[sdiy] Re: [AH] SMT for PC Boards Assembly info

Tom Farrand mbedtom at gmail.com
Sun Nov 16 08:31:38 CET 2008

FWIW, we've pumped a lot of stuff through AAPCB.  They mostly do
decent work but the majority of what they do is non-RoHS.  We insist
on RoHS because much of what we do will be run through agency testing
once everything passes verification testing.  (Is mostly medical
equipment.)  What I have experienced is that some RoHS compliant
boards were cooked to death.  The white silk legends turned yellow and
some connector contacts turned bluish.  We only had that problem once
but it sticks in my mind because it was fairly recent.  Because the
majority of stuff AAPCB does is non-RoHS, when they get our stuff they
have to kick up the temperatures and change out the screening stations
for RoHS paste application.  That is a major pain for them.  Non-RoHS
stuff is great ... leaded solder flows nicely at lower temperatures
and is easy to swap out parts.  RoHS sucks because it is a bitch to
get components up to temperature for a replacement.  Yeah we have most
of the toys for SMT but it still sucks.  Swapping out a bunch of 0402
or 0201 caps or resistors is a major pain in the ass.  And I really
hate chip-scale and QFN parts!  I dread it when I have to tweak
something with those parts.

AAPCB's deal is that they charge $1 per part to place them, minimum
$185 per board.  200 parts is $200 per board.  If you buy the parts
and kit them up, that is what you pay.  If you want AAPCB to buy the
parts, they will order them for you from Digikey at a 30% premium.
Prices for the end product do vary based on turn times.  We are often
in a hurry so we do fast turns rather often.  We have pushed the
envelope so far as to send out Gerbers on a Friday afternoon and
received built product the next Tuesday morning.  Trust me, you don't
want to know how much that cost!  It is especially expensive when one
has flex circuits squished in the middle of a non-flex board stack.
Ouch!  The important bit is that such things can be done though it
does require some arm twisting and a hefty checkbook.

As to DIY and AAPCB ... I cannot see that happening unless you have
lots of spare cash, little patience, and a short attention span.

Tom Farrand

On Sat, Nov 15, 2008 at 12:27 AM, Logan Mitchell Sr
<prowlerraven32 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Here's some info from a postcard that I received yesterday for people who have PC boards that use SMT parts. The company is called Advanced Assembly 20100 East 32nd Parkway Suite 225 Aurora CO 80011 1-800-838-5650 www.aapcb.com. Logan
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