PCB assembly – $1000 in FREE Labor

SlingShot Assembly is Offering Free Labor for First Time Customers.
SlingShot Assembly is changing the game in PCB assembly. Doing the impossible, everyday. For a limited time, SlingShot Assembly is offering FREE LABOR, up to $1,000, on new customer’s first turn-key order. Their 5-day turn includes parts, boards AND assembly. We challenge you to try something different.
Click Here for your discount code!
Only a limited number of offers are available each day.

Flex PCB Design Services

Building Boards that Bend

While not exactly a brand-new technology, flexible printed circuit boards are a critical part of many of today’s challenging embedded system applications from wearable devices to mobile healthcare electronics. The PCB production service vendors listed here feature a variety of Flex PCB manufacturing services to help bring your embedded system design from prototype to production.

By Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

Accutrace
www.pcb4u.com
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Accutrace serves the electronics industry’s needs for quick turn PCB fabrication from prototype to production. They can manufacture only what is needed, when it’s needed—and in the amount needed. No need to worry about long shelf life or tying up your capital in bare board inventory.
Services Summary: PCB capabilities: Capabilities: Up to 50 layers; any layer HDI; blind and buried vias; 2-mil line width and spacing; copper up to 16 oz. Materials supported: FR4, Rogers, ISOLA, Polymide-flex, Metal core, Taconic and Magtron
Flexible PCB Services: Flex and Rigid-Flex

 

Beta Layout’s Flex-Pool PCBs use polyimide foils as their base material.

Beta Layout
uk.beta-layout.com
Location: Shannon, Ireland
Beta Layout’s PCB-POOL operation is Europe’s largest manufacturer of PCB prototypes, with over 36,000 customers worldwide. PCB-POOL cost sharing principle enables system designers to benefit from low prices. You can calculate the prices instantly online using the PCB-POOL’s Online price calculation. PCBs using special technologies and materials can also be sourced directly from the company, from prototype to series production quantities.
Services Summary: Prototype PCBs or small series PCBs in 1-6 working days; Laser-cut SMD-Stencils in 1-3 working days; Fully populated SMD and THT prototype boards in 2 working days; Support for PCBs with embedded UHF RFID modules
Flexible PCB Services: All of Beta Layout’s Flex-Pool PCBs are manufactured exclusively in Germany. Only polyimide foils are used as the base material. These provide different benefits compared to other foils, differing substantially from rigid PCB materials.

EzPCB
www.ezpcb.com
Location: Shenzhen, China
EzPCB is an online provider of PCB manufacture and PCB assembly products and services. Based in China, the company’s worldwide business has been growing rapidly since its launch in 2004. EzPCB has supplied high quality PCBs—and related products and services—for over 2,000 customers from more than 40 countries. Its customers include amateurs, small businesses, universities and many world-class companies and organizations including Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Micron, Siemens, STMicroelectronics and Rohm.
Services Summary: PBC manufacturing, PCB assembly, cabling, enclosures, keypads, stencils and components, one-stop turnkey services and design consultation
Flexible PCB Services: Flex PCB support: Components mounted on flexible plastic substrates, such as polyimide, PEEK or transparent conductive polyester film. Additionally, flex circuits can be screen printed silver circuits on polyester. Flexible electronic assemblies may be manufactured using identical components used for rigid printed circuit boards, allowing the board to conform to a desired shape, or to flex during its use. Rigid-Flex PCB support: Flexible and rigid board structures are bonded together in the same units as one part of so called rigid-flex boards. Most rigid flex boards consist of multiple layers of flexible circuit substrates attached to one or more rigid boards externally and/or internally, depending upon the design of the application. Rigid-Flex PCBs contain a flexible part with an insulating layer and a conductor layer, and a rigid part with circuit wiring.

Epec
www.epectec.com
Location: New Bedford, MA
Epec specializes in custom, build to print electronics. It has a global team of engineers, designers, R & D innovators, product managers, manufacturing/supply chain professionals, quality assurance personnel and sales/customer service staff, all of whom are experts in their fields. Rather than limit its production capacity to its US and UK manufacturing centers, Epec has developed UL certified world class production facilities which are ISO-9001, QS-9002, TS-16949, with aligned technology roadmaps and quality systems.
Services Summary: Provides complete engineering and design services, from concept through production, in a quick and efficient time frame. Capabilities include: battery pack design and assembly, PCB electronic design, cable assembly design, flex and rigid-flex circuit design, user interface and more.
Flexible PCB Services: Epic’s flex and rigid-flex solutions and capabilities span from single- or double-sided circuitry to higher technology multilayer designs up to 6 layers. Its flexible circuits are built to withstand the rigors of aerospace, medical and military applications. As a high reliability replacement for wire and wire harness assemblies, flex circuits provide a significant cost savings with no reduction in performance.

 

Shown here is an example of Flexible Circuit Technology’s multi-layer flex PCB. It combines several single-sided or double-sided circuits with complex interconnections, shielding and/or surface mounted technologies in a multi-layer design. The layers may or may not be continuously laminated together throughout the production process.

Flexible Circuit Technologies
www.flexiblecircuit.com
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Flexible Circuit Technologies (FCT) has an internationally recognized flex circuit Application Engineering and Design Team offering over 250 years of combined industry expertise, allowing FCT to provide customers with superior design services and attentive overall support. By co-chairing the IPC (Association Connecting Electronics Industries) Flexible Circuit Design committee, FCT stays abreast of industry standards and helps set standards the industry.
Services Summary: Supports multiple types of flexible PCBs; value added Assembly, Testing Services to complete box builds; Design consultation, optimization, DFM (Design for Manufacturing), to final flex design; Supply chain management for components and materials; Prototypes through production; Low mix-high volume and high mix-low volume program support; Assembly services; Testing Services.
Flexible PCB Services: Supports single, double, multi-layer flex, rigid flex, flexible heaters, flat flex and membrane switches. Heat sinks can be laminated to flex circuits to dissipate heat away from sensitive components such as LEDs. Supports through hole and surface mount capabilities on Flex PCBs, as well as in circuit testing, conformal coating, and electrostatic protective packaging. Graphic overlays can be placed over flexible circuits, rigid boards or membrane switches.

Imagineering
www.pcbnet.com
Location: Elk Grove Village, IL
Imagineering acts as a reliable source for high quality and on time PCBs. Its quick turn prototypes not just intended for testing and verification of designs. Every one of its boards meet IPC-A-600 F (Class2) standard, be it prototype or production. Specializes in quick turn prototypes, as well as rapid turn production.
Services Summary: PCB assembly capabilities summary: SMT, Flip chip, thru hole, Flex circuit assembly, cable assemblies, lead-free assembly and wire harness assembly. Full Turnkey service for all customers if needed as well as partial turn-key and consignment orders. PCB capabilities include: 22-layer fabrication, hole sizes down to 8 mil plated and 5 mil laser drilled, 3 mil line width and spacing, 6 oz. copper and a maximum PCB thickness up to .300″.
Flexible PCB Services: Supports Multi-Layer, Rigid and Flex PCBs.

OurPCB
www.ourpcb.com
Location: Shijiazhuang Hebei, China
OurPCB is a multi-national PCB manufacturing and PCB assembly company that provides global service and support while using its own Chinese manufacturing capabilities. Company has provided professional PCB production and assembly services for more than 2,500 customers around the globe.
Services Summary: Assembly capabilities include BGA, LGA, QFN, QFP, DIP and SIP. The smallest SMT footprint it can mount is 0201. Factory can also provide programming and wiring as well as injecting and conformal coating services.
Flexible PCB Services: Can fulfill flex PCB orders of 20 layers maximum; high-quality, quick turn flexible PCB manufacturing services.
Processes and services include:
• Line Width/Space in the Inner Layer: 3/3 mil
• Min. Drilling Hole Diameter: 6 mil
• Tolerance for Impedance Control (+/-): 10% rts

PCBCart
www.pcbcart.com
Location: Hangzhou, China
PCBCart is a professional PCB production service provider with more than 10 years of experience in the electronics manufacturing industry. It has manufactured printed circuit boards for more than 10,000 companies and over 80 countries around the world. Fast, affordable prototype assembly they take your unique PCB designs, prepare them for the assembly process and perform comprehensive testing to ensure they meet your precise performance requirements. Can provide a complete turnkey PCB prototype assembly featuring a one-stop shop approach.
Services Summary: Development, manufacturing, assembly and testing of custom PCBs; Rapid PCB prototyping; Circuit boards manufacturing: PCB assembly; Components sourcing services
Flexible PCB Services: Specializes in the fabrication and assembly of flexible PCB products for use in the manufacturing of medical devices and various types of telecommunication and industrial equipment. Can also work with customers to produce a custom flex PCB prototype.
Specifications:
• Quality Grade Standard IPC 2
• Number of Layers 1 – 8layers
• Order Quantity 1 pc – 10,000+pcs
• Build Time 2 days – 5 weeks
• Material DuPont PI, Domestic Shengyi PI
• Board Size Min. 6 mm x 6 mm, Max. 406 mm x 610 mm
• Board Thickness 0.1 mm – 0.8 mm

PCB Unlimited
www.pcbunlimited.com
Location: Tualatin, OR
In 2003, PCB Unlimited’s sister company Stencils Unlimited pioneered the internet SMT stencil quote and order process. In 2008, PCB Unlimited took it one step further by providing a one-stop-shop where engineers can quote and order online US and offshore PCB services and everything else they need for their PCB projects.
Services Summary: US PCB fabrication including Rigid, Flex and Rigid-Flex PCBs; Offshore PCB Fabrication; US Quick-Turn Prototype PCB Assembly and Low Volume Production followed by our offshore operation to service your high-volume production needs
Flexible PCB Services: Flex and Rigid-Flex PCBs from prototype to production.
Specifications:
• Trace and space capabilities down to .003″/.003″ (0.5 oz.), .004″/.004″ (1 oz.)
• Microvia diameter from .003”
• Lead times as short as 5 days
• Multiple offshore partners quoting system to offer excellent pricing (ISO:9001 certified)
• Selective plating of gold on the same flexible circuit
• Minimum tolerance of ZIF connector to edge of flex +/- .003″

San Francisco Circuits
www.sfcircuits.com
Location: San Mateo, CA
Specializes in the complex, advanced technology of PCB fabrication and assembly, producing high quality multi-layered PCBs from elaborate layouts. Expertise in circuit boards is not limited to PCB manufacturing, but extends to PCB layout & PCB assembly.
Services Summary: PCB fabrication, PBC assembly and PCB layout services. Supports Mil-SPEC PCBs, Flex PCBs, Metal Core PCBs and many others.
Flexible PCB Services: Supports Flex PCBs and Rigid-flex PCBs. Can provide heavy copper flex circuit boards that can also be coupled with flexible thin copper layers designed to handle heavier power currents. Your heavy copper boards can be built with flex portions for lower voltage additions and applications.
Flex PCB specifications:
• Drill to copper – Outer layers 8 mil
• Drill to copper – Inner layers 10 mil
• Copper Thickness 0.5 oz. – 4 oz.
• Minimum Hole Size 0.004″
• Minimum Trace/Space 0.003″/0.003″
• Minimum Pitch 0.5 mm

Sierra Circuits can quickturn Flex PCBs in two days or less.

Sierra Circuits
www.protoexpress.com
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Sierra Circuits is an ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2016 and MIL-spec MIL-PRF-55110 certified, Silicon Valley-based, high-technology PCB manufacturer and assembler. It specializes in quick turn PCBs and medium production. By owning its manufacturing and assembly facilities, the company controls every aspect of the production schedule and quality.
Services Summary: Micro/fine line PCBs, PCB assembly, flexible PCBs, lead-free PCBs, high-reliability PCBs, no-touch PCBs, burn-in PCBs, R&D PCBs, MIL-spec PCBs, PCB design
Flexible PCB Services: Latest offerings include Flex PCBs, Rigid-flex PCBs, and microelectronics PCBs down to 1 mil trace/space (some restrictions apply). Offers high-quality, high-reliability quickturn flexible printed circuit boards in two days or less.
Flex PCB specifications:
• Max. Layer Count 12
• Min. Core Thickness .001″
• Min. Starting
Cu Foil Thickness O.L. 9 micron
• Max. Finished Cu Weight I.L. 2 oz.
• Smallest Mech. Drill Diameter .0079″
• Smallest Laser Drill Diameter .003″

This article appeared in the March 344 issue of Circuit Cellar

Don’t miss out on upcoming issues of Circuit Cellar. Subscribe today!

Note: We’ve made the October 2017 issue of Circuit Cellar available as a free sample issue. In it, you’ll find a rich variety of the kinds of articles and information that exemplify a typical issue of the current magazine.

Quick Prototyping Solutions

PCB Makers Up Their Game

Today’s embedded systems engineers have a rich variety of PCB quick prototyping resources to get their designs up and running. The PCB production and assembly vendors listed here feature lots of powerful online quoting tools, sophisticated PCB manufacturing expertise and world-class support services.

Accutrace
www.pcb4u.com
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Accutrace serves the electronics industry’s needs for quick turn PCB fabrication from prototype to production. They can manufacture only what is needed, when it’s needed—and in the amount needed. No need to worry about long shelf life or tying up your capital in bare board inventory.
Services: PCB capabilities: Capabilities: Up to 50 layers; any layer HDI; blind and buried vias; 2-mil line width and spacing; copper up to 16 oz. Materials supported: FR4, Rogers, ISOLA, Polymide-flex, Metal core, Taconic and Magtron

Advanced Circuits
www.4pcb.com
Location: Aurora, CO
3rd largest PCB manufacturer in the US. Advanced Circuits also offers exclusive services to help customers with their PCB Projects. Advanced Circuits can help you with all aspects of PCB fabrication—from manufacturing through assembly. It can create rapid prototypes and even provide weekend turns to get you your orders when you need them.
Services: Full spec PCBs, small quantity / quick turn PCBs, custom spec / quick turn PCBs, highly specialized precision PCBs and large scale production. No order is too small or too large.

AP Circuits
www.apcircuits.com
Location: Calgary, Canada
AP Circuits is a quick turn-around manufacturer of custom PCBs. Founded in 1984, AP Circuits became the world’s first facility devoted to affordable rapid printed circuit board prototyping. Over thirty years of experience getting your project done right and delivered on time.
Services: Quick turn PCB fabrication services include: Flex, semi-rigid, Multi-layer to 24 layer at 3 mil with multiple substrate options, laser drilling, blind/buried vias, Boring and countersink, direct metalization, UL/ISO/MIL/RoHS

Beta Layout
uk.beta-layout.com
Loc
ation: Shannon, Ireland
Beta Layout’s PCB-POOL operation is Europe’s largest manufacturer of PCB prototypes, with over 36,000 customers worldwide. PCB-POOL cost sharing principle enables system designers to benefit from low prices. You can calculate the prices instantly online using the PCB-POOL’s Online price calculation. PCBs using special technologies and materials can also be sourced directly from the company, from prototype to series production quantities.
Services: Prototype PCBs or small series PCBs in 1 – 6 working days; Laser-cut SMD-Stencils in 1-3 working days; Fully populated SMD and THT prototype boards in 2 working days; Support for PCBs with embedded UHF RFID modules

Beta Layout has an online pricing calculation tool that lets you unload your Eagle BRD files for 3D vacuolation.

Custom Circuit Boards
www.customcircuitboards.com
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Custom Circuit Boards is a full service quick turn PCB manufacturer located in Phoenix, Arizona with the capabilities to fabricate your prototype and production quantity PCBs. It We specializes in Quick turn PCB services with an industry leading turnaround time as fast as 24 hours. The company also does PCB prototypes, production PCBs and multilayer PCBs.
Services: From 1 to 40 PCB layers; Board material support includes: FR4, Rogers, Polyimide, Teflon, Black FR4, Arlon AR350, Getek Copper Clad Thermal Substrates, Hybrid (Rogers and FR4) BT Epoxy, Nelco 4013, Metal Core Materials

EzPCB
www.ezpcb.com
Location: Shenzhen, China
EzPCB is an online provider of PCB manufacture and PCB assembly products and services. Based in China, the company’s worldwide business has been growing rapidly since its launch in 2004. EzPCB has supplied high quality PCBs—and related products and services—for over 2,000 customers from more than 40 countries. Its customers include amateurs, small businesses, universities and many world-class companies and organizations including Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Micron, Siemens, STMicroelectronics and Rohm.
Services: PCB manufacturing, PCB assembly, cabling, enclosures, keypads, stencils and components, one-stop turnkey services and design consultation

Example of a 12-layer HDI boards with buried and blind vias built by ExPCB.

Epec
www.epectec.com
Location: New Bedford, MA
Epec specializes in custom, build to print electronics. It has a global team of engineers, designers, R & D innovators, product managers, manufacturing/supply chain professionals, quality assurance personnel and sales/customer service staff, all of whom are experts in their fields. Rather than limit its production capacity to its US and UK manufacturing centers, Epec has developed UL certified world class production facilities which are ISO-9001, QS-9002,
TS-16949, with aligned technology roadmaps and quality systems.
Services: Provides complete engineering and design services, from concept through production, in a quick and efficient time frame. Capabilities include: battery pack design and assembly, PCB electronic design, cable assembly design, flex and rigid-flex circuit design, user interface and more.

Imagineering
www.pcbnet.com
Location: Elk Grove Village, IL
Imagineering acts as a reliable source for high quality and on time PCBs. Its quick turn prototypes not just intended for testing and verification of designs. Every one of its boards meet
IPC-A-600 F (Class2) standard, be it prototype or production. Specializes in quick turn prototypes, as well as rapid turn production.
Services: PCB assembly capabilities summary: SMT, Flip chip, thru hole, Flex circuit assembly, cable assemblies, lead-free assembly and sire harness assembly. Full Turnkey service for all customers if needed as well as partial turn-key and consignment orders. PCB capabilities include: 22 layer fabrication, hole sizes down to 8 mil plated and 5 mil laser drilled, 3 mil line width and spacing, 6oz copper and a maximum PCB thickness up to .300″.

MacroFab
www.macrofab.com
Location: Houston, TX
MacroFab’s mission is to create the future of electronics manufacturing through user-centric, cloud-based technology. In October 2017 the company launched its 10-day Prototype turnaround service. This service benefit teams that quickly iterate on designs to finalize to their products.
Services: MacroFab’s software allows you to control and manage your entire PCBA manufacturing from start to finish. You can update your PCB layers and BOMs online, then approve the files for production.

MacroFab lets you upload your product design files directly onto its online platform. You can receive an instant quote and place your order without delays.

OurPCB
www.ourpcb.com
Location: Shijiazhuang Hebei, China
OurPCB is a multi-national PCB manufacturing and PCB assembly company that provides global service and support while using its own Chinese manufacturing capabilities. Company has provided professional PCB production and assembly services for more than 2,500 customers around the globe.
Services: Assembly capabilities include BGA, LGA, QFN, QFP, DIP and SIP. The smallest SMT footprint it can mount is 0201. Factory can also provide programming and wiring as well as injecting and conformal coating services.

PCBCart
www.pcbcart.com
Location: Hangzhou, China

PCBCart is a professional PCB production service provider with more than 10 years of experience in the electronics manufacturing industry. We’ve manufactured printed circuit boards for more than 10,000 companies and over 80 countries around the world. Fast, affordable prototype assembly they take your unique PCB designs, prepare them for the assembly process and perform comprehensive testing to ensure they meet your precise performance requirements. Can provide a complete turnkey PCB prototype assembly featuring a one-stop shop approach.
Services: Development, manufacturing, assembly and testing of custom PBCs; Rapid PCB prototyping; Circuit boards manufacturing: PCB assembly; Components sourcing services

PCB Unlimited
www.pcbunlimited.com
Location: Tualatin, OR
In 2003, PCB Unlimited’s sister company Stencils Unlimited pioneered the internet SMT stencil quote and order process. In 2008, PCB Unlimited took it one step further by providing a one-stop-shop where engineers can quote and order online US and offshore PCB services and everything else they need for their PCB projects.
Services: US PCB fabrication including Rigid, Flex and Rigid-Flex PCBs; Offshore PCB Fabrication; US Quick-Turn Prototype PCB Assembly and Low Volume Production followed by PCB Unlimited’s offshore operation to service your high-volume production needs

Screaming Circuits
www.screamingcircuits.com
Location: Canby, OR
Screaming Circuits, a division of Milwaukee Electronics, was founded in 2003 to reinvent electronics manufacturing. Unlike old-fashioned manufacturing models that focused on mass volumes and cost-control through rigidity, Screaming Circuits specializes in fast and flexible prototype and short-run assemblies. It offers short-run production for higher volumes without forecasts, NRE charges or volume commitments. If you need to go a step further with scheduled production, its parent company Milwaukee Electronics provides a full range of electronics manufacturing services, from original design to volume production and life-cycle management.
Services: PCB fabrication, PCB assembly, parts sourcing, layout engineering, prototype to volume production transitioning

Sierra Circuits
www.protoexpress.com
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Sierra Circuits is an ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2016 and MIL-spec MIL-PRF-55110 certified, Silicon Valley-based, high-technology PCB manufacturer and assembler. It specializes in quick turn PCBs and medium production. By owning its manufacturing and assembly facilities, the company controls every aspect of the production schedule and quality.
Services: Micro/fine line PCBs, PCB assembly, flexible PCBs, lead-free PCBs, high-reliability PCBs, no-touch PCBs, burn-in PCBs, R&D PCBs, MIL-spec PCBs, PCB design

Sierra Circuits can produce Flex PCBs with flex from 1 to 16 layers.

SlingShot Assembly
www.slingshotassembly.com
Location: Denver, CO
SlingShot Assembly’s state-of- the-art production facility handles prototype and low-volume production orders. From a single board and up, they use the latest software, processes and equipment to produce high-quality assemblies fast and at a reasonable price. Customers use the company’s assembly services for early prototype runs when they need high-quality assemblies completed in a matter of a few days. Typically, the quantities for early prototypes range from a single board to about 50. Once initial testing of early prototypes is completed, many customers move to late-stage prototyping or pre-production assemblies.
Services: Quick turn PCB assembly, standard assembly turn time: 2 – 3 days (turn times as fast as 24 hours available), prototype and low-volume production (single orders welcome, 100% turn-key components, turn-key board fabrication encouraged, test (including flying probe and functional test), conformal coating, limited box build services, web-based BOM sourcing and more.

This article appeared in the May 334 issue of Circuit Cellar

Don’t miss out on upcoming issues of Circuit Cellar. Subscribe today!
Note: We’ve made the October 2017 issue of Circuit Cellar available as a free sample issue. In it, you’ll find a rich variety of the kinds of articles and information that exemplify a typical issue of the current magazine.