Electronics > Manufacturing & Assembly

USA Based PCBs with competitive prices to China????.........

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 floobydust, Was this a 2 layer, or a multilayer?
As you know, on multilayer, type of prepreg and core is always specifiied so the amoutn of resin is driven somewhat by the density of the fibreglass mat used

Customer service is expensive.  If you have a CAM operator review and e-mail you about a problem with your board, and they spend 10 minutes of their $30/hr time with you, that's $5 already gone just to look at your board.   Got pre-sales or order handling questions?  Add another $5 or $10 answering customer questions...

That impact of labor costs goes down with improved automation, and Chinese shops generally have better quoting/ordering automation.  US companies are structurally at a disadvantage because the costs are higher.  There's no incentive to lower their prices as long as they get enough business from domestic clients willing to pay higher prices either because they have to (contract/regulations) or because they prefer domestic service.


--- Quote from: ccmfab on February 22, 2024, 07:10:36 pm ---Great! If you run into any issues along the way, feel free to reach out to me directly (my last name at macrofab.com) and I'll make sure we do everything in our power to make you successful.

@bob - I'll take a look and follow up with you.


--- End quote ---

Hey Chris.
I took a look at Macrofab.  One of my partners would absolutely love the concept of what it looks like you are doing.  He's all about bringing separate, sometimes confusing and convoluted, processes together under one software interface and streamlining that so someone who isn't necessarily an expert can navigate that space. 

I have a question though.
I've been designing and manufacturing electronics products for some time now.  I have, in my opinion, smoothly working processes in place to handle purchasing boards, components, and assembly from separate companies.  I do my own purchasing, kitting, and inventory for parts and do mostly runs of around 1000 pieces at local CM assembly shops. 
My question is:  How do you think someone like me might benefit from something like Macrofab?  Do you have examples of products transitioning from successful inhouse builds to Macrofab and saving the company money, or are your customers primarily people that don't have confidence navigating all the parts of the process on their own?

Hi Smokey,

It sounds like you have a well-orchestrated process that is meeting your needs, and likely netting you some excellent savings versus traditional turnkey manufacturing. If you aren't experiencing any issues, then there may be no clear benefits to using someone like us.

Our most successful customers are those that have a diverse catalog of products with different manufacturing requirements/volumes and are looking to reduce their management overhead of working with a stable of manufacturers and to create materials savings across products without having to fully manage their own supply chains.  We do have companies that have moved entire in-house manufacturing processes to us, netting them significant savings, but these were larger companies, with larger-scale products transitioning out of owned factories where most, if not all, elements were built in-house.  (In many ways, yes, this is the traditional contract manufacturing process.)

One way that we've been able to help a number of smaller companies who wished to manage more of their own supply chain, while taking advantage of turnkey where it didn't provide a financial benefit or one around material availability issues, is to utilize us as the central clearing house for their materials to our network of factories. 

We do help customers reduce their labor and cost overhead related to shipping, storing, and auditing owned/consigned materials. Our platform supports customers shipping owned inventory to our warehouses, and then consuming those materials on-demand either mixed with turnkey materials or not, and reducing the effort required to store, maintain, kit, and ship those materials.  Then, they can make decisions on the fly whether to use owned materials or turnkey materials for a given build.  For example - during times when a component is readily available, using turnkey through our platform to maintain a buffer stock of owned components, then when pricing or availability changes, switching to consuming owned materials without additional effort required.  (It's a drop-down in our platform, and we support dynamic sourcing profiles that can be saved for individual products.)  We then handle all of the kitting, getting materials the factory, and then reporting on consumption at the end.

That may or may not be something of use to you, but it's one of the capabilities that some of our customers have found useful to reduce their workload when doing materials management themselves.

Directly saving money on the COGS/contract price per product build is often not achieved by turning over manufacturing to our platform if you're already fully managing the supply chain in-house, but net actual costs often decrease due to lower untracked labor and management overhead, not to mention the opportunity cost associated with managing materials ones self.

S. Petrukhin:

--- Quote from: rea5245 on February 22, 2024, 01:26:49 am ---At the risk of introducing politics, I think the American PCB manufacturing situation highlights how the problem goes far beyond anything tariffs could fix. The price difference between China and US manufacturers is so great that 10% or even 60% tariffs would not help. You would need tariffs of a few hundred percent, and that would just crash electronics development in the US.

--- End quote ---

It seems that this is typical not only for the United States, but also for all other countries.
You don't have employees who are willing to work meekly without vacations and other benefits, for example.

Therefore, it is expensive because it is not mass production, but it is not mass production because it is expensive - the circle closes.
Investments are needed to break the circle and offer an initial low price, incurring a loss, but attract mass production in the future.
Investors probably don't see a chance to compete with China.

But more often than not, manufacturers live on expensive defense industry orders with a PCB price equal to the price of a cast-iron bridge.


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