Contract Manufacturing – Frequently Asked Questions
PCB Design & Printing
A stencil is used to apply the solder paste that adheres the SMT parts to the PCB. A high-quality stencil ensures that the correct amount of paste is applied to the correct surface area for each component. This is important because excessive or insufficient levels of paste can cause components to move or not adhere to the board.
Don’t panic. Just send us your PADS PCB file and we’ll take care of the rest.
For small runs we can accommodate most stencil types, however for medium to large runs we prefer to source stencils to fit our automated machinery.
We pre-order many commonly used components and store them at our manufacturing facility. For components that need to be sourced overseas, we reduce lead times by dealing directly with a number of sourcing houses. Lead times on these components are subject to global demand and availability, and can range from 1-12 weeks.
Yes. In fact, 99% of our components are already lead free. Click here for more information on our lead free services.
No, they are not.
Yes we can.
Absolutely! We frequently do partial turnkey for customers who already have some of their own materials.
No, there isn’t. We can produce only one prototype if required.
That depends on the run size and the complexity of the board. Our general turnover time for prototypes is 1 week.
To build your prototype we’ll need your BOM (Bill of Materials) and gerber file (PADS and altium PCB files are also accepted).
Once we have all of your components, our standard turnaround time is 10 working days.
Most of our run sizes are 100 to 10,000 units. For smaller volumes, refer to our prototype service.
Yes. We have EBSO machines to perform these tasks.
Up to 400W x 450L (SMT), 60-350 W (wave soldering)
We prefer to do full assembly, as we believe you’ll get a better result. However, we understand that this is not an option for some companies, and we are happy to oblige.
We use anti-static bubble wrap and anti-static bags. We can also custom design packaging for high-volume shipments.
No. Lead free components are the same price as leaded components.
RoHS is a European Union directive which took effect in 2006 and is enforced in each EU member state. Major companies in some other countries (such as China and Japan) are embracing RoHS voluntarily. Although there is no similar US legislation pending, most manufacturers will not waste their time producing both leaded and lead free versions of a single product intended for global export.
RoHS is the ‘Restriction of Certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment’. RoHS restrictions apply to five other hazardous materials as well as lead: cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl and polybrominated biphenyl ethers.
The primary catalyst for lead free legislation has been growing concerns that electronic products disposed in landfills could be leaking hazardous substances into groundwater systems.
Testing & QC
Although the demands on electronic manufacturers (in terms of features and functionality) are always on the increase, product life-cycles continue to shorten. Testing ensures that both yield and quality expectations are consistently met, saving you money and preventing loss of reputation.
Not necessarily. At Define Instruments we source our test-jigs off shore and can provide you with genuinely competitive rates on the use of our ICT tester. PLUS, testing now is insurance for later: simple faults which are easily fixed at the prototype stage can cost thousands of dollars in engineering time if a flaw is detected after the product has been sold.