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What does it cost after all...

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 1:04 pm
by kaiki
Hi,
I'm VERY new to designing and making hardware, however I'm trying to do this project for an idea I had and so far I'm quite confident on the design and stuff.
However I seem to be coming to a fullstop when it comes to building prototypes and budgeting for a production quantity.

I got a quote from some design company, who wanted to charge me 10K for design services and a huge percentage for every board made thereafter.
So I finally decided to spin my own board, so far its going well (only schematics so far) however if i do some searches for quotes on PCB's I seem to be getting some pretty hefty prices :
Board specs : 4 layers, 4 sq inches, ~40 unique SMT components (60 total) (only one QFP ic, and the rest caps/resistors etc.) SMT components on either sides.
In volumes of 100 and 1000 (for 10 days or more delivery) the quote for getting a PCB made was ~4, and assembly was around 6. (companies randomly googled for)

So 10 dollars for board costs for a $10 BOM sounds like a REALLY large number. So my questions :
- does that sound like a reasonable price?
- How do I try and reduce this price? (China? - I saw someone else's post here about alibaba.com, any best practices for doing business with them? etc etc?)

Thanks...

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:25 pm
by pittuck
I would guess u get what you pay for.

I would pick two or three from a shortlist and email them for a quote, measure responce times and also information given, ask for a small quantity run for quality assurance etc.

I assume this company you are working for has never had PCB's made? In which case you should be able to explain that buying 10pcbs from 3 different companies is worth it in the long run (you can get an idea of quality / communications and most importantly postage times)

$10 is not a lot if you have loads of components in a small space. Going to china would be a good idea, but make sure u do a small run to check quality before going for 1000 ;)

As for best practices, dont pay upfront if possible / use a reputable company (decent website / good independant reviews)