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Quick-Turn PCB Prototyping

Written by Jeff Child

Speedy Services at the Ready

For embedded systems engineers, there is a rich variety of PCB quick turn prototyping resources to get their designs up and running. Today’s PCB production and assembly vendors offer lots of powerful online quoting tools, sophisticated PCB manufacturing expertise and world-class support services. This roundup summarizes the quick turn PCB prototyping service capabilities available today and who’s providing them.


ACCUTRACE

www.pcb4u.com
Location: Santa Clara, CA

Encompassing all aspects of the PCB manufacturing, Accutrace offers seamless integration of services for each phase of the process—from prototype to production (small to medium lot production).

Services Summary: From same day, quick-turn prototyping to production; Full CAD/CAM review plus design rule checking on all Gerber files; Materials: FR4, Rigid, Flex Metal Core, Polymide, Rogers, Isola, etc.; HDI capabilities: blind/buried microvias, 10+N+10, via-in-pad, sequential lamination, any layer, etc.; direct laser drilling, plasma de-smear, laser microvia, conductive plate shut

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Flexible operating environment delivers highly advanced, multi-layer boards in as little as 24 hours. Quick-turn service characterized by extremely complex work, at lower volumes, with rigorous turnaround requirements. Every project is carefully analyzed for its compliance with DFM (design for manufacturing). Within hours of receipt of new Gerber files, highly experienced DFM engineers conduct these analyses.


PCBWAY

www.pcbway.com
Location: Shenzhen, China

— ADVERTISMENT—

Advertise Here

PCBWay is a Shenzhen-based PCB manufacturer and PCB assembler. Its online pricing software gets you an instant quote on your PCB assembly service. PCBWay has accumulated lots of reliable and competitive parts suppliers in the world to ensure the quality and cost of parts sourcing. All jobs can be done under one roof, either SMT, thru-hole or hybrid

Services Summary: Quick turn PCB prototyping, PCB assembly and low-volume production. Small volume quick turn PCBs, custom spec quick turn PCBs, full spec PCBs, highly specialized precision PCBs and largescale production PCBs.

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Specializes in quick-turn PCB services with a turnaround time as fast as 24 hours. Can produce high-quality PCBs with competitive price both for prototypes and low volumes. Flex PCBs, Rigid-Flex PCBs, metal core PCBs, high Frequency PCBs, high-TG PCBs, aluminum PCBs, SMD Stencils, turn-key PCB assembly services and more


ADVANCED ASSEMBLY

www.aapcb.com
Location: Aurora, CO

Advanced Assembly launched in 2004 with a new way to assemble just a few boards in 3 days or less: Quick turn PCB assembly. The company has assembled over 40,000 unique designs in the last decade for some of the largest and most innovative tech companies in the world, including many Fortune 500 organizations.

Services Summary: Quick turn PCB assembly, smallest PCB: 0.25″ × 0.25″, largest PCB: 20″ × 24″, SMT and thru-hole, fine pitch to 08 mils, parts in any format, LCC/CSP, double-sided SMT assembly

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Design-for-assembly (DFA) verification, first article service, turnkey assembly, PCB fabrication—Flex/Rigid-Flex, partners with top fab houses to procure the highest quality bare boards


ACCUTRACE

www.pcb4u.com
Location: Santa Clara, CA

— ADVERTISMENT—

Advertise Here

Encompassing all aspects of the PCB manufacturing, Accutrace offers seamless integration of services for each phase of the process—from prototype to production (small to medium lot production).

Services Summary: From same day, quick-turn prototyping to production; Full CAD/CAM review plus design rule checking on all Gerber files; Materials: FR4, Rigid, Flex Metal Core, Polymide, Rogers, Isola, etc.; HDI capabilities: blind/buried microvias, 10+N+10, via-in-pad, sequential lamination, any layer, etc.; direct laser drilling, plasma de-smear, laser microvia, conductive plate shut

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Flexible operating environment delivers highly advanced, multi-layer boards in as little as 24 hours. Quick-turn service characterized by extremely complex work, at lower volumes, with rigorous turnaround requirements. Every project is carefully analyzed for its compliance with DFM (design for manufacturing). Within hours of receipt of new Gerber files, highly experienced DFM engineers conduct these analyses.


BETA LAYOUT

www.pcb-pool.com
Location: Shannon, Ireland

Beta Layout’s PCB-POOL operation is Europe’s largest manufacturer of PCB prototypes, with over 40,000 customers worldwide. 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: PCB base materials: standard FR4, aluminum, polyimide; 1 to 6 layers; copper thickness: 35µm (Flex PCBs: 18µm); max. dimensions: 430mm × 380 mm or 380mm × 430mm

Quick-Turn PCB Services: PCB prototypes currently produced from 8 hours. Can perform assembly on PCB prototypes and “small series” (up to 50 pieces) with SMT and THT components starting with just one component and from one piece. SMT and THT from size 0402 SOIC, PLCC, TSOP, QFP, BGA Diverse SM-exotic and SM – connectors. Stocks over 1,000 components for PCB assembly.


EasyOEM/COOLPCB

www.schotry.com/coolpcb
Location: Beijing, China

EasyOEM is one of the business units of Schotry Business International. EasyOEM a one-stop service Schotry provides to its customers a total solution for electronics manufacturing tasks. It’s other business units are Coolpcb, focused on quick turn PCB prototyping and EzBOM, a components/materials procurement service.

Services Summary: EMS, machining services, procurement services, design services, BOM services, PCB prototyping

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Coolpcb provides one-stop, quick-turn PCB prototyping service to world-wide customers. It’s aimed at customers who need fast circuit design verification / prototype evaluation. 24-hour fast turn-around PCB fabrication. 1-3 day parts preparation. 3-day fast PCB assembly. Quick on-site electric or functional test. Free design consultant / Free samples. Flexible payment plan. No minimum order requirements. 1 piece OK. Live chat online support.


EPEC

www.epectec.com/epec
Location: New Bedford, MA

Since 1952, Epec has continued its tradition of perfection in engineering and manufacturing PCBs. Supports more than 5,000 active customers that represent a wide range of leading original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and electronics manufacturing services (EMS) companies in the automotive, communications, medical, military, aerospace and portable device industries.

Services Summary: Free DFM PCB file reviews, 24/7 engineering support, electrolytic hard gold/soft gold/ENIG finishes, MIL-PRF/AS9100 certification and many others; Advanced HDI, stacked microvias, multilayer advanced RF/microwave, laser drilled microvias, cavity boards, heavy/extreme copper, via-in-pad, DOD/ITAR and more

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Unlike several Internal-based PCB companies, Epic can handle more complex PCBs that require 100% absolute quality and consistency throughout the entire life of the development and into production. Pre-production or beta-run PCBs with delivery times as fast as 2 days. Production quick-turn PCBs and quick-turn ITAR PCBs.

— ADVERTISMENT—

Advertise Here


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. Can supply boards up to 40 layers; 2.5mil traces and 0.1mm holes.

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Quick-turn PCB prototypes: 3 days for two layers, 5 days for four layers, 5 days for six layers. Gerber 274X with Excellon drill files preferred, but Altium and Eagle files are also accepted

Today’s PCBs come in all shapes and sizes. This Flex PCB was built by EzPCB.

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: Component procurement, inventory stocking, manufacturing and assembly, program management, prototyping, design assistance and testing services

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Given the nature of flexible circuits, FCT believes that it’s important to develop prototypes at the same facility that will produce your production parts. That means no surprises related to performance and using the same materials, equipment and processing methods for the prototype build that are utilized in production. Lead times depend upon complexity, material needs, and for circuit assemblies on component availability/lead time.


IMAGINEERING

www.pcbnet.com
Location: Elk Grove Village, IL

Imagineering specializes in rigid and flex double-sided and multilayered PCBs. Offers same-day turnaround for prototyping and production in as few as 7 days, along with dynamic quoting and ordering. Domestic and offshore manufacturing facilities and state-of-the-art production capabilities, you’ll receive aerospace quality at standard prices. From prototype to production, all boards meet class 3 standards.

Services Summary: With offshore facilities in Korea, Taiwan and mainland China, able to offer PCB fabrication economies of scale leveraging global buying power. Facilities are UL94V-0, ISO-9002, QS-9000, IS0-14000, and AS9100D/ISO9001:2015 certified. Full turnkey PCB assembly services. Handle the whole process including ordering the components, PCB manufacturing, PCB assembly, testing and final shipment. Capable of assembling BGA, Micro-BGA, QFN and other leadless package parts.

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Same-day turnaround for prototyping and production in as few as 7 days. Offers prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs. With bare boards, components and assembly labor under one roof, can offer aerospace quality at standard prices.


JLCPCB

www.jlcpcb.com
Location: Shenzhen, China

Founded in 2006, JLCPCB is a leading global PCB manufacturer, who provides the rapid production of high-reliability and cost-effective PCBs. JLCPCB is continuously driven to become more efficient and reduce costs. JLCPCB makes the cheapest but top-quality PCBs possible because of scale effect, extremely high production efficiency and less manpower cost.

Services Summary: 1-, 2-, 4- and 6-layer PCBs, FR-4 Standard Tg 130-140/ Tg 155, 400mm × 600mm max. PCB dimensions, board thickness: 0.4/0.6/0.8/1.0/1.2/1.6/2.0mm

PCB Assembly Services: JLCPCB can make PCB prototype is as short as 24 hours, because of the smart technologies and fully automatic equipment applied in its production lines. It utilizes the available capacity of its factory network so that its system can match your orders to one of its factories to which the order is best suited, in the shortest turnaround time.


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: PCB assembly, components procurement, PCB manufacturing, Flex PCBs, Rigid-Flex PCBs, custom wiring and cable assembly

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Focused on online prototype orders. Can accept 4 kinds of files format (gerber, .pcb, .pcbdoc or .cam file format) for PCB prototype manufacturing. Normal lead times: 5 to 6 days. Expedited lead times 24 to 48 hours


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 PCBs 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; PCB manufacturing: PCB assembly; Components sourcing services

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Offers rapid PCB prototyping services for quick-turn PCBs at high quality and low cost. Fully compliant with ISO9001:2008 quality management systems. In-house quality control department to verify that all work meets high standards. Depending on custom requirements, can prototype your PCB within 3-7 days, compared to 6-18 days for standard PCB services.


PCB ONLINE

www.pcbonline.com
Location: Shenzhen, China

PCB ONLINE is the online factory outlet store of the Global Success Group. It provides high-end EMS, including but not limited to advanced PCB manufacturing, assembly, layout service and component sourcing.

Services Summary: PCB production capacity in rigid PCB, flex PCB, rigid-flex PCB, aluminum PCB, thick-copper PCB, MPCB, ceramic PCB, high-frequency PCB, etc. PCB assembly services include BOM electronic component sourcing, PCB assembly, PCBA testing, end product package and fast delivery. Can also design PCB for your project.

Quick-Turn PCB Services: All PCBs strictly quality controlled to be compliant with ISO, RoHS and IPC standards. Quick delivery times with the fastest delivery in only 12 hours. Quick-turn PCB services for all types of circuits boards including, but not limited to the following: single-layer and double-layer PCBs, multilayer constructions, aluminum core PCBs, halogen-free boards, HDI designs, high-frequency PCBs, flexible constructions, rigid-flex boards, heavy copper boards, lead-free PCBs and more.

HDI PCBs are high-density interconnect circuit boards that utilize extremely small traces and vias to decrease the overall size of an electrical design (Source: PCB ONLINE).

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: PCB fabrication including Rigid PCBs up to 40 layers, Flex and Rigid Flex PCBs, metal core PCBs, HDI PCBs, mixed materials, ISO and UL Certified PCBs, PCB design and layout services, PCB assembly services

Quick-Turn PCB Services: PCB Unlimited’s UU group provides quick-turn PCBs. It can ship 2- and 4- layer PCBs as fast as 24 hours. Partners with PCB manufacturers in Taiwan that specialize in manufacturing complex PCBs. Also partners with PCB manufacturers in China that fabricate high quality PCBs at very competitive prices. They can do prototype and production volumes.


PCBWAY

www.pcbway.com
Location: Shenzhen, China

PCBWay is a Shenzhen-based PCB manufacturer and PCB assembler. Its online pricing software gets you an instant quote on your PCB assembly service. PCBWay has accumulated lots of reliable and competitive parts suppliers in the world to ensure the quality and cost of parts sourcing. All jobs can be done under one roof, either SMT, thru-hole or hybrid

Services Summary: Quick turn PCB prototyping, PCB assembly and low-volume production. Small volume quick turn PCBs, custom spec quick turn PCBs, full spec PCBs, highly specialized precision PCBs and largescale production PCBs.

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Specializes in quick-turn PCB services with a turnaround time as fast as 24 hours. Can produce high-quality PCBs with competitive price both for prototypes and low volumes. Flex PCBs, Rigid-Flex PCBs, metal core PCBs, high Frequency PCBs, high-TG PCBs, aluminum PCBs, SMD Stencils, turn-key PCB assembly services and more


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 and PCB assembly.

Services Summary: PCB production, PCB assembly, prototype PCBs, PCB testing/inspection, PCB surface finishers, Flex PCBs, Rigid-Flex PCBs, RF PCBs, metal-core PCBs, MilSpec PCBs, quick-turn PCBs

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Sample lead times on quick-turn PCBs: 8-layer FR 4 boards in 24 hours, Rigid Flex PCBs 48 hours, military-grade boards in 48 hours, PCB assembly in 24 hours

San Francisco Circuits’ borderless board approach enables it to produce quick-turn prototype PCBs of all types including consumer PCBs, Flex PCB, metal core PCB and military PCBs—by leveraging its diverse portfolio of vendor relationships.

SCREAMING CIRCUITS

www.screamingcircuits.com
Location: Canby, OR

Screaming Circuits, a division of Milwaukee Electronics, was founded in 2003. 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.

Services Summary: PCB fabrication, PCB assembly, parts sourcing, layout engineering, prototype to volume production transitioning

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Assembles prototype and short-run production PCBs in as little as 24 hours, in quantities as few as one board with no NRE cost or setup fees. 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.


SEEED FUSION SERVICE

www.seeedstudio.com/fusion.html
Location: Shenzhen, China

Seeed Fusion Service offers one-stop prototyping services PCB manufacturing, PCB assembly and other electronic and mechanical customized services such as CNC Milling, 3D printing and PCB layout services. Seeed Fusion promises mature PCB manufacturing and fabrication with affordable prices, competitive lead times and 100% quality guaranteed.

Services Summary: Prototype PCBs, PCB assembly, stencil, 3D printing, PCB layout

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Quick-turn one-stop and turn-key PCBA prototyping service includes PCB fabrication, components procurement and assembly with reasonable prices starting from $25. Over 150,000 commonly used components in its Open Parts Library (OPL). Source from the OPL and reduce the entire PCBA lead time to just 7 workings day.

Seeed leverages Shenzhen, China’s extensive and flexible supply chain so it can offer customization and agile manufacturing services, ranging from a single unit to over 10,000 units.

SIERRA CIRCUITS

www.protoexpress.com
Location: Sunnyvale, CA

Specializing in quick turn PCBs and medium production runs, Sierra’s primary focus is delivering the highest quality product in the shortest amount of time. What makes this possible is that Sierra is the actual manufacturer and assembler of PCBs. By owning its manufacturing and assembly facilities, it controls every aspect of the production schedule.

Services Summary: Rigid PCBs, PCB assembly, Flex and Rigid-Flex PCBs, HDI (blind and buried vias), microelectronics PCBs, MilSpec and aerospace PCBs, controlled impedance, PCB design

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Turnkey Pro online self-service offers full PCB fabrication and assembly as a bundle. This service allows you to get your standard technology PCBs fully assembled in as fast as 5 days. No Touch PCB service enables you to get cost-effective bare boards through an online service.


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 Summary: Specialist in PCB assembly

Quick-Turn PCB Services: Quick turn PCB assembly with standard assembly turn time: 2 to 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.


WELLPCB

www.wellpcb.com
Location: Australia

WellPCB, registered in Australia, is a daughter company of Uniwell Circuits. It’s focused on PCB fabrication and PCB assembly turnkey services and is capable of delivering over 10,000 varieties monthly. It has two state-of-the-art factories and one PCB assembly factory founded in April 2007.

Services Summary: PCB manufacturing, PCB assembly, Flex PCBs, Rigid-Flex PCBs

Quick-Turn PCB Services: WellPCB can deliver a quick 24-hour turnaround to deliver double-sided PCBs, 48-hour turnaround for 4-to-8-layer PCBs and 120-hour turnaround for 10-layer PCBs and higher.

Editor’s Note: The companies listed are a representation of the products and services available. It is by no means a comprehensive list of all available providers. 

PUBLISHED IN CIRCUIT CELLAR MAGAZINE • MARCH 2021 #368 – Get a PDF of the issue

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Editor-in-Chief at Circuit Cellar | Website | + posts

Jeff Child has more than 28 years of experience in the technology magazine business—including editing and writing technical content, and engaging in all aspects of magazine leadership and production. He joined the Circuit Cellar after serving as Editor-in-Chief of COTS Journal for over 10 years. Over his career Jeff held senior editorial positions at several of leading electronic engineering publications, including EE Times and Electronic Design and RTC Magazine. Before entering the world of technology journalism, Jeff worked as a design engineer in the data acquisition market.

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Quick-Turn PCB Prototyping

by Jeff Child time to read: 13 min