Low Cost PCB Prototype and Assembly with PCBWay

Low Cost PCB Prototype and Assembly with PCBWay

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Are you an electronic engineer? Do you run an electronic company and would like to build your own boards? Are you an electronic student? Or do you just like to play with electronic components with breadboard for your prototypes? Sooner or later you will want to take those hand built on breadboard designs to a more robust and elegant Printed Circuit Board or PCB platform.

Figure 1: A Printed Circuit Board

In any electronic design, the Printed Circuit Board or PCB is one of the most crucial parts with its quality affecting the overall quality of all these devices. For rapid prototyping or for commercial products it’s always a must to use specialized reputable PCB manufacturer instead of doing it yourself.

When ordering the boards, the cost is directly related to speed and quantity. The sooner you want your boards, the more expensive they might cost you, also the more the number of boards you order, the cheaper they will become.

There are many PCB manufacturing companies in the world that can make you good quality boards, but to find a company that can produce cheap boards of high quality on small order because the first batch of any project will likely be of small quantity and only after you have tested successfully everything and you are happy it performs all its functions as required then you can order boards at high quantity at much small unit cost.

Time is also very precious for prototyping, so the delivery time must be relatively short. This is where PCBWay comes in.

Why PCBWay?

PCBWay.com is a China Shenzhen-based manufacturer specializing in PCB prototyping, small-volume production and PCB Assembly service all under one roof with more than a decade experience. They offer quick turnaround PCBs at a very budgetary price. Thousand of engineers, students and hobbyists are using their PCBs for their daily work and study.

This arrangement makes your R&D work easy and time-saving. Fulfilling hundreds of orders daily from around the world, they have established themselves as the leading supplier of PCB and PCBA services with consistent quality and excellent services.

1.Easy to place an order

Figure 2: Instant Quote

From PCBWay  home page: https://www.pcbway.com/ ,you can use the free online quote system to get your price instantly and immediately after you input a few parameters online. You’ll need first to create an account with them for free by clicking on the “Join” on top right corner as shown on figure 2 above.

If you prefer the traditional way, you can still request a quotation by sending an email to service@PCBWay.com and a service person will quote within 24 hours, do not forget to enclose your Gerber files and all other necessary files for PCB quotation

Figure 3: Order Process

From the time you place an order to delivery of your PCBs, these are the steps that unfold:

  • Step 1: Online Quote: Click the the service type you want. Example: PCB. Select and fill in specifications, click the “Calculate” button to continue. If desired, you can also order “SMD-Stencil” and “Assembly Service” together with the PCB order. Click the “Calculate” button to continue.

Choose the build time and shipping methods. The normal build time is between 2-3 days, but  you can select Express if your boards are urgent and can be built in 24Hrs.

After specifying the PCB specification, click on “Add to Cart”. If you haven’t logged in yet, the system will require you to log in or create an account for free.

  • Step 2: Attach Your Gerber Files: The next step is to attach the PCB Gerber files
  • Step 3: Order review: Their engineer will review your Gerber files for manufacturability before you even pay. If there is something wrong, they will let you know.
  • Step 4: Payment: Select the “Awaiting Payment” menu, check the “Pass, Payment” status of the order, and then proceed to checkout
  • Step 5: Fabrication: If the order is paid on or before 8:30 GMT, the factory can start fabrication the same day immediately. During the production time, you can find the process of production through the “Production Status” menu
  • Step 6: Delivery: Depending on the delivery method selected, and your country of residence, the delivery can take from  3 to 7 business days from some fast couriers company, 15-30 business days from Hong kong Post and 20-45 days from China Post Air Mail. There are many delivery options to choose from depending on your location and required. For large volume you can arrange with PCBWay.com, to ship via air, sea/air combined when necessary.
  • Step 7: Confirmed received: The last step is you to confirm whether you received your order as expected. If you are not satisfied with the product you received, contact your sales-rep or after-sales team (feedback@pcbway.com) to agree on a solution or you can apply for a refund by opening a dispute.

To learn more in details please read the page: How do I place an order?

2. Best Value

PCBWay.com is a China Shenzhen-based PCB manufacturer and PCB assembler a place that has been for decades the world’s center of electronics R&D and manufacturing. They are not a broker, so by skipping all the middle companies and ordering directly form the manufacturer you will get best value for your money.

The pricing structure is transparent and has no hidden cost in it. Even many price-sensitive customers like students and hobbyists largely rely on them for their PCB prototype, low-volume fabrication and assembly needs You can order 10 standard 100 mm x 100 mm 1 or 2 layers PCBs of great quality from as little as $5.

This is basically $0.5 per board and what is even great when you open a new account for free with them, they will give you $5 of bonus.

So basically you can order your first 10 PCBs for free with them. You just have to pay for your courier.

If you want to assemble your SMT boards at a lower price,  PCBWay.com  has dropped the assembly price to $88 for 10pcs.

3. PCB & PCBA Under One Roof

PCBWay.com also offers Assembly service for the PCB customers. The online pricing software can instantly quote for the PCB Assembly service, though a rough calculation, you can still have some idea of the real cost which helps you decide to use our service, as the PCBA prices are as competitive as the PCBs. They have accumulated lots of reliable and competitive parts suppliers in the world to ensure the quality and cost of your parts sourcing. All the jobs can be done under one roof, either SMT, Thru-hole or Hybrid!

4. Quality Assurance

At PCBWay.com, all the boards go through the most stringent tests other than the basic visual check. They adopt most of the testing and inspecting equipment used in the industry, such as Flying Probe Tester, X-Ray Inspection Machine, Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) Machine.

5. Capabilities

The list of their capabilities is very long, here are a few we have selected:

PCB Capabilities:

  • PCB, PCB assembly, SMD stencils and even Flexible PCBs
  • Number of Layers: 1-14 layers
  • Maximum PCB Size(Dimension): 500×1100 mm. Any sizes beyond this dimension, you can contact them.
  • Board Thickness: 0.4-2.4mm
  • Min Trace: 0.1mm/4mil
  • Drill Sizes (CNC): 0.2-6.3mm
  • Surface Finishing: HASL with lead, HASL lead free, Immersion gold
  • Solder Mask:  Green ,Red, Yellow, Blue, White ,Black. No extra charge for Green, Red, Yellow, Blue.
  • Silkscreen White, Black, None . No extra charge.

PCB Assembly Capabilities:

  • Parts Source: Consigned/kitted, Turn-key, Partial Turn-key/Combo
  • Assembly Options: Surface Mount (SMT), Thru-Hole (THT) and hybrid of both. They also offer single or double-sided placement.
  • Stencils: They use laser cut stainless steel stencils to ensure high reliability for fine pitch and BGA components. Nano coating is available upon request.
  • Component Package: They accept parts in Reels, Cut Tape, Tube & Tray, Loose Parts and Bulk.
  • Board Dimension: Min Board Size: 50mm x 100mm (Boards smaller than this size need to be panelized)
    Max Board Size: 250mm x 500mm

For a full list and more details of their capabilities, please read the page: PCBWay PCBA Capabilities

6. Low Minimums

The first batch of any project will likely be of small quantity and only after you have tested successfully everything and you are happy it performs all its functions as required then you can order boards at high quantity, there is no need for you to buy boards that you will never use. As a specialist in PCB prototyping, small-volume production and PCB Assembly service, with PCBWay.com  you can order as little as 5 PCBs.

7. Free DFM

This is also one of PCBWay unique features, their engineers will review your Gerber files for manufacturability before you even pay. If there is something wrong, they will let you know. The review can take from 10 mins to 1 hour

8. Fast Turnarounds 

If urgency is what you are looking for and can’t wait for the normal build time of 2-3 days, you can select the Express that can be as fast as 24 hours.

9. On-time Shipping

Through the years they are proud of been keeping an on-time delivery rate of 99%. They work in three shifts to make sure your PCBs will be on your desk as scheduled and as early as possible. You may choose DHL and other courier services for the balance of speed and budget. They only use services from dependable and reputable companies.

10. Return and Refund

Dissatisfaction does occur from time to time. In case the PCB or assembled boards are not usable due to their fault, you can ask for compensation. They can refund to your account directly or credit your PCBWay account, these credits are available to pay for your next orders. They can also rework the unusable boards or re-fabricate your PCB and re-ship to you at their cost.

11. 24 hours Customer Service

Whenever you have any problems, you can always reach a live customer service person to respond to your emails or messages. Their service people will follow your orders from the time you submit your Gerber file to the minute you receive your PCB and assembled PCBs in a satisfactory mood.

12. Free PCB for students

PCBWay.com run a diverse sponsorship program, like the Educational PCB Program. If you are an engineering student at university or at High School, you can get free PCBs.

They now offer sponsorship for student’s projects. For university/college students and teachers, all you need to do is to register with your email address of university/college domain; for high school students, register with your email address, and use your high school address as shipping address. Please send a few details such as your student ID, the nature of your projects, and other necessary supporting materials to sponsor@PCBWay.com for the sponsorship code. They will check the details of your request and send you the coupon code via email in 24 hours. You can use the code at checkout. You will just has to pay for your shipping cost.

For PCB Assembly Service, though not free, they will offer you big discount on the PCB Assembly Services for students and teachers.

For future orders, they will still offer you 10-15% discount on future orders from teachers and students. This covers the PCBs for classroom projects, team or club projects and all kinds of students’ competitions.

13. Referral Program

You will gain $20 discount coupon when you propose one person registration , the award will be available when your friend book an order successfully in PCBWay.com. You will also earn 10% of what they (1st order) spends cash.
your friend will also get $5 coupon when registers in PCBWay.

So what are you waiting for? Go to Invite a Friend page and send an invitation to your friends and get $20 coupon.

What are you waiting for? Go to PCBWay.com website and order 10 PCBs for free from your $5 free welcome bonus and test their great quality boards. 

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