As one of the most cost-effective and high-quality PCB fabrication and PCB assembly service providers, we are having 50+ new engineers using our services for their research work. We are answering questions from around the world on the daily basis concerning their PCB and assembly business. We aggregate these questions for our new customers to know about our product and service.

Technology Aspect

Yes. But we also offer leaded PCB Fab. and PCB assembly services

If the clearance between the board’s edge and copper features is less than 3.5mm (138mil), or your boards need to be panelized for some reason, Break-away rails (Break-away tabs) must be added at the two longer paralleled edges of the boards to ensure that the boards can be assembled by the SMT machine.

You are welcome to panelize circuit boards together to make one order. To do this, all your files must come to us pre-panelized. However, we cannot rout these into individual boards. They will be shipped to you as a tab routed array or as an un-routed array as you specify on full spec orders.

This is a “v” groove cut into the top and bottom surface of an array of multiple PCB\’s or between a board and rails to be removed after assembly. The cut is usually 1/3 top, 1/3 bottom, leaving 1/3 uncut in the middle. This process is used when removing the tabs of a tab route is not a viable option, this does result in a less smooth finished board edge. The boards are typically set up side by side and end to end with the edges adjacent to each other. After assembly the boards are broken or snapped apart.

A tab route is used to create arrays, often called “route and retain”. The customer can place more than one board (same or different design) up in a given area in an array or panelized configuration. This is typically for the convenience of the customer or for assembly requirements that utilize pick and place machines to load components. The PCB\’s are then separated by breaking or cutting the tabs. Tabs are usually 0.100″ in width and are placed with at least 1 on each side of the boards.

The Test NRE is a one-time “non recurring expense” for electrical test. This charge is optional but when paid, all circuit boards will be tested each and every time that part number and revision is ordered without additional charge.

When we make any change to your printed circuit board, we assign it completely new tooling. This helps prevent old artwork or cnc programming from being used. Even a minor change will require the same process as new files, so a tooling charge may apply. Please contact your salesperson for details.

Yes. We stock several RF materials such as Rogers 4000, Teflon, and Duroid. All of the pricing is subject to change at any time without notice. We reserve the right to refuse any order at any time.

The Centroid file is the special file for assembly used for quickly programming the assembly machines. This is also known as aka Insertion, Pick-N-Place, or XY Data. Some of the CAD tools will automatically generate this file and some not, but you may need to modify the file and then generate the Centroid file. The Centroid file describes the position and orientation of all the surface mount parts, which includes the reference designator, X and Y position, rotation, and side of the Board (Top or Bottom). Only surface mounting parts are listed in the Centroid file.

Yes, We can handle BGA of 0.25mm pitch with X-ray testing. For BGAs, there are two designs via on-pad and via near-pad connected by a shorter trace. We need to tent and fill any vias near the pad of the BGAs with a solder mask to ensure the soldering quality. But for vias on a pad, we need to fill via with resin to make sure of the good soldering quality.

Panelization is needed when your PCB dimension is smaller than 50mmx100mm, or when your PCB is of any shape (circular, or odd shape) other than a rectangle, your boards must be panelized in an array for assembly. As we also fabricate your PCB for you, so once we start fabricating your boards we will have the paneling file (solder paste data), we will transfer the data to the PCBA department to create the stencil to match the panelized PCB.

IPC-A-610 Class 2,IPC-A-610 Class 3.

We can program some parts. If you need that, pls inform the part number and send the code to your sales for checking,Usually it is .hex file as below. Then our engineer will check whether we can do it and quote for the extra programming fee. thanks.

IC programming services. Capabilities include rapid turnaround IC programming services.IC programming will be performed before the chips are mounted on the board.

We support various package types (DIP, SDIP, SOP, MSOP, QSOP, SSOP, TSOP, TSSOP, PLCC, QFP, QFN, MLP, MLF, BGA, CSP, SOT, and so on.), and you can contact with your service/sales representative to help.

We understand the importance of Intellectual Property (IP). That’s why we are prepared to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) document upon the customer’s request. We also have a qualified programming management system.

We can either do soldering manually or by machine. For prototypes or assembly with few components totally, we usually solder manually; for small batch production or mass production, we solder by machine. If you have a special request on this, please make a note about it when you submit the SMT order.

Yes, we can do a test after assembly:
a. Normally we do an AOI test after assembly.
b. As for IC or BGA area, we can do an X-ray test if you request, and we will provide you the test result to review.
c. If there are many LEDs on PCB, we suggest testing the LEDs after assembly, otherwise, there will be about 2% failure. For LED testing, you need to send us the testing procedures with the pictures shown.
d. For function tests, you need to provide the test method including the test steps and pictures to explain it well. It will be better if you can provide the test video for reference. If there are specific test tools, please send them to us.
For both LED testing and function testing, the test fee will be confirmed and charged after testing, it’s calculated according to the time used.

Information Security Aspect

We respect the privacy of all our customers. We promise we will never share your personal information and or any technical data with any third parties. We can also sign an NDA upon the customer’s request.

ITAR, International Traffic in Arms Regulations, controls the export and import of defense-related articles and services on the United States Munitions List (USML). Please inform us if your PCBs are ITAR compliant or not after you place orders with us. For details of ITAR, please go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITAR and http://pmddtc.state.gov/

Delivery Aspect

With respect to PCB fabrication services,the turn-time begins immediately after your Gerber files and all other necessary files being received, reviewed by us and re-approved by your side. When all these reviews and approvals are done, we will start fabrication immediately.

With respect to PCBA assembly services, the turn-time begins immediately after all the parts and PCBs are ready and all the PCB files (Gerber files/other PCB files, etc.,), Centroid file (Pick & Place PNP file, or XY Data), BOM, and all other necessary data or documents/images/photos are complete for our assembly work.

As we need to source all the parts for Turn-key orders, the turn time largely depends on how quickly we can get all the parts. We will let you know through everyday email communications. Before all parts are ready, we will fabricate the PCBs and start to make the stencil so that we can start assembly immediately after we get the parts.

Yes, but it is based on the perception that the NEW way of shipping will be speedier for the shipping box to reach your address earlier than the previously chosen courier. All we do is ensure your best possible ordering experiences with PCBLOOP.com.

Our intent is to always ship via the carrier you choose and to use your shipping account number if provided; however, all the carriers (UPS, FedEX, and DHL) have different pickup schedules during the day and evening. Our last pickup is provided by UPS. If your order is ready for pickup after the final pickup time by your requested carrier we will change the carrier, as we assume that it is more important to you that you receive your order on time as expected rather than what carrier is used. In doing so, we will not be able to use your shipping account number. We will ship it on our account and add the shipping charges to your invoice. If you request a change to this policy, we will be glad to hold your order until the following day\’s scheduled pickup by your preferred carrier.

We work very hard to make sure all your PCB orders get shipped on time. There are occasions, however, when the freight carriers have delays and/or make shipment errors. We regret when this happens but we cannot be responsible for delays by these carriers.

The lead time of assembly order is long because of following reasons.

Components collection time is long. Some components will be imported and will take time for customs clearance and delivery. Or some parts are customized which requires a long lead time.

Please check below possibilities:

1). Can we use alternative parts for those with a long lead time.

2). Please send some components to us for assembly if you have stock.

It matters with the assembly quantity, PTH components quantity and if there are special procedures or not. If it’s the prototype order, we usually finish all in 3 working days after the sample photos are confirmed; for small and medium quantity orders, we can finish in 5 working days after sample photos are confirmed. If there is a special requirement like conformal coating or function testing, we need to check the complexity to confirm the final lead time.

After sales Aspect

1. Feedback to our after-sales department in time and send the pictures and video to us the first time.
2. It is better that you can analyze the reason for the problem to help us to solve the problem soon.
3. If it is problem-related to parts, it is better to describe the parts with a designator for easy checking.

PS: Please do not repair the defective PCBs before sending us pictures/videos or confirming the real reason for the problems with us. As it may be hard for our engineer to confirm the real reason for a problem after repairing.
We will refund or rebuild the PCBAs which got failures due to our responsibilities

Order Aspect

At PCBLOOP.com, you can use our hassle-free online quote system to get your price instantly and immediately after you input a few parameters online. Of course, you can still ask for a traditional quotation request by sending an email to Support@PCBLOOP.COM and our service person will quote within 24 hours, do not forget to enclose your Gerber files and all other necessary files for PCB quotation.

As PCBLOOP.com fabricate your PCBs in our facilities in Shenzhen China, we ship internationally to your country. As the customs policy in different countries may differ, some customs authorities in some countries may levy customs duty on imported PCBs. If this happens, it is your responsibility to pay. In many countries, the duty may be waived or exempted.

No. If NO production started. While a prorated cancellation fee will be charged for cancelled orders depending on fabrication status at the time of cancellation, and finished orders are subject to 100% cancellation fee. Please contact your Salesperson immediately and follow up with a fax or e-mail to confirm and provide written record for any verbal cancellation.

Currently, we do not use other’s PCBs to assemble at our facilities. We offer PCB fabrication, parts sourcing, and PCB assembly continuously and smoothly to save our customers time and money.

We need Gerber files, Centroid data, and BOM for your PCBA orders. As have already placed your PCB order with us, actually you only need to send the latter two if your PCB Gerber files have included the layers of silkscreen, copper track, and solder paste. If your PCB Gerber files are missing any of the above-mentioned three layers, please resend them, as this is the minimum request for PCBA. For the best possible result, please also send assembly drawings, instructions, and photos to us to avoid any ambiguous and even mistaken placement of parts, though these are not required by most of the assemblers.

Our printed circuit board assembly services make use of our PCB manufacturing facility, electronic components procurement team, and PCB assembly house in Shenzhen, China. As a UL member, PCBLOOP has certified all of its facilities to ISO9001, ISO 13485, IATF 16949, etc.

We do provide comprehensive components sourcing service to improve our assembly service. There are 4 flexible options for you to use our components sourcing service.

1) We supply all the components which will be purchased from authorized and reliable distributors.

Attention: No substitutes will be used without getting your approval.

2) We purchase all components from the distributors you recommend.

3) Kitted or Consigned: You supply all the components to us.

4) Combo: You supply some components and we supply the rest.

We have a very good cooperative relationship with some authorized and famous distributors, such as Digi-key Electronics, Mouser Electronics, Farnell element14, Arrow Electronics, Avnet, etc, which enable us to provide original and high-quality components. We also have some reliable local electronic suppliers. The local supplier is our top choice since they have a lot of stock locally, it will help us to save much time getting the components. Only when components are not available locally will we arrange to purchase from the above international distributors. It will take about 5-7 business days to obtain the components under the circumstances. Sometimes it may cost a long time like 7-10 business days if customs clearance takes too much time.

If your project is very urgent or you want to get a lower price on components compared price we quoted, we accept to buy components from your recommended suppliers. But please understand that we won’t guarantee the quality of those components.

We hope you can mark any individual package or box with the corresponding line number on BOM, manufacturer’s part# or customer’s part#, and quantities. A detailed packing list is preferred to enable us to count and check upon receipt of your parts.

Proper SMT machine setup and operation require parts overages. Unused and excessive parts supplied by you or purchased by us will be packaged and returned to you with the assembled boards.

SMT parts that are not supplied on reels should be on one continuous strip of tape.

If you need to assemble the same SMT part on different boards, do not cut them into strips, please keep them in the continuous strip of tape or on the reels.

Resistors, Capacitors, and Diodes (0603, 0805, 1206, 2225, SOT, SOD, MELF – packages) require a minimum of 50 pieces and have to exceed the required quantity by 30 pieces. (e.g.: assemble quantity 40 pieces – we will need 70 pieces – this meets our minimum of 50 pieces plus 30 pieces over assemble quantity).

Resistors, Capacitors, and Diodes (0201, 0402, miniMelf, miniature packages) require a minimum of 100 pieces and have to exceed the required quantity by 50 pieces. (e.g.: assemble quantity 80 pieces – we will need 130 pieces- this meets our minimum of 100 pieces plus 50 pieces over assemble quantity).

A small number of excess(1-5 pieces based on the total quantity of assemblies) is requested for expensive parts such as IC, BGA, QFP, Connectors, etc., this will ensure smooth assembling and shipping of your assembled boards on time. If you have any questions or doubts, please send a mail to support@pcbloop.com

Yes, please remark the supplier name or include the link in the BOM. There is an example of BOM on PCBLOOP website, please click the “BOM template” in the link below.

Excessive parts do exist because we will ask for some percentage of overage for consigned/kitted orders, or we will buy more for the same purpose for those Turn-key orders. You can either ask us to ship back to you these unused parts together with the loaded boards or keep them on our shelf for your next order. All up to you.

Before the SMT order gets approved, the assembly cost is just the estimated price for assembly only, it doesn’t include components cost. And the lead time is just the estimated lead time for the assembly process only. Components’ lead time isn’t counted in. We will make a final offer and show you the whole lead time after reviewing all your assembly files to pass the review then.

Usually, we will send you a quotation by email, pls check and advise accordingly. Or you can download it to your PCBLOOP account. There are some reasons for failure, pls check below.

1) No designators in the BOM.

Suggestion: Pls add them and send updated BOM to your sales.

2) Some parts without stock

Suggestion: Pls advise if there are any substitute parts and send them to your sales for checking again. 

3) Wrong part number

Suggestion: Pls send an updated part number

4) No part number or parameters on the BOM

Suggestion: Pls send updated part numbers or parameters

Pls, check the reasons below if your order is still under review.

1) Generally, it takes 1-2 days to collect the components’ price. If all are ok, we will pass the review and send the complete quotation to you for confirmation via Email. 

2) If there are some problems to confirm on PCB or assembly, we will send an email to confirm before passing the review, so you’d better notify the email as we may wait for your reply to solve the problem.

3) If don’t receive any email in 2days, you’d better contact your sales rep to proceed ASAP.

You can receive quotation within 1-2 business day usually, but if there are a great many types of components, you may receive quotation 1-2 days more.

Note: BOM file format completeness is very important for speeding up the PCBA quotation.

Bill of Material: List of all the components/materials required for assembly.

Supported File Format: ‘.csv’, ‘.xls’ and ‘.xlsx’

Content Has to Be Included:

Manufacturer: Manufacturer of component.

*MFG Part Number: Used to describe Manufacturer Part Number;

*Designator: Used to describe positions of components on PCB, such as R1, C1, U1, etc.

*Quantity: Component amount used per every single PCB.

*Footprint: Used to describe component package, such as 0402, 0603, 0805, QFN-48, etc.

Description: Used to describe components part number, specification, tolerance, etc. For example, ‘ 100nf 80%-20% 50V’.

Type (SMD/THT): Used to describe components soldering type. For example, ‘SMD’ refers to Surface Mounted Devices; ‘THT’ refers to Through Hole Technology.

Your Instructions / Notes: Some special instructions of components. For example, components soldering notes, components polarity or orientation, components soldering temperature, components firmware loading, components testing instruction, components soldering or not soldering(DNP,DNS), customer-supply components or not, etc.

Note: *Those are required fields. 

You should provide a correct BOM with detailed information on items, raw materials, package, description, part number, etc. To get quotations fast and accurately, you can download our BOM template to create your BOM with the necessary information.

When your BOM is ready, please submit a PCBA quote with the below button. If you just require components and don’t need PCB fabrication and assembly, please fill out the comments then upload BOM. Price of components will be ready within 1-2 business days.

For more information, please leave messages to us or contact your exclusive service representative through email support@pcbloop.com