Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a quote take to prepare?
Generally, we will quote on your design within 24 hours. Quotes for fabrication and consignment assembly will usually take 3-5 days depending on the complexity of the design.
What do I need to give you so that you can quote my design?
What do I need to give you so that you can quote my design?
The Request for quotation form asks for a lot of information, the more information you can provide the more accurate the quotation will be.
As a minimum you need to provide us with:
  • The general size of the board if predetermined by mechanical constraints
  • The expected number of layers.
  • The number of components, preferably in the form of a Bill of Materials (BOM)
  • Type of library used, i.e. standard IPC, your own supplied in Altium format or your own to be created.
Information that would be particularly helpful:
  • Schematic
  • Bill of Materials
  • Any special requirements that might increase the complexity of the design, such as signal integrity.
What do I need to give you so that you can start my design?
What do I need to give you so that you can start my design?
We need:
  • A detailed mechanical drawing showing the board outline, the location of cut out areas or height-restricted zones, any keep out areas, and the placement of any fixed components. We prefer .dfx format, but a pdf or hand drawn will also do.
  • A final Bill of Materials (BOM), listing all components including bypass capacitors, testpoints, etc. A legible data sheet for ICs or other non common components. A BOM that has web links (URLs) to each manufacturer's spec sheet is an excellent way to supply details of parts.
  • A final schematic.
  • A complete list of design requirements, including routing requirements, testability, critical signals, minimum clearances, etc.
I will send you a PCB specification to complete which will contain all these details.
We're still engineering the project. Is that a problem?
We're still engineering the project. Is that a problem?
Yes and no. Continuing to engineer the project while we design the board is not the most efficient way to work. There may be extra costs involved, because we might have to redo previously completed work, in order to change the design. Also, since the schedule is dependent on the amount of work involved, the due date will most likely be a moving target throughout the entire design process. But we're up to the challenge if you are.
What are the steps in the design process, in simple terms?
What are the steps in the design process, in simple terms?
The library is searched for parts, new parts created from data sheets
  • The schematic is drawn or imported into the design
  • Design rules are set
  • Board outline drawn
  • Electrical and Mechanical constraints incorporated into the design
  • Parts placed
  • Customer approves placement
  • Critical traces routed and approved by customer
  • Routing of remaining traces
  • Customer approves routed board
  • General cleanup of traces
  • Silkscreen information generated
  • DFM check performed and any corrections made
  • Final customer review of design
  • Drawing pack and manufacturer data created and bundled together into deliverables
  • Job Delivered.
Is there anything I need to do while you are designing the board?
Is there anything I need to do while you are designing the board?
Yes, quite a bit. You need to be available to answer the designer's questions during the course of designing the board. When the parts are placed on the board, we will send you a parts placement drawing, which you need to check and approve. You need to approve of the routing of critical traces specified in the design requirements. We will also send you check prints of the final design, which you need to approve.
What will you deliver to us when the project is completed?
What will you deliver to us when the project is completed?
Completed projects are delivered in three files: Drawing Pack, Manufacture Data, and Altium Job File. Each of these files is in a compressed format to reduce their size:
  • Drawing Pack - This holds all the files necessary to assemble the PCB, including the assembly drawing, mechanical drawing, Bill of Materials, and any other data requested such as SMD X/Y files, test data.
  • Manufacture Data - This holds all the files necessary to fabricate the PCB, including the gerber files, drill data, manufacture drawing(s), and any other necessary data.
  • Altium Job File - This holds all the files created by the CAD system to complete the design.
Please treat all these files as corporate assets, and store them as carefully as any other important files or documents.
Do you fabricate and assemble the PCBs as well as design them?
Do you fabricate and assemble the PCBs as well as design them?
We do not fabricate or assemble PCBs ourselves but have relationships with various reputable PCB fabricators and contract manufacturing companies that are geared for various types and sizes of projects, in order to match your needs..