Author Topic: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house  (Read 6209 times)

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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« on: August 07, 2015, 06:22:09 pm »
I have a potential new project to be installed Hong Kong, PCBs and some parts will be coming from China, so seems insane to ship to the UK, pay VAT, pay UK assembly costs (+VAT) and ship back again....

The part to be manufactured is a 15x175mm LED strip, standard 1.6mm PCB, all SMD, 3 LEDs on one side, 17 parts on the other. Nothing fancy, finest pitch 0.65mm.  We will arrange supply of critical parts, including preprogrammed PICs.
Quanity will be about 18K strips in one batch, and turnround for PCB+assembly needs to be about 6 weeks.
Assembled boards to be delivered as panels, though we may investigate getting final assembly done there if we find someone we get good vibes about.

We are not looking for a rock-bottom price - even if the assembly cost is the same as in the UK it would still be worth it. Reliability, good communication and good attitude are the most important factors - we have an immovable deadline and only one chance to get it right!

I'm looking for recommendations from anyone who has recently/regularly  used an assembly house in SZ or HK for comparable jobs that they'd be happy to recommend.

Please PM.



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Offline Korken

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2015, 06:57:31 am »
I usually go to PCBCart first, fast and good service.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2015, 08:50:24 am »
I usually go to PCBCart first, fast and good service.
I've only ever used them for bare PCBs  - What sort of jobs have you had them assemble ?
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Online nctnico

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2015, 03:42:34 pm »
I wouldn't take a chance with an unknown supplier if you only have 6 weeks and a solid deadline.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2015, 05:06:25 pm »
I wouldn't take a chance with an unknown supplier if you only have 6 weeks and a solid deadline.
..which is exactly why I'm looking for recommendations....
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Online nctnico

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2015, 08:08:54 pm »
Even then it is a total shot in the dark. You don't know whether the assembler has a good relation with all customers and delivers on time always or mostly and what kind of volume they can handle themselves (what if they outsource doing 18k boards?). I'd go with an assembler I know inside out.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2015, 08:39:49 pm »
. I'd go with an assembler I know inside out.
Normally so would I, but it seems pretty insane to ship 150-odd kilos of bare PCBs and parts to the UK, pay VAT & duty, assemble here & pay VAT on that, then ship it all back to just down the road from where they came from, and not be able reclaim the VAT.
It's a very straightforward job that any competent assembly house ought to do with ease. We're not looking for the lowest price, so it must be possible to find someone reliable.

Using a local inspection  company like http://www.asiainspection.com/ might be an option.



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Offline MagicSmoker

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2015, 09:08:20 pm »
Yeah, I strongly agree with nctnico on this one. Just because someone else has had a good experience with a Chinese/HK assembler doesn't mean *you* will.

That said, if you can actually be in Hong Kong to supervise things you will get a vastly better outcome with almost any contract manufacturer in that region that isn't operating in some back alley or public market. Call it a cultural difference where the Chinese contract assemblers tend to give your work the same level of respect and priority that you give it, at least on the first few jobs, anyway. [edit: by which I mean you have to really ride herd on them, as we Yanks say, for the first few jobs, then when you both have an established working relationship you can more or less trust them]
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 09:10:53 pm by MagicSmoker »
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2015, 09:13:59 pm »
I did point out to my client that the cost savings would probably easily cover the cost of someone going out there  ;)
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Online nctnico

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2015, 10:08:46 pm »
I don't understand the 'not being able to claim VAT back' part. And why do the PCBs need to be made in Asia? There are several PCB factories in Europe. With the schedule you have you -literally- need to sit on top of things in order to spot the earliest indication of delay. An assembler will just sit back and relax while waiting for parts to arrive tomorrow, next week, next month...
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2015, 11:12:12 pm »
I don't understand the 'not being able to claim VAT back' part.
Anything that comes into the UK, or services performed in the UK are subject to 20% VAT.
However if exporting outside the UK, this can't be recouped, so effectively our HK end-client is paying 20% more for all goods and services, and at least some of the shipping if we assemble in the UK.
 
Quote
And why do the PCBs need to be made in Asia?

It is usually significantly cheaper, even after shipping, though I haven't yet done a recent comparison on this sort of volume.

When this started I said we should do everything in the UK, as it's a known process with people we know. We may yet do so - I'm waiting for some UK assembly quotes to come back.

However it does seem somewhat inefficient to be shipping stuff halfway round the world, twice, when  there is undoubtedly the capability locally, it's just a matter of finding it.
Especially as it isn't a complicated job - literally any place that's properly set up for SMD assembly could do it.





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Online nctnico

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2015, 11:30:51 pm »
I don't understand the 'not being able to claim VAT back' part.
Anything that comes into the UK, or services performed in the UK are subject to 20% VAT.
However if exporting outside the UK, this can't be recouped, so effectively our HK end-client is paying 20% more for all goods and services, and at least some of the shipping if we assemble in the UK.
That is weird. If I sell something to the US I put no VAT on the invoice and declare I sold X amount to outside the EU to the 'tax collector'. I'm quite sure they have a similar arrangement in the UK. How about tax free shopping in the UK? Tourists from outside the EU can shop in the UK without paying VAT so for sure you can sell something to an HK based company without having the charge VAT. What the government is mostly worried about is that the goods actually get exported. https://www.gov.uk/international-trade-paperwork-the-basics

Regarding getting the boards produced: I'd wait for the local guys to come up with a quote. Chances are they outsource to other companies due to the volume and short time span.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline TopLoser

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2015, 11:31:07 pm »
I don't understand the 'not being able to claim VAT back' part.
Anything that comes into the UK, or services performed in the UK are subject to 20% VAT.
However if exporting outside the UK, this can't be recouped, so effectively our HK end-client is paying 20% more for all goods and services, and at least some of the shipping if we assemble in the UK.
 
Triangulation is the key word here I think, but i'm not sure it applies with stuff supplied from outside the EU.

EDIT: reclaim it and supply zero rated, I can't see any issue at all other thsn shipping costs of 150Kg of crap (no offense!)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 11:35:44 pm by TopLoser »
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2015, 11:38:16 pm »
Another option may be to talk to some of the UK subcontractors that have Far-East operations, or have good manufacturing contacts there that they use regularly, as at least then the Far-East people will be dealing with people who are giving them repeat business.
Even if we end up paying UK equivalent pricing for the assembly, savings on shipping, and time saved could be worthwhile.



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Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
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Offline TopLoser

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2015, 11:41:23 pm »
I had had an issue buying crap from Spain, importing into the UK, and then selling the same crap back into Spain integrated into a bigger system. I was told I had to become VAT registered in Spain to be able to reclaim the VAT on the import because of triangulation. Doesn't apply for supplies from outside the EU.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2015, 12:04:36 am »
They should have send you the goods with a zero tax invoice from Spain. Triangulation occurs when there is only one transport and therefore goods don't go through the country of the importer/exporter. That doesn't seem to be the case if the goods go from Spain to the UK and from the UK back to Spain. One transport for the import and one transport for the export. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/vatposgmanual/vatposg3830.htm

BTW it is possible to reclaim the VAT from Spain (or any EU country) if you pay VAT (for example buy something for your company in a shop). However it is a painfull process and your type of company should have some resemblance with the type of goods you want to reclaim VAT for.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline TopLoser

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2015, 01:34:48 am »
That sounds right now... It was a Kawasaki robot being bought from Japan. I wanted it shipped directly from Japan to me in the UK and then I would ship it to Spain. In the end it had to be shipped to Spain, imported to the UK and then exported back to Spain.

I recall lots of false paperwork being generated...
 

Offline that_guy

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2015, 05:05:53 pm »
Mike, did you ever do this? I could be in a similar situation soon and PCBA reviews seem to be scarce on the net.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Looking for recommendations for SZ/HK assembly house
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2015, 05:13:06 pm »
Yes- going ahead about now. For safety (hopefully) we're using a UK based company, Corintech, who have an office with an English guy in HK. One reason was that we also needed some cable assemblies sourcing.
Cost was a little higher than a Chinese place I contacted direct via a recommendation.
Things looking OK so far, a few minor issues like the first PCB sample omitting some ratbite holes as I'd put tracks across them for on-panel testing.
Fingers crossed....


Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
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