Author Topic: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada  (Read 1372 times)

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Offline MudAndSnow

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Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« on: October 30, 2018, 06:41:14 pm »
Hello,
I am in Western Canada and looking for good somewhat local options to have my boards made.

Layers: 6
Finest pitch: 0.4mm 48QFN
Highest frequency: 8GHz
Impedance controlled.
Finish: silver or ENIG
Quantity: 10-100
Lead time: Fast

Thanks for any suggestions of who to use or where to look.

 

Offline rea5245

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2018, 07:28:28 pm »
AP Circuits (apcircuits.com), Bittele (https://www.7pcb.com), and Omni Circuit Boards (https://www.omnicircuitboards.com) are in Canada. There are several manufacturers in the US, which is local compared to China. Many of these companies have factories in North America but can also send your order out to a Chinese factory. If it's important to you, make sure you know which service you're buying.

My site, PCBShopper.com, can instantly give you price quotes from several of these North American manufacturers, as well as Chinese manufacturers.

- Bob Alexander
  PCBShopper.com
 

Offline mbest

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2018, 07:38:11 pm »
 

Offline MudAndSnow

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 07:52:43 pm »
Thank you for your replies.  I checked out the websites.  There are a lot of options.  I am hoping someone who's been through a bunch of the options can recommend a good one with high quality, reasonable cost and short lead time.

 

Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2018, 08:07:41 pm »
I have never used Canadian manufacturers. If you only need PCB, Chinese can give you fast turnaround. PCBA requires sourcing parts, thus it's very different from PCB.

 

Offline floobydust

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2018, 08:28:30 pm »
PCB fab and PCB stuffing/assembly are two different things.

If you have an 8GHz design, the laminate choice is very important for predictable Dk.
So I manage PCB fab separately from PCB assembly, because otherwise the PCB assembler sources the wrong PCB (laminate) and it's a disaster when you find out the hard way the PCB's are not going to work.

Out west, Canadian Circuits Inc. do good work. I have used Omni Circuit boards and never tried Surtek.

All this depends on your volumes, and what province you are in.
I end up going out East to Ontario/Quebec for PCB's as the industry there seems better for price and quality.
Insist on an independently-assessed ISO 9000 quality system being in place.
 

Offline rea5245

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2018, 08:36:51 pm »
"high quality, reasonable cost and short lead time": Pick two.  ;)

All of these are subjective. If you're a hobbyist tinkering with Arduinos or similar level technology, any cheap PCB manufacturer who hasn't gone out of business yet can easily meet your needs. If you're a military contractor working on satellite-killing space lasers, it's a whole different ball game.

- Bob

 
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Offline aandrew

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2018, 08:43:44 pm »
AP Circuits has been around forever and does 2 layer locally. I believe they farm out their 4L and funny stuff to the US. They were my first board house but frankly I got sick and tired of the 1980s-style ordering process. Maybe that has changed in the last 5 years.

My current board house is PCB Ultimate Vision in Cambridge, Ontario, very close to where I live. They also do 2L in house but their higher tech stuff is done in one of their European factories. I currently have a 6L, blind via, impedance controlled, super thin (3mil) prepreg design being done with them. Prices are decent and I like how Cynthia Long works with me to help get things not just built, but assembled.

I recently quoted this same panel to Multech, a manufacturer in China which specializes in fancy stuff (blind/buried, thin prepreg, impedance-controlled, etc., etc.) and comes highly recommended, but their price *doubled* when I added a 5th, low-tech board to the panel without much of an explanation. PCBUV didn't bat an eye, price went up something like $75 due to panel area change, but that was it.

The only thing I can recommend is *not* to go to their website. I'm not sure who's idea it was to get someone's 12 year old web guru to design their site, but daaaaaaamn, it's awful.
 

Offline MudAndSnow

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2018, 09:04:34 pm »
I have never used Canadian manufacturers. If you only need PCB, Chinese can give you fast turnaround. PCBA requires sourcing parts, thus it's very different from PCB.

We currently use Enigma for PCB and Dorigo for PCBA.  They work well together and have been good so far but now that our next build time is double what my boss wants, I am looking for other options.

I have been sourcing my own parts from DK.  When reading this forum, I saw people warning against turnkey (PCBA sourcing parts) because they might give you recycled or counterfeit parts.  Perhaps that is a discussion for another thread.
 

Offline MudAndSnow

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2018, 09:09:30 pm »
PCB fab and PCB stuffing/assembly are two different things.

If you have an 8GHz design, the laminate choice is very important for predictable Dk.
So I manage PCB fab separately from PCB assembly, because otherwise the PCB assembler sources the wrong PCB (laminate) and it's a disaster when you find out the hard way the PCB's are not going to work.

Out west, Canadian Circuits Inc. do good work. I have used Omni Circuit boards and never tried Surtek.

All this depends on your volumes, and what province you are in.
I end up going out East to Ontario/Quebec for PCB's as the industry there seems better for price and quality.
Insist on an independently-assessed ISO 9000 quality system being in place.

Thank you for the recommendations.  I would prefer using one company for both PCB and PCBA but I am open to using different houses for PCB and PCBA.

Right now we are at quantity 10 to 100, beta phase.  Not a good time to cheap out, we want high quality.

We are in BC.  Out East doesn't seem like a big deal compared to crossing international borders.
 

Offline MudAndSnow

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2018, 09:12:21 pm »
"high quality, reasonable cost and short lead time": Pick two.  ;)

All of these are subjective. If you're a hobbyist tinkering with Arduinos or similar level technology, any cheap PCB manufacturer who hasn't gone out of business yet can easily meet your needs. If you're a military contractor working on satellite-killing space lasers, it's a whole different ball game.

- Bob

Haha yes, I was careful to say 'reasonable cost' not 'low cost'.

This is for work with a cutting edge technology with lots of time being spent on development.  Cheap boards could cost us much more than they save.  I argue against the short lead time requirement but I rarely succeed when telling bosses to be patient.
 

Offline MudAndSnow

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2018, 09:16:29 pm »
AP Circuits has been around forever and does 2 layer locally. I believe they farm out their 4L and funny stuff to the US. They were my first board house but frankly I got sick and tired of the 1980s-style ordering process. Maybe that has changed in the last 5 years.

My current board house is PCB Ultimate Vision in Cambridge, Ontario, very close to where I live. They also do 2L in house but their higher tech stuff is done in one of their European factories. I currently have a 6L, blind via, impedance controlled, super thin (3mil) prepreg design being done with them. Prices are decent and I like how Cynthia Long works with me to help get things not just built, but assembled.

I recently quoted this same panel to Multech, a manufacturer in China which specializes in fancy stuff (blind/buried, thin prepreg, impedance-controlled, etc., etc.) and comes highly recommended, but their price *doubled* when I added a 5th, low-tech board to the panel without much of an explanation. PCBUV didn't bat an eye, price went up something like $75 due to panel area change, but that was it.

The only thing I can recommend is *not* to go to their website. I'm not sure who's idea it was to get someone's 12 year old web guru to design their site, but daaaaaaamn, it's awful.

Thank you for the recommendation.  That sounds like quite the board.  I managed to avoid blind/buried and thin but we are 8GHz and impedance-controlled so I do want a place that can handle that.

I use AP Circuits a lot for very fast, very simple boards.  They've always been great and their website did get a recent update.  It is still fairly basic but they seem to pass the website cost savings on to customers so I'm not complaining.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2018, 09:54:54 pm »
Thank you for the recommendations.  I would prefer using one company for both PCB and PCBA but I am open to using different houses for PCB and PCBA.

Right now we are at quantity 10 to 100, beta phase.  Not a good time to cheap out, we want high quality.

We are in BC.  Out East doesn't seem like a big deal compared to crossing international borders.

Good luck finding that, not sure why it would matter though. We use Creation assembly (burnaby) and they farm the PCBs out to China.
 

Offline MudAndSnow

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2018, 10:30:17 pm »
Thank you for the recommendations.  I would prefer using one company for both PCB and PCBA but I am open to using different houses for PCB and PCBA.

Right now we are at quantity 10 to 100, beta phase.  Not a good time to cheap out, we want high quality.

We are in BC.  Out East doesn't seem like a big deal compared to crossing international borders.

Good luck finding that, not sure why it would matter though. We use Creation assembly (burnaby) and they farm the PCBs out to China.

Thank you for the recommendation.  I wasn't very clear.  What I meant was I would prefer to have 1 point of contact.  Less emails, documents, and payments and more chance the PCBs will fit in the PCBA's machines without me having to be middle man.  If the company I contact farms out the PCB or PCBA that is acceptable as long as it is good quality.
 
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Offline mrpackethead

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2018, 01:23:23 am »
AP Circuits (apcircuits.com), Bittele (https://www.7pcb.com), and Omni Circuit Boards (https://www.omnicircuitboards.com) are in Canada. There are several manufacturers in the US, which is local compared to China. Many of these companies have factories in North America but can also send your order out to a Chinese factory. If it's important to you, make sure you know which service you're buying.

My site, PCBShopper.com, can instantly give you price quotes from several of these North American manufacturers, as well as Chinese manufacturers.

- Bob Alexander
  PCBShopper.com

Do you get click through revenue for the pcb fabs?
On a quest to find increasingly complicated ways to blink things
 

Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Recommendations for good PCB and PCBA in or near Canada
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2018, 01:50:12 am »
I have been sourcing my own parts from DK.  When reading this forum, I saw people warning against turnkey (PCBA sourcing parts) because they might give you recycled or counterfeit parts.  Perhaps that is a discussion for another thread.

DK can ship directly to your manufacturer in China. Shipping is cheap. It works reasonably well and their US dollar prices are a little bit better than Canadian. However, relying on Chinese customs may not be a good idea if you want very quick turnaround.
 


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