf space is valuable, and the biscuit manufacturers are well advised to work hard to get their fine product front and center. It must be hard for a new biscuit company to get their product to be accepted. I'm guessing there would be a whole range of strategies, probably more than I care to spend time thinking about. Maybe a "special 3 month promotional, limited time offer, at a discount rate" would get that chilli-choco-treat into my basket on this weeks shop  >:D. But that treat from the new vendor had better be faultless (not a "dud"). If it ever falls short of my expectations, I'll probably not try the brand again. Maybe I'll bake bonza bikkies at home.

Trust is the valuable commodity, don't you think?

Edit: Sorry, too mean :wtf:. There is nothing wrong with the components, or the service.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 07:51:47 am by WillTurner »
 

Offline thinkfat

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1495
  • Country: de
    • Matthias' Hackerstübchen
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #260 on: June 30, 2020, 12:11:23 pm »
Why would Samsung fight to get a specific capacitor into the JLCPCB assembly line? Your analogy doesn't make a lot of sense, does it?
Everybody likes gadgets. Until they try to make them.
 

Offline eliocor

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 466
  • Country: it
    • rhodiatoce
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #261 on: June 30, 2020, 04:18:07 pm »
@WillTurner:
 Please remember that this is an international forum: your confused references to local food products cannot be easily understood (if at all) by the most part of people....
 
I also concur with thinkfat: "Your analogy[/analysis] doesn't make a lot of sense"
 

Offline phil from seattle

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 735
  • Country: us
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #262 on: June 30, 2020, 05:12:37 pm »
I agree the analogy is a bit strained but it's still clear - out of stock components force a person to use other, less well known, companys' components. For those companies, getting into the component library is important gaining broader recognition.

However, I believe JLC's library is small in the logistics area.  LCSC is far more important.  And getting the part designed into high volume products is key.
 

Offline nuclearcat

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 335
  • Country: lb
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #263 on: June 30, 2020, 09:45:10 pm »
Thats a point of cheap prototyping, you use what is available.
If you want something else, then seems it is time to use another service.
Extending your analogy - you can get cheap and quick Double Cheeseburger in fastfood chain, like McDonalds or Burger King, that might have meat sourced today on one farm, tomorrow on another one.
And if you want black angus meat sourced from Australia specific farm, even it is popular, thats quite a bit different cost and time.
(Don't take it as insult, JLC, your fastfood most healthy PCB fastfood i ever tried, i dont mind eating there daily :) )
P.S. I think after all this sanctions madness, corona disaster and predicted by @eevblog supply chain disruption - over, i am sure supply will be more stable.
 

Offline bitseeker

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8698
  • Country: us
  • Lots of engineer-tweakable parts inside!
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #264 on: July 01, 2020, 03:37:23 am »
Yeah, even Mouser is running out of stuff, which my friend and I haven't encountered prior to the virus.
I TEA.
 

Offline phil from seattle

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 735
  • Country: us
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #265 on: July 01, 2020, 05:32:50 am »
Yeah, even Mouser is running out of stuff, which my friend and I haven't encountered prior to the virus.

I dunno, availability has been an ongoing issue for every disti I've ever used in the last 20 years. Nothing new.
 

Offline WillTurner

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 16
  • Country: au
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #266 on: August 18, 2020, 07:52:16 am »
It seems to me that it's not that much more difficult to look at the EasyEDA footprint on the same page, and jot down the orientation. If necessary, I can then create a rotated KiCAD footprint to match. Won't that solve the problem?
<snip>
  Is this a reasonable approach or folly?

To answer my own question ... yes, this works, and is a good approach. I'm "in production", and submitted without any corrections to rotation.
 

Offline russdx

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 7
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #267 on: October 26, 2020, 09:36:48 am »
I used to use macroFab but recently there prices have gone CRAZY high plus seem to force you to order more then one board now so not so keen on them any more.

Placed an order with JLBPCB for some prototype boards and was happy with the process and price (had 2 rotate some chips), its very much like macrofab (just 100 times cheaper lol) There are two limitations though, you must use there parts lib (which is quite limited) and no through hole or even any connectors of any type. because of these two reasons id never be able to use them for a full x100/x500/x1000 production run which is a shame because the prices are fantastic.

I am hoping in the future they expand there parts lib or even let you use other parts on larger runs with a small setup sourcing fee etc.. I can probably replace most of my through hole parts with SMD so that's probably not a problem thinking about it.

So yeah allowing none stocked parts to be sourced for a small fee would be fantastic :) I hope this will come in the future.
 

Offline thinkfat

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1495
  • Country: de
    • Matthias' Hackerstübchen
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #268 on: October 26, 2020, 11:21:15 am »
I needed a lot of a LEDs placed. I tried out the assembly service, and ... game changer! They didn't have the shift register in stock, but not a huge chore to do by hand compared to hundreds of LEDs.

It's a little unfortunate the second row is perfectly spaced and the top shows some irregularity, but functionally all of the prototypes have no bridges - the 0603s are 1mm apart so there is .2mm space between each.

 :-+

[attachimg=1]

You could allow a little bit larger pull-back for the ground planes, makes life easier when routing the PCB outline...
Everybody likes gadgets. Until they try to make them.
 

Offline usagi

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 368
  • Country: us
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #269 on: October 27, 2020, 08:22:15 am »
Looks like JLCPCB doesn't support any FPC/FFC parts for assembly...  |O

Offline KlausKragelund

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
  • Country: dk
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #270 on: December 01, 2020, 10:30:29 am »
I am reviewing Altium, and like very much the JLC manufactoring service

I found a 2 year old Altium library, but a lot of the parts from LCSC is missing

Right now I use SnapEDA to find the parts, but that takes time and could be error prone

Is there a newer/updated Altium library?


 

Offline SMTech

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 542
  • Country: gb
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #271 on: December 01, 2020, 12:54:38 pm »
Looks like JLCPCB doesn't support any FPC/FFC parts for assembly...  |O

My experience with these connector types leads me not to blame them. Matching the vision systems version of component center with whatever the CAD/Designer library/footprint has defined as center with a location on the PCB is often a total crapshoot and usually requires me to make significant tweaks to make all those things line up. When we want an FPC connector on a board its often because a 3rd party part requires it which means you have to use the compatible socket which in turn makes JLC job of choosing a generic and popular one basically impossible. On top of that FPC connectors are lane hungry, one part is going to want space on the machine that would otherwise take 3-6 parts. At some point if you want bespoke contract manufacturing you need to pay for it.
 

Offline VEGETA

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1437
  • Country: jo
  • I am the cult of personality
    • Thundertronics
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #272 on: December 01, 2020, 01:49:37 pm »
Does other manufacturers offer the same cheap assembly service as JLCPCB?? I read somewhere that some of them started doing so.

Offline MarkR42

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 98
  • Country: gb
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #273 on: December 01, 2020, 09:30:11 pm »
Does other manufacturers offer the same cheap assembly service as JLCPCB?? I read somewhere that some of them started doing so.

Not that I have found. Also not with the same level of workflow integration / automation.

Turnkey (low-volume) assembly from other companies is very different from what JLC offer: there is a lot more human interaction involved. The quotes are less algorithmic. The process is much more manual and quite a lot of trust required that the engineering drawings/ diagrams / placement files etc, are sufficient to correctly assemble boards. They will take the BOM and try to get the parts (or possibly equivalents) from their suppliers, and give a quote. Mostly they get competitive quotes, sometimes not, you have to check and query if they give uncompetitive parts rates.

I think the biggest value of what JLC are offering is a highly automated review scheme which allows checking the part orientation, placement etc. The biggest problem is that their parts library is limited (as others have pointed out - they do not have ANY connectors) and often runs out of stock of vital parts. So you could get an excellent deal on assembly one month, and have no parts available next month.

If JLC can't do what you want, I'd encourage you to check other assemblers, there will be less automation but I've noticed they do like to give quotes very quickly. All responses I have had have been < 1 business day.
 

Offline c64

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 139
  • Country: au
Re: JLC PCB Prototype Assembly - Incredibly Cheap
« Reply #274 on: December 02, 2020, 01:22:37 am »
Does other manufacturers offer the same cheap assembly service as JLCPCB?? I read somewhere that some of them started doing so.
Unlikely. JLC can do it because they have integration with LCSC. I don't know any other pcb / assembly companies who also sell parts.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf