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PCB FAQ

We compiled the most frequently questions our customers asked us regarding the PCB production. However, we know you still have questions not covered here, so please send your questions to us and we will include them here.

ORDERING

Q1: Are my designed files safe when submitting them to you for manufacturing?
A1: We respect customer's copyright and will never manufacture PCBs for someone else with your files unless we receive written permission from you, nor we'll share these files with any other 3rd parties.
Q2: Do you produce prototypes or small volume orders?
A2: Yes, we can manufacture PCBs in any volume.
Q3: What is your minimum order quantity?
A3: One piece or one panel.

PRICES

Q1: Can we negotiate on my price?
A1: Even though our price is very low, but you can still discuss price with us to meet your target in cost reduction demanded by the market.
Q2: What factors affect my price?
A2: The following listed are the key factors but not limited:
  1. The quantity and size of the PCB.
  2. The Number of Layers
  3. Effective panelization - Some board sizes utilize up to 80% usability, some down to 50%. This would affect your price.
  4. Number of holes the boards is drilled on sophisticated NC drilling machines. These machines are quite expensive and the machine time is expensive too, so less holes means less machine time for drilling and lower cost.
  5. Number of hole sizes - the slowest operation in drilling is the tool exchange. Usually the boards are drilled at very high RPM values up to 60-80.000 rpm/min. To change the tool the machine has to stop the spindle, to wait until the tool stop rotating. To move to the drilling rack, to place the old tool, to get new tool, to move back to board drill position, to drive the spindle again and to wait the RPM value to reach the drill RPM set point for the new tool. Each tool change takes approximately the time for drilling 100-200 holes. Try to minimize the number of drill tools as much as possible. Combine the tools with difference only few mils if your holes will pass your required tolerances.
  6. Laminate material - when you intend to manufacture your board in volume the right choice for the board laminate can save a lot of money. For instance despite the superior characteristics of FR-4, all consumer electronics today still is manufactured on old paper FR-2 laminates as they cost two times less expensive than FR-4.
  7. Trace width / space requirements - this is in close relation with the manufacturing yield. For instance if your traces are wide enough (>20mils) the board can be manufactured with etch resist single silkscreen printing operation instead of dry film lamination, exposure, developing.
  8. Special board requirements, controlled impedances etc. - this affects again the manufacturing yields.

Q3: Can I order my board with silkscreen on top and bottom?
A3: Yes, we can do this without additional charge.
Q4: May I have overlapping drills on my board?
A4: Overlapping drill holes will cause a lot of trouble in drilling process, we advise you to choose tab routing or V-score for panel separating purposes.

LAMINATE THICKNESS

Q1: What is your standard laminate thickness?
A1: Our standard laminate thickness is 1.6 mm (0.063").
Q2: What other laminate thickness options do I have?
A2: We can also manufacture your boards with this non-standard laminate thickness: 0.2mm (0.0079"), 0.4mm (0.016"), 0.6mm (0.024"), 0.8 mm (0.032"), 1.0 mm (0.04"), 1.2mm (0.047"), 2.0mm (0.079"), 2.3mm (0.091").
Q3: Can you manufacture on high frequency materials as Rogers etc?
A3: yes, we can, but such materials are very expensive, please contact us for more price information.
Q4: Can you tell me more about your laminates physical properties?
A4: Yes, please have looked at the information below:

Laminate brand: CC-5400
Manufacturer: CKC TAIWAN
ANSI grade: FR-4
Laminate thickness 0.5 mm (0.020"), 0.8 mm (0.032"), 1.0 mm (0.040"), 1.5 mm (0.062")
copper thickness 18 um (1/2 oz) or 35 um (1 oz)
operating temperature Tg > 130 C
soldering 260C/500F - 40 sec., 290C/554F - 20 sec.
Dielectric constant 1Mhz: 4.0 - 4.5, guaranteed < 5.0
Dissipation factor 1MHz: 0.02-0.03, guaranteed < 0.03
Volume resistivity: Ohm.cm > 5*10^14
UL 94V-0, UL746 CTI 100

COPPER THICKNESS

Q: What copper thickness option do I have?
A: We can offer 0.5 oz, 1.0 oz, 1.5 oz, 2.0 oz, 2.5 oz, 3.0 oz, 3.5 oz, 4.0 oz, 4.5 oz and 5.0 oz.

SOLDERMASK

Q1: What solder mask do you use for production?
A1: We use green Liquid Photo Imagable (LPI) Solder mask for our PCB production.
Q2: Does solder mask increase your prices?
A2: No, the solder mask is standard option for our prototypes, so all boards are produced with solder mask and this doesn't increase the price.
Q3: What solder mask colors are available for my PCBs?
A3: Green, black, blue, red green, yellow and white solder masks.

PCB SURFACE FINISH

Q: What surface finish can I have?
A: HASL, Immersion gold, Immersion tin, Immersion Silver, OSP , HASL lead free and others.

FILE FORMATS

Q1: What kind of file format can you accept?
A1: We can process Gerber RS-274X, 274D and AutoCAD's DXF, DWG formats.
Q2: Can you manufacture my board from this: BMP, GIF, TIFF, JPG picture?
A2: No, as these formats are not good for PCB manufacturing.
 
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