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Printed circuit board assembly - frequently asked questions

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What do I need to supply to obtain a quotation for PCB assembly?

All we need is a bill of materials (BOM) detailing the components to be fitted to the printed circuit board with either manufacturers parts numbers or  Farnell / RS order codes. In addition to this we would need details of approximate order volumes. If we are to supply the bare PCB we would need the Gerber file for it as below.


What do I need to supply to obtain a quotation for a bare PCB?

In order for us to quote on the supply of a bare printed circuit board we would need the volume you require and the Gerber file for the PCB. At this stage you would need to inform us of any specific requirements on the panelisation of the PCB or material thickness/ type or colour. If the exact requirement is not given we assume we use FR4 with 1oz copper with green resist.

Can I supply my own printed circuit board components?

First Choice Assembly are happy to use customer supplied components (free issue). On receipt in our goods inwards area each component is labelled and placed in its own location within our stores, segregated from our stock. If required these components can be entered on to our MRP system in order to control the stock levels in the same way that our own purchased components are treated.

How long is a quotation valid?

Thirty days from the date of the quote. Due to exchange rate fluctuations we cannot hold the price any longer than this.


How much is tooling and what does it consist of?

Tooling is an initial one off charge to cover two things. When a bare PCB is first put into production film work has to be made in order to produce the PCB. The cost of this is circa £70.00 to £200.00 depending on PCB type. If the PCB is a complex double sided PCB with fine tracks or a multilayer printed circuit board then we suggest bare board testing (BBT) to test for circuit continuity. This charge does vary depending on circuit/test complexity.

A charge will also be made for a frameless solder stencil circa £140.00 if the PCB is surface mount. This is to enable solder paste to be screen printed onto the PCB to allow for assembly of the component onto it. The solder stencil is produced from the Gerber data used to make the bare PCB. Solder stencil can be made with 48 hours.

These charges are only an indication and can vary depending on order value and can be free.


What is your production capacity?

We have 3 of the latest Yamaha on the fly laser centred placement equipment with up 36,000 components per hour capacity and up to 360 off different component types are able to be assembled on the machines at any one time. This means we can supply due to the ease of setup any volume of assembled PCB from 10 up to many thousands.
We do not have a set up charge for low volume batches.
The largest printed circuit board we can process is 400mm wide by 460 mm. 
For a more detailed view of our machines capacity and specifications please have a look at the attached details.


What is your lead-time for PCB assembly?

If all the parts are available normal PCB assembly can be supplied within 4-5 weeks. This can be improved upon depending upon volume.


What is your lead-time for bare PCBs?

Prototype batches can be supplied within 7 days at no extra cost. In volume using off shore supply this typically takes around 4 weeks with a new PCB and around 3 weeks on a repeat order of PCBs.

If you have any further questions about our service please let us know and we will be only too happy to help.