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Who Makes Good boards?

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#55553

Who Makes Good boards? | 16 July, 2008

I'm sorry if this is the wrong forum. We use about 40,000 4-layer, 6-mil trace boards a year for a cost sensitive product. I'm getting disappointed with the low quality boards we are getting. Who would you recommend as a pcb vendor? Someone you have had consistently good quality from. Quality is more important than the cheapest price.

Mariss

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#55554

Who Makes Good boards? | 16 July, 2008

where are you located at? Harry

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#55555

Who Makes Good boards? | 16 July, 2008

Southern California. We buy boards from China as well as domestic sources.

Mariss

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#55556

Who Makes Good boards? | 16 July, 2008

Try Prototron Circuits. They have manufacturing plants in Redmond, WA and Tucson, AZ. We buy almost all of our circuit boards from them and have had very few quality issues for several years now. Not the cheapest out there but one of the higher quality pcb manufacturers. http://www.prototron.com

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#55557

Who Makes Good boards? | 16 July, 2008

Hi mariss , I m working as SMT Manager with EMTI(SMT Manufacturer), and Located in San Diego area.

Plz send me full description by email and i will ask my company sales man as he can give you more info with quote.

If you have any work of SMT then just email me and i can try to help you out.

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#55559

Who Makes Good boards? | 16 July, 2008

emti,

Thank you for the reply but I'm looking for a reasonable quality pcb mfg. We do SMT and thru-hole in house (3 Juki KE-750L machines) of our product.

My problem is with the bare boards: holes poorly registered with top copper, solder masks misregistered 0.2mm on 0.5mm pitch QFN package pads, shorted traces that couldn't have passed electrical but certified they did, copper swarf under the soldermask, etc. Boards that look like they were made by someone who just doesn't care. These incidents are becoming more common in the past 2 years from the several vendors we use. I'm just looking for a reliable board house.

Mariss

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#55560

Who Makes Good boards? | 16 July, 2008

Hi Mariss,

The Main Problem with China is that they are constantly in training mode due to extreme turn over of employees. There are good shops their but you need to look hard.

The Company I Sale for owns Two shops, 1 in Taiwan and 1 in china. We use China only for High volume Automotive product.

90% of our Business is quoted to our Taiwan house. Taiwan has worked with US shops for years and I believe have a lot Higher quality rating than China.

Our Company offers. quick turns, Standard lead times of 3 weeks. We also cover all shipping Costs. FOB Destination.

Send me an email and I will send you our Brochure.

We would be willing to run a sample lot or two on a Zero dollar PO# so you can see our Quality.

Give me a call or Email,

Best Regards, Mike Dupont 763-229-2867

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#55562

Who Makes Good boards? | 16 July, 2008

Hi Thanks for Replay,

As I told you our Company sales man making all our Turnkey PCB Manufacturing orders for us, and as an SMT Engineer, i m very well satisfied with the boards.

The problem is I directly don't know anything , like where they making , but just send me your board infomation and i will ask my Salesman if he can help me anyway.

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#55566

Who Makes Good boards? | 17 July, 2008

We have no issues with National Technology. Here is the email: sales@nationaltech.com and contact number (847) 506-1300. I am in no way associated with them but we purchase from them constantly and good quailty. I believe they manufacturer a good percent of thier boards in India.

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#55591

Who Makes Good boards? | 18 July, 2008

I would have to agree with Mike. All our boards from Taiwan are good. Most boards we get form China have board related issues.

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#55593

Who Makes Good boards? | 18 July, 2008

We use Advanced Circuits alot. I think all thier production is domestic. Always had good results. I like thier online quoting setup. We have also been using Epec with good luck so far. They have offshore capabilitiesin Tiawan and China.

http://www.4pcb.com/

http://www.epecpcb.com/

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#55603

Who Makes Good boards? | 20 July, 2008

Advanced Circuits does an excellent job. We Used them for 7 or 8 years and they were never late even once. They do quick turns and small lots domestically but larger quantities are done in Asia. Unfortunately their pricing is high (3 times what I think is a competitive price in quantity).

Mariss

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#55612

Who Makes Good boards? | 21 July, 2008

The industry mantra for the past decade or so has been minimizing material costs and inventory turns. Buyers in the EMS are given directives to buy as cheap as possible to meet these directives.

Consequently, they cheap out on the most important part of the Printed Circuit Board Assembly, the bare PCB itself. What is not quantified are the costs associated with cheap PCBs. Latent failures, field returns, assembly problems, etc.

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#55618

Who Makes Good boards? | 21 July, 2008

I've been using E-teknet for the last couple years, for a wide range of boards from 2 to 6 layers, and one of the 6-layer boards has an insane density and a zillion close-packed vias. Sam at E-teknet guided me through tuning the board design to optimize the hole size vs. annular ring to make it work.

My number one killer is a board house that takes money for electrical test but doesn't do it, especially on multilayer boards, where you really can't fix it easily when there is an inner layer short. I have never had this happen with e-teknet or advanced circuits in Denver. But, AC is now WAY too expensive.

I am currently having a problem with e-teknet's ENIG pad plating for lead-free boards. They are fine in reflow, but if any pad doesn't solder properly, rework is a total nightmare. I'm still trying to figure out what the best pad finish is for these boards. This is most likely a problem with my process rather than e-teknet's boards, too.

Jon

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#55686

Who Makes Good boards? | 25 July, 2008

I was very impressed and educated reading this discussion about "good board manufacturers". I have worked in SMT equipment development in the past, but am new to the board manufacturing issues. Here is my analysis of the preceding discussion. There are two consistent themes through the conversation: poor quality of many boards and high price of good quality boards. The old saying: "you get what you pay for" comes to mind. The reason high quality boards seem expensive is only because they are compared to poor quality boards. In many Asian companies where the cost of labor is very low; highly trained and experienced specialists are scarce; support infrastructure is lacking; social, political, and societal problems abound; production costs are lower than in companies employing highly trained and experienced people; using highly accurate and reliable equipment; and maintaining strict quality assurance policies. It is precisely because of the extra time and related production costs that the boards made in this country are more reliable and better quality. In short, that is the Quality Premium.

I recently joined a 25 year old board manufacturer, Capital Electro-Circuits, Inc. in Maryland. We specialize in boards used in RF, microwave, and generally close tolerance circuits. Of about 1,000 clients we've had throughout the U.S., there are virtually non that were dissatisfied with our boards. I've seen highly educated and very experienced people labor day and night to solve customer problems and come up with novel solutions to unique challenges. It should not be surprising that this kind of expertise and dedication costs more than low-quality high-volume work often done in developing countries. In the end, everyone needs to make a strategic decision about what is important to their company: low-cost/low-quality or higher-cost/higher-quality product. Thank you for reading my analysis and I would love to get your feedback at ted@capitalelectro.com

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