PCB FAQWe have compiled the most frequently asked questions from our customers regarding PCB Fabrication. This database will be updated regularly to reflect the most common concerns that our clients have at any given time, so please do not hesitate to Contact Us if you find yourself with any questions not covered below.
ORDERINGQ1: Are my PCB Design 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. At your request, we can sign an NDA for extra security.
Q2: Do you handle Prototype PCBs or Small Volume PCB production orders?
A2: Yes, we can manufacture PCBs in any volume.
Q3: What is your minimum order quantity?
A3: One piece, or one PCB Panel.
PRICESQ1: Can we negotiate on my price?
A1: Even though our pricing is very low, you can still discuss price with us to meet your target in cost reduction, as demanded by the market.
Q2: What are the Factors Affecting PCB Cost?
A2: The following listed are the key factors but not limited:
- The quantity and size of the PCB.
- The Number of Layers
- Effective Panelization - Some board sizes and shapes can offer up to 80% Usable Panel Area, with very few “dead spaces”, while others some down to 50%. This would affect your price.
- 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.
- 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. To change the tool, the machine has to stop the spindle, to we must wait until the tool stops rotating. Once the drill action has stopped, the machine must move to the drilling rack, replace the old tool, get new tool, move back to board drill position, drive the spindle again, and wait for the RPM value to reach the set point for the new tool. Each tool change takes approximately the same time as drilling 100-200 holes. Try to minimize the number of drill tools as much as possible. It is best to standardize any holes with diameter differences of only a few mils, if the change will pass your required tolerances.
- PCB 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.
- Trace Width / Part Spacing requirements – these characteristics are in close relation to 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.
- Special board requirements, Controlled Impedances, Via in Pad, Blind / Buried Vias, Microvias, etc. – again, these requirements affect the manufacturing yield.
Q3: Can I order my board with PCB Silkscreen on top and bottom?
A3: Yes, we offer full silkscreen as one of our Standard Cost PCB Options, at no 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 THICKNESSQ1: 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 PCB Materials, such as Rogers, etc?
A3: Yes, we can, but such materials do require some addition cost, compared with standard FR-4 type material. Please contact us for more price information.
Q4: Can you tell me more about your laminates physical properties?
A4: Yes, please have a look 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 THICKNESSQ: 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, and Heavy Copper PCB options at 3.5 oz, 4.0 oz, 4.5 oz, and 5.0 oz.
FILE FORMATSQ1: What kind of file format can you accept?
A1: We can process Gerber RS-274X and ODB++ files.
Q2: Can you manufacture my board from this: BMP, GIF, TIFF, JPG picture?
A2: No, as these formats do not translate to our PCB Fabrication machinery.
SOLDERMASKQ1: What Solder Mask do you use for production?
A1: We use green Liquid Photo Imageable (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, yellow and white solder masks.
PCB SURFACE FINISHQ: What surface finish can I have?
A: HASL, Immersion Gold, Immersion Tin, Immersion Silver, OSP, Hard Gold, and Soft Gold, and more.