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PCB prototype vs small production run

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], Aug 23, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    i got a quote for 1 pcb prototype for $657 (1day), $525 (3day) $289 (1
    week), a run of 25 (the amount I need) for $416 (1 week), tempting to
    skip the prototype eh?
     
  2. Guest

    i got a quote for 1 pcb prototype for $657 (1day), $525 (3day) $289 (1
    week), a run of 25 (the amount I need) for $416 (1 week), tempting to
    skip the prototype eh?
    <<
    You'd better read the fine print. There's often a tooling NRE charge
    tacked on to the production run.


    Bob
     
  3. Skipping the prototype ? This means you're
    going to repair the 25 for each error that
    slipped your attention.

    Rene
     
  4. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    Or, if you're going to populate the board and test in under a week,
    and think you can get it right first go, save $100-$200, and get 24 PCBs
    free.
     
  5. What is the size/spec of the board?. For this sort of money, you should be
    able to get something about half the size of a PC motherboard, in four
    layer from one of the PC pooling companies. For a board this
    large/complex, going without the prototype is not a practical option.

    Best Wishes
     
  6. Guest

    no, it means if there is an error I simply will reorder the boards and
    toss the bad ones at a cost of $416 (total $832)

    Even with this double order it is still less then my normal 3 day proto
    + 1 week production $525 + $416 = $941

    In the first case (without prototype) if no errors , then my total cost
    is only $416. I also get the final boards earlier (1 week vs 10 days),
    if there are errors then the final boards arrive a few days later as
    compared to the proto + production order(2 weeks vs 10 days).

    My point was the small production runs are just slightly more then a
    single prototype, (for whatever reasons I don't understand, I assume
    its due to the labor overhead), and its tempting just to skip the
    "offical prototype" ...
     
  7. Guest

    it includes the NRE for production ($99)
     
  8. Guest

    you missed the point, if I have an error it simply means I will reorder
    the production boards and toss the bad ones at a extra cost of $416
    (total $832), there is a "prototype", in this case it also happens to
    be the first production run (because of the low cost)

    Even with a double production order it is still less then my normal 3
    day proto + 1 week production $525 + $416 = $941

    In the first case (without prototype) if no errors , then my total cost
    is only $416. I also get the final boards earlier (1 week vs 10 days),
    if there are errors then the final boards arrive a few days later as
    compared to the proto + production order(2 weeks vs 10 days).

    just thought for small production runs, the option to eliminate the
    prototype makes some sense, of course there are many variables, if you
    routinely need 10 prototypes to get the thing working then the 3 day
    (or 1 day) prototype makes more sense to get a reasonable delivery
    time.
     
  9. Richard H.

    Richard H. Guest

    Yep - interesting economics. What are your board specs, and what PCB house?

    Richard
     
  10. budgie

    budgie Guest

    (snip)

    I think *you* may have missed Roger's point. At the prices you indicate, it's
    presumably a fairly complex board. The chances of it coming in OK first time
    are arguably not enormously high as a result of that (assumed) complexity. What
    you are proposing is trading off that extra error-finding cycle for the possible
    $$ saving. I guess you have the best picture of how complex the board and how
    likely it is that the first run will be problem-free.

    I did this once on a small mixed thru-hole/SMD job with about 50 components.
    There was a lot of extra time spent checking before signing off. It did have
    ONE error that slipped through, but fortunately that only required a hand reflow
    of solder across two adjacent through-hole pins. You may be that fortunate. Of
    course you may not.
     
  11. Guest

    "I guess you have the best picture of how complex the board and how
    likely it is that the first run will be problem-free. "

    Again, my main point was that two production runs were the same price
    (or lower in my example) as one prototype plus production...
     
  12. Tim Shoppa

    Tim Shoppa Guest

    [Prototype costs the same as the production run]
    Entirely typical in fact, going back to my experience in the 1970's
    sending out taped mylar.

    Sometimes you can save a few bucks on the prototype by not having
    legends and solder masks. Of course then you'll discover when you buy
    the production lot that the legends are on the wrong sides and the
    solder mask is upside down!

    Tim.
     
  13. Guest

    yep, I can see that happening, I always spec my prototype identical to
    my production specs... unless its an early experimental
    no-way-its-going-to- production board, then I will let up on the
    soldermask,silk, gold fingers, cutouts etc requirements
     
  14. maxfoo

    maxfoo Guest

    What board house gave you that quote?

    Try these two companies below for dirt cheap prices.
    I've only done 2-layer pcbs with them and do a nice work.

    http://www.custompcb.com/index.html

    https://www.barebonespcb.com/!BB1.asp
     
  15. Guest

    the board is fairly big >100 square inches

    so

    http://www.custompcb.com/index.html

    can't handle anything greater then 8x11, so thats out

    https://www.barebonespcb.com/!BB1.asp

    can easily handle the size, but no soldermask, no silk, no cutouts, no
    thanks. but their regular service handles all these, lets see $393
    proto (1 unit) not too bad, but production is $1802/25 units, thats 4
    times my quote, you can have them.
     
  16. maxfoo

    maxfoo Guest

    So you gonna tell us the boardhouse? or is your cousin doing it in the basement
    fer ya...
     
  17. Yeah, they specialize in tiny stuff.
     
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