To request a quote, please send us an email at email@example.com or give us a call at (413) 397-8260. However, if you are a user of Altium, Eagle, KiCAD, or CircuitMaker, you should go to CircuitHub first. Trust us when we say it is the best experience you will ever have ordering circuit board assemblies.
If you're interested, we offer free 15-minute engineering consultations even before you submit an RFQ. This can be great to help make sure you have all of your ducks in a row. There's plenty of opportunity for small errors and mistakes and having some peace of mind can be a great benefit for you and for us! There's definitely no obligation to place an order with us if we give you a free consultation. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Each assembly is very different and it's just impossible for us to provide any type of generic quote without knowing more about the assembly (unless you're using Altium, Eagle, KiCAD, or CircuitMaker. Remember?) When requesting a quote, it would be helpful to provide the following items, as well as having a filled out "Request for Quote" Form, which can be found here. It's not necessary to fill out the form but it does speed up the quoting process. To submit your files, please just email them to email@example.com.
BOM (Bill of Materials)
Your BOM must be in a speadsheet format (Excel, Numbers, CSV, or OpenOffice) and contain the following information
- The exact manufacturer's part number
- The reference designators (locations) for those part numbers
- What locations are not to be populated (these locations exist on the bare board but have no parts on them)
- The quantity per part number
Your BOM can also contain the following information (not essential but useful)
- A line item number per part number (useful for communicating information)
- A useful description for the part number
- Your own internal part number
Once we have this information we will enter it into our MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning) system and assign our own internal part numbers. Often times for components like surface mount resistors and capacitors, we will already have inventory of that exact same part number and will not need to order any new material for your order.
If you don't have a lot of experience putting together a bill of material (or honestly, even if you do have a lot of experience putting together a bill of materials) we highly recommend Dragon Innovation's Product Planner. This tool will help you put together your data in a format that any manufacturer will appreciate, but it will also help you plan out your entire build, not just the PCBA.
Board Data (Gerbers)
The next thing we'll need in order to quote a job is the gerber data for your bare circuit board (also known as the PCB). Primarily, we like to have gerber data in case we need to order a stencil for your assembly or if you'd ever like us to order your bare PCB. We order a lot of PCB's so we can get pretty good pricing. Plus, we have long standing relationships with many PCB manufacturers, and we trust them. Believe us when we say, not all bare board shops are the same.
Now, this isn't always essential. In circumstances where you will be providing us the bare circuit boards and the stencil, we may not absolutely need the gerber data. But we still find it useful because we can make drawings from the data that helps us ensure that we've assembled your board correctly. It can give us details that we wouldn't have otherwise, such as orientation of components, especially if the silkscreen is underneath the component after it has been placed.
Lastly, it's important that we get an overall view of your assembly. The gerber data can help us to understand small details like, are their tooling holes and fiducials, is there sufficient clearance at the edges for our automated equipment to secure the board with, etc.
If you would like WAi to purchase your PCB's for you, then there is some more information that we will need.
- Material - What will your board be made from. The most common material is FR4
- Finish - What sort of finish would you like to cover the bare copper. The most common is HASL for Leaded boards and ENIG for Lead-Free boards
- Board Thickness - How thick would you like your board to be. The most common thickness is 0.062"
- Copper Weight - How thick would you like the copper to be in your board. Depending on the current requirements, this can be anywhere from 1 oz. to 5 oz.
- Masking Color - What color would you like the masking to be. The most common is green but blue, red, yellow, and black are available. Some board houses charge extra for anything but green.
- Silkscreen Color - What color would you like your silkscreen to be. The most common (and most appreciated) is white. Other colors can be challenging to work with
- Panelization - Are you ok with us panelizing your board in order to reduce handling time and therefore the overall cost of production.
- Fiducials - If fiducials do not exist on your board, can we add them in order for our machines to correctly align itself to your board.
- Tooling Holes - Tooling holes are useful for when we use manual equipment to process your board, as opposed to automated machines.
- Rails - Are you ok with us adding rails to your assembly? This is especially important if there is little to no clearance on the edges of your board.
If you want to save money, make sure to provide XY data. We can generate this ourselves, but it takes roughly 3 minutes per placement in order to generate and verify. If the average assembly has 100 placements, that's 5 hours of laborious work. Most CAD software will be able to export this data. It should contain at least 5 values but there are 2 optional values as well.
- Reference Designators
- Part Numbers
- X Value
- Y Value
- Part Description (optional)
- Package Description (optional)
We will then import this data into our machines and verify our setups to make sure that we're building your assemblies right the first time.
Specifics of Your Assembly
There are other details that we'd like to know about your assembly in order for us to provide an accurate quote.
- Quantity - How many assemblies would you like?
- Solder Alloy - Is it ok to assemble your board with leaded solder or do we need to use lead-free? Leaded is easier to work with and less expensive.
- Bare Board Aquisition - Will WAi be purchasing your boards?
- Component Aquisition - Will WAi be purchasing some or all of your components? Because of the amount of components we order, we can generally get better pricing than many of our customers could get on their own.
- Cleanliness - 99% of circuit boards assembled today use a flux called "no-clean" flux. This means that circuit boards have nearly invisible flux residues on them after they've been assembled and we need to know if this is acceptable. But some applications require completely clean boards. Please let us know if we need to clean your boards before sending them to you.
- Tooling - Are you already in possession of a stencil for the solder paste? If not, then we will need to order one. (only necessary for SMT assemblies)
- Sensitive Components - Are any of your components sensitive to a normal manufacturing environment? Some components cannot withstand the temperatures of an industrial reflow soldering oven. This is very rare but important for us to know.
- Conformal Coating - Does your application call for conformal coating? If so, please let us know the type of coating you'd like us to use (the most common is acrylic, but silicone and urethane are also available)
- Hardware - Will your assembly require us to install any type of additional hardware? (screws, washers, heatsinks, cases, overlays, etc.) Please provide specific details and/or photographs
- Wires/Cables - Will your assembly require us to solder in any wires or cables? Please provide specific details and/or photographs. We can quote the cable assembly as well if you'd like.
- Programming - Will you need your assembly or any particular components programmed? We can help find the least expensive method for doing this whether we do it ourselves or hire a third party component to do it for us. Please provide specific details about how your device is programmed.
- Testing - Would you like your assembly tested once it's complete? We will need to work closely with you to test your assembly as we do not design test fixtures ourselves but prefer to perform a functional test of the product.
- Inaccuracies - Have you assembled this board before and know of inaccuracies with the bare PCB, such as the silkscreen specifying the wrong polarity? Please provide specific details.
- Fulfillment - Would you like WAi to ship your assemblies directly to your customer(s)? We do this for many of our customers today and would be happy to discuss this with you.