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Bittele’s PCB Manufacturing options for Hobbyist

Many hobbyists find it difficult to find a PCB manufacturer offering low minimum order quantities, and low-cost prototype options. Bittele Electronics understands the needs of these hobbyists, and offer high-quality PCB Fabrication and Assembly at the lowest possible cost. Our focus on Prototype PCB Fabrication and Assembly makes us a good match for both Hobbyists and Corporations alike.

Our bare PCB and full Turnkey services are also available to clients who wish to make a smaller order. Our minimum order for bare PCBs is 1 piece. We would suggest ordering at least 3 pieces, so that you may test the boards against each other to troubleshoot any potential issues. Our MOQ for full Turnkey PCBs is 5 pieces. Our turnkey service covers the manufacturing and assembling process from start to finish.

Quality

Here at Bittele, we are very big on ensuring that all the PCBs we manufacture are made to a high standard. We include 100% electrical testing on all our boards to ensure every board does not include any shorts/opens. Click here to find out more about our options.



Shipping

At Bittele, we use FedEx International Priority shipping to ensure the boards are delivered to you as soon as possible. Shipping is worldwide and included in all of the quotes you receive from our sales team.

DFM Checking

Our Engineers view all the Gerber files and make sure there will be no issues before manufacturing has begun. If we do find anything that we believe might cause an issue, we will notify you and wait for your response before proceeding. For more information Click here.



Contacting Us

Bittele’s sales staff is only a phone call away. You can always call in and speak to our sales team at 1-888-812-1949 if you have any questions or concerns. We are open from 10:00 A.M - 06:30 P.M. Monday to Friday Eastern time and we will be happy to answer any questions you have. You may also email us at: sales@7pcb.com and we will reply to your email within 24 hours.







Our boards are manufactured in Shenzhen, China where we have a state of the art PCB production and assembly factory. We will also be opening up a production facility here in Markham, Ontario, Canada. This assembly line will be opening up in Late June 2019 which will increase our production capabilities to better serve our customers.



Bittele's Certifications, and What They Mean for Your PCB Project

Bittele Electronics is always committed to serving our clients with the highest possible quality for all our PCB and full turnkey projects. One way we accomplish this is by keeping all of our certifications up to date. We have certifications for ISO 9001:2015, IPC and SMTA. Our certification page can be viewed here.

But what do these certifications mean for your projects?

ISO 9001:2015

The requirements of the ISO 9009:2015 are all generic as the are meant to be applicable any and all organizations, with no limitations based on the size, type, or the services and products it may provide. This certification outlines the requirements for our organizations quality management system. It demonstrates our ability to always, consistently provide our services and products that meet our clients and any other regulatory or statutory requirements. It also embodies our aim to enhance our client satisfaction with the effective use of the system. This includes the processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to client and applicable regulatory and statutory requirements.

IPC Membership Certificate

Being and IPC member allows our company access to many benefits regarding access to technology information and updates. Our suppliers, manufacturers, assemblers and our clients will always have communication regarding globally accepted IPC industry standards. Our membership highlights our company’s industry leadership.

Our company follows the IPC-A-610 class 2 assembly by default for all projects. IPC-A-610 (Acceptability of Electronics Assemblies) is the standard that is most commonly and widely used by the IPC.

By following class 2 assembly, this means that you can rely on all of Bitteles products to have an extended life expectancy. This means they will always be reliable to place inside things such as TV’s, computers, heaters, air conditioners etc. We are able to also provide products that fall under class 3 assembly when required, for an extra cost.

Class 3 assembly has much stricter tolerances when compared to class 2. It is used when your project must perform at all times whether it may be in harsh conditions or used over very long periods of time. It is generally used for military grade equipment or medical devices where downtime is not acceptable and the product must always be functional when required.

SMTA Certificate

As Bittele Electronics is mainly focused on surface mount technology assembly, we have earned our membership with the Surface Mount Technology Association. This allows us to be a part of the society of experts who build on talents, share experience that is practical and create solutions in electronic assembly technologies. You can be certain that we will always maintain the highest level of quality and expertise when working with your PCB, PCBA and Full Turnkey projects.



Thermal Mass in PCBs and How Bittele Creates it’s Thermal Profiles

Thermal mass, also known as heat capacity, is the ability of an object to absorb and store energy as heat. The higher the thermal mass of an object the more energy is required to change its temperature.

How is this relevant to PCBAs?

At Bittele Electronics we use pick and place machines along with reflow ovens in order to assemble your boards for high accuracy, high quality, and consistency during assembly. However, in order for a board to go through our reflow ovens, a thermal profile must be created. There are many reasons a thermal profile is necessary for our reflow ovens.

One is simply for the sake of efficiency, by using a thermal profile the assembly of a board can be done with minimal time and energy wasted. Thus allowing for lower turn times and power usage throughout the assembly of a project. However, the primary reason is to make sure that the solder joints are of good quality.

Another reason is to avoid damaging the board and its components. Thermal shock, warpage, and melted components are all possibilities when bad thermal profiles are used.

The thermal mass, and thus the thermal profile of a PCB, will be optimized with the following variables:

(The following is a non-exhaustive list)
  • Lead or Lead-Free Process
  • Solder Paste specifications
  • Material (TG140, TG170, TG180, etc)
  • Dimensions (Area and Thickness)
  • Density of a board
  • Copper Weight
  • Number of Layers
At Bittele Electronics we create the most effective thermal profiles for your boards by first classifying the boards under already existing general thermal profiles.



This is done by examining the properties of the PCB that affect its thermal mass, such as the ones in the list above.

If this is a new production run for a board then we use a profiler called KIC X5 Profiler to fine tune the general profile.

For a repeated production run we do not use the profile from an old run as you may think. To get the best result Bittele uses the existing profile with the KIC Profiler to verify the consistency for the reflow oven first, and then the old profile is used.



Castellated Holes

Castellated Holes or Semi-Plated Board Edge Holes are one of the many special fabrication options that Bittele accommodates.

Castellated holes appear on the edge of PCBs typically as plated half holes. They can also be offset so that instead of a perfect semi-circle they appear as a small or larger portion of a broken circle.

At Bittele Electronics the hole size for castellated holes must be at least 0.5mm in diameter with space between hole edges to be at least 0.4mm.

The most common purpose of these castellated holes is the soldering of one PCB directly on to another PCB. You may be asking yourself why this is preferred over just soldering the components directly to the main PCB.

One reason is that by having a smaller subassembly PCB you can easily replicate certain parts of your circuit that you know are always going to remain unchanged. For example, you may have a circuit that includes an inverter, filter, or feedback loop that is not to be altered. These smaller sub-circuits can be mass produced, tested and or programmed on their own, and then later soldered on to a main PCB that contains other parts of the circuit.

Another reason is to use the castellated PCB as a breakout board for a particular part. There are multiple advantages to doing this such as:
  1. Making the soldering and re-soldering of a difficult to assemble complex components such as high pin density or leadless components like LGAs, BGAs, or QFNs relatively simple.
  2. Allows IC’s to be reusable without having to worry about damaging the IC directly.
  3. It can be used to forcibly reorganize the pin layout of a component to suit the needs of the user.
  4. Allows complicated components to be used with a breadboard when normally this would be a challenge at best.
When requesting a quote for a project that contains castellated holes please call out this special requirement in your email to us at sales@7pcb.com or in the fabrication notes of your project files.



Wire Harness Assembly

Here at Bittele Electronics, we are always committed to providing the highest quality services. A common question asked is whether or not we are able to work with wires and cable assembly – the simple answer is yes. However, as we are more focused on the assembly of SMT components, there are some restrictions when wire or cable assembly comes into question.

Wire and cable assembly are generally wiring that is either connected the bare board itself or sometimes a connector. Although we can provide this service, it is not our standard process and it has some restrictions. Since wire assembly is outside of our standard scope, we may need clients to provide the appropriate crimping tools because we may not have them on hand. We may also have to purchase the part which would add to the cost if it cannot be consigned.

The main notable restriction is that we have an MOQ of 250 pcs before we can do any wiring or cable assembly services. This is due mostly in part to the fact that since most cabling and wiring requirements cannot be done automatically, they require manual effort and labour to be completed. It is typically not feasible for the set-up costs and time required to complete these wiring/cable requirements for smaller order quantities. Depending on the quantity, this may add a few days to the leadtime. It is important to note that there may be some cases where we are unable to provide the service as well. Generally, your account manager will review your files and help determine if your requirements are within our capabilities.


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