Any experience with PCB build/soldering services?

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kiriba-ru's picture
Last seen: 2 days 10 hours ago
Joined: 01/17/2016 - 02:34
Posts: 2140
Location: Russia
Any experience with PCB build/soldering services?

Since last year I’ve been a part of one small startup team which did some r&d in food robotics and seemed to be ready to grow up. We did most work locally, but had supplies from worldwide.
All know what have happened next. Now we are several engineers from different areas, with very small chances to meet in one place. We don’t give up and trying to continue work in such conditions.

Disclaimer: I’m not an electronic engineer, I have degree as automotive electrician but this is not enough for developing modern microelectronics projects. It just happened that I was the most suitable person to communicate between pcbs developers (outsourced) and pcb solder guys (outsourced).

We’ve got some experience with developing and it there was various bugs due to contrafactum parts and bad soldering.
Today, company is going to make final assembly in CA, and this does not leave any room for such issues.

So, I need some advices about pcbs soldering services. We need several 2-4 layers pcb with some not easy to find components (like st mcs). Current order is 5pcs/each, after 10-15pcs.
I’m still skeptical about this idea. In my mind, building pcb with soldering is good offer (for implementor) if customer have thousands needs. And if someone is ready to make 5, they are probably not the most reliable vendor?

Any experience with Chinese online services like pcbway? I’ve read some feedback that final cost for assembled board is comparable with more reputable EU vendors, is that true? What’s the probability to meet a non-working part from their stock? Many people here are repairing gadgets using aliexpress parts and this is always a roulette.

Maybe there is some US-based service (like oshpark, but with soldering services) that can make such small batches? With direct supplies from digikey, arrow and zero riscs of meeting garbage component.

Much appreciate any suggest,

Last seen: 2 hours 32 min ago
Joined: 09/11/2021 - 19:32
Posts: 145
Location: United States

I have no experience with them, but JLCPCB has options to source and specify parts from mouser, digikey, arrow, etc.

Last seen: 1 hour 28 min ago
Joined: 12/08/2017 - 16:46
Posts: 387
Location: Riverside, CA

When I was doing laser stuff, I designed a few DAC boards and used a couple different services:
Sunstone circuits
Express PCB

Both have software on their site that you can use, but if I remember right they can also import some standard CAD and other formats if you already have some layouts. Of course, the more complex your board (layers, size, etc.) the more costly.

I guess I should mention that this was just for the board only, not for full assembly with components soldered/mounted, if that’s what you were asking for…

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