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Good prototype assembly houses?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Joerg, May 9, 2007.

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  1. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Ok guys, this one might be of interest to others as well:

    Can you share which contract assembly places for stuffing SMT boards are
    good? I mean prototype quantities, maybe 10 boards or so, preferably
    within the US. The usual scenario, PCB gets fabbed somewhere, the parts
    get ordered from Digikey and then someone has to place all that and
    reflow it.

    I was so far really pleased with WD Burch in Southern California. But
    sometimes they may be booked out and it's always good to know others
    where people had positive experience.

    Other than that I wouldn't know one in the US. I do know a good dentist
    though ... a big filling just fell out. Drat!
  2. mpm

    mpm Guest

    I don't know of any, but I sure could have used one this morning!!
    Can you post (or email me) the contact info for WD Burch?

    I just spent 2 hours hand-soldering a board with barely a dozen
    -Only about three of which I could actually "see" with the naked eye.

    For anyone lurking, I have confirmed that holding 0603 and 0806 style
    "chip" components with spring-loaded tweezers works surprisingly
    well. Place a small dot of solder, then tweezer one side while you
    hold it in place. Cool. Solder the other side. Be warned though, if
    you have crappy tweezers the part can go airborne (and you will NEVER
    find it.)

    Now, what I want to know is:
    Does anyone make an adhesive that you can spray (or otherwise affix)
    to the bare board so you can just tack the parts in place BEFORE you
    try to solder them??

  3. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Here goes:
    Phone 1-949-582-3898
    Ask for Bill. Or email him: bill AT wdburch DOT com.

    They are in Laguna Niguel, California.

    Not that I know of. I often hold parts down with a toothpick when
    soldering. When at clients I have sometimes even picked up twigs outside
    and filed them into "toothpicks".

    A spray would cover the solder lands which I can't imagine being a good
    thing. Probably you can get a footswitch-operated small quantity
    dispenser though.
  4. Guest

    Well almost, just get a Sipad adhesive solder paste/flux. Parts just
    stick to the board so you have a chance to re-position them.
    You do have to send them your bare boards though.
  5. Norcomm Electronics up here in Grass Valley needed to establish a SMT
    facility for its own line of products (DTMF encoders for mobile equipment)
    and they then went into the prototype assembly business to keep the
    equipment running.

    Call Robert Waidtlow (owner) at 530.477.8400 and tell him you are a friend
    of Jim's. I have absolutely no idea his pricing, but judging from the stuff
    he sells, his quality is superb.

  6. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Thanks, Jim, just did. The person who deals with board assembly there is
    Joseph. I just sent him the data files for a quote.

    BTW, they've got a web site in case someone else is also looking for
    contract assembly:
  7. I know. Joseph worked for me as a gofer/juniortech when he was in high
    school about 20 years ago.

  8. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    You guys must have a close-knit community up there in Grass Valley. What
    is a gofer?
  9. Hell, there are only 10k people in the whole damned town, and less than a
    thousand electronikers. We all cross paths at some point in our career.

    A gofer goes fer coffee, goes fer parts, goes fer supplies, goes fer ...

  10. I guess I probably should have told you that the owner (Robert) is a flying
    buddy of mine and that I have my name in his aircraft logbook a few times
    for owner-installed avionics.


  11. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Ah, then he would definitely know where Cameron Park is :)

    I hope they can crank out a quote quickly. It's one of those more urgent
    projects where the first (reasonable) quote gets the business.
  12. Brian

    Brian Guest

    We do protos as well.
  13. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Thanks, good to know for the next time. However, I've shipped it all off
    yesterday morning. Fedex came in a bit early that day with the bare
    boards and they tested out ok (rest of the box was pre-packed and ready
    to go, just in case...).
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