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Lion Circuits : AI-driven Manufacturing Platform

Lion Circuits : AI-driven Manufacturing Platform

Continuing on the journey of making our readers familiar with different PCB manufacturers and their specifications so that as a beginner you can make an informed choice. 

In this article we will be unwrapping the details of an Indian PCB manufacturer company, Lion Circuits

About the Manufacturer:

Started in 2016, Lion Circuits is an Appliances, Electrical, and Electronics Manufacturing company that is specialised in Printed Circuit Boards, Printed Circuit Boards Assembly, Process Automation, and ML.

Currently it is privately held and is headquartered at Bengaluru, India. 

What sets them apart?

Lion Circuits provide Instant Quote option and facility to place order in small batches which is very uncommon in Indian market. Unlike other top manufacturers that suits only the requirements of big industries that place order in huge numbers Lion Circuit are most suitable for providing high standard, affordable online PCB manufacturing and assembly services for the growing hardware engineering start-up sector in India and worldwide.

Key Highlights: 

Lion Circuits offer multiple specifications and cutting edge technological support on their platform to make your experience hassle free:

  • Design Confidentiality: They guarantee end-to-end PCB design confidentiality. 
  • On Cloud Hardware Version Control: Using the cloud, the PCB design submitted by you can be modified at any time before the fabrication starts, and each change will be maintained as a separate version.  
  • AI based Quality Assurance: Visual inspection of PCB making machine and due to AI evolution of such inspection after every test cycle. 
  • End-to-End Automated Platform: From placing order to tracking your order until delivered, they provide automation and convenience. 
  • Automated Quotation: Price comparison, number of unit selection, real-time ordering, is all provided by Lion Circuits on their platform through Instant Quote. 
  • Fast Turnaround: They guarantee 7-days lead time for turn-key PCB fabrication along with assembly and only 3-days lead time for PCB fabrication (But might charge extra for express service).
  • Instant DFM: It is a self-learning Design-For-Manufacturing (DFM) system. It improves based on previous manufacturing feedback and provides valuable manufacturing insights early in the design cycle.
  • Provide User Guidance: Even if you are new to placing PCB manufacturing orders you can easily do so since Lion Circuits provide guidance through their ‘User Guide’. Generating Gerber files using different software’s is also taught. 
  • Author Incentive Program: By contributing to their blog by writing tech blogs, engineering articles or DIY projects you can earn coupons that will be used during PCB assembly and fabrication costing. 

Array of Customers:

Be it an engineer or an enthusiast, the requirements of every customer are fulfilled by the manufacturers as their array of customers makes prototyping teams, designers, engineers, hobbyists, students and circuit builders.

They provide low, medium and high volume ordering experience for all their customers.

Compatibility Compass: Prototype to Production

  • PCB Fabrication: Their PCBs are high quality, Solder Mask Over Bare Copper (SMOBC), HASL (Hot Air Solder Levelling) finish, with FPT (Flying Probe Testing). Further, customization is also allowed. 

There are three variations of PCB Fabrication services:

  1. Mii (Make In India) Services– It is a low cost, non-customizable PCB service that takes around 8 days fabrication time.
  2. Custom Services– Customizable, dynamic pricing 8 days fabrication time services.
  3. Rush Services– Customizable, dynamic pricing with fabrication time as low as 4 days

Also, they can manufacture rigid, flexible as well as any special kind of PCB as demanded by the customer. And they support 4 to 6 layered PCB in stack which can be customized too depending on the requirements. 

They support all industry standard PCB design tool generated Gerber ( Autodesk Eagle, Altium, KiCAD, OrCAD, DipTrace ).

  • PCB Assembly: They support SMT, Through Hole Assembly and Turnkey services. They support automated assembly from stencil printing, pick and place and reflow for surface mount devices and wave soldering for through hole components.

Some of their assembly capabilities are:

  1. BGA/QFN/QFP/LGA Soldering with X-ray inspection
  2. Pb-Free pcb assembly support
  3. Passives upto 0402 package
  4. Packed and shipped in ESD secure covers
  5. Components in Reel/Tape/Tray support
  6. Custom reflow profile support
  • Electronic Component Sourcing: Using their platform, you can order electronic components from anywhere in India. They provide a range of different electronic component distributors like digikey, mouser, element14 and arrow to compare their prices and choose wisely. 

By simply uploading a BOM file on their platform various vendors’ recommendations are shown. They offer BOM Scrubbing, Sourcing and RoHS /REACH compliance options to even make your job easier and faster. 

Electronic Component Sourcing Process
  • Functional Testing: They use a machine learning-based Advanced Intelligence-Driven visual inspection system for quality assurance and it learns with every test cycle.

Their functional testing producer includes-

Short/open check, Device-Firmware-Upgrades (DFU), Digital/Analog testing, Power-up tests and Basic voltage tests at various points defined on the board. Their current pass-rate is > 99% and also you can go through there capabilities to understand the manufacturing limits.

Lead Time and Value for Money:

Using their instant quote comparison we have calculated lead time and prices on their platform for different unit orders.

For fabrication, there are certain minimum order limits for the three mentioned categories:

  • Mii Services minimum number of units is 10
  • Custom Service minimum number of units is 3
  • Rush Service minimum number of units is 1

A comparison has been show between the pricing and lead time between them for a PCB with standard specifications:

  • PCB Thickness: 1.6mm
  • PCB Finish: HASL
  • Copper Thickness: 1 oz (35um)
  • Mask Colour: Green
  • Auto quote is for 2-4 layered PCB, for 6-12 layered one has to contact the Lion Circuits. 

The comparison:

In case of assembly:

For Manual Assembly
For Automatic Assembly

How to Place an Order?

You can directly login to Lion Circuits platform and click on option ‘Order Now’ to get started. 

Window for Placing Order

On the left hand side various ordering options are listed for the customer to choose from making the ordering process hassle free. Further, they have provided a default sample project so that you can review given quotation and other details and understand the quoting process. 

Clicking on the sample project you can review PCB image, quotation, contact the team, update the current design and also ask for DFM feedback. 

Other Important Details:

Payment and Refund:

While placing order at Lion Circuits following payment related information should be kept in mind:

  • No cash on delivery option is available and order will be processed only after Payment is made. 
  • A Purchase Order (PO) option is available for Enterprise Customers.
  • They accept payments in INR/USD only. 
  • Available Payment Methods for:
    • Indian Orders – Credit Card, Debit Card, Net Banking, Digital Wallets or UPI.
    • International Orders– Credit Card and Debit Card only.
    • Enterprise Customers– Credit Card, Debit Card, Net Banking, Digital Wallets, UPI or NEFT/Cheque.

When it comes to refund, Lion Circuits return and refund policy is quite restricted unfortunately. Some of their return and refund information is as follows:

  • Under normal circumstances they do not provide a refund if you cancel an order once the order has gone for production.
  • In case the manufacturer cancels the order due to any reason (design defect or any other), they will inform you via email about the inconvenience and refund your payment to the respective account.
  • In case of non-compliance of an order delivered, such an order should be returned within 5 days and the manufacturers will inspect the non-compliance claim. 
    • If it stands valid either refund will be initiated or a repaired or remanufactured product will be delivered.
    • If it complies, in that case the buyer will have to reimburse them for the cost incurred in such inspection.

Delivery Services: 

Once the order is placed and payment is done, you will be redirected to their shipping detail page. Once the fabrication is completed and order is shipped the customer will be informed and product tracking information will also be shared. 

Their various shipping options are:

  • For Standard and Custom Service – DTDC.
  • For International Orders – DHL Worldwide Express Shipping.
  • For Rush Service in India – DTDC Premium.

Authenticity and Quality Check: 

Any manufacturer’s authenticity is checked via its compliance to various PCB Standards.

Lion Circuits follow strict quality guidelines and comply with ISO 9001:2015 standards. Further they also enforce ISO standards through their technology platform, Instant DFM, DFM Feedback and Functional Testing.

Sponsorship

If you are working on a tech blogs or DIY project related to electronics and you will be incentivised with coupons worth up to INR 3000 to order on LionCircuits Platform. Below are the categories in which you can submit an entry –

Category-A: Tech Blog – Here you can write on general technology topics related to electronics and the content should be unique and your own take on the subject. Incentive – INR1500 worth LC Platform Coupons which can be used for any PCB Fabrication or Assembly Services. Minimum word count: 1000 words, Minimum Images: 2

Category-B: Engineering Articles – Here you can write on core electronics/ hardware/manufacturing related topics and the content should be your original take on the subject. Block diagrams/Custom architecture diagrams are a plus. Incentive – INR2500 worth LC Platform Coupons. Minimum word count: 1800 words, Minimum Images: 3

Category-C: DIY projects – Here you can share your own projects that you have built using LC services and share with the community the detailed instructions on building it. We encourage you make the project open source so that interested members can build on their own as well. Details of the Project/Functionality, PCB schematics, Layout and Firmware (if needed) are to be explained in detail along with sourcing and build instructions if any. Incentive- INR3000 worth LC Platform Coupons. Minimum word count: 2000 words, Minimum Images: 3

There is no portal of any sort to apply for this, you just have to email your articles to sales@lioncircuits.com

Conclusion

Why You should Use Lion Circuits

These points are more favourable to both amateur designer and professionals alike.

  • They manufacture at low quantity without any additional setup charge.
  • The Rush lead time for manufacturing PCB is 72 hours, which is very uncommon in Indian local manufacturing standard.
  • Acceptable quality and tolerance on overall manufacturing, considering the price starts from Rs. 1295 ($15) where most manufacturing setup charge starts from Rs. 1500 ($18).
  • Completely automated from, quote to end product delivery.
  • Option for both manual and automated assembly system.
  • In support for enterprise and business they offer components procurement from some major sellers like Digi key, arrow and few other.

Why You shouldn’t Use Lion Circuits

Few of these points affect more amateur designer and non professionals rather than professional and companies.

  • Additional Cost to for faster delivery and even for minor customization (example different colour solder mask)
  • Standard lead time of 5 days can be extends sometimes (from personal experience) so the PCB might not arrive on time.
  • Lack of multiple shipping services.
  • Even though the technology used by Lion circuits is amazing, it does not deliver expectational quality PCB like Chinese fabrication plants or even some top Indian fabrication plants.
  • Overall the website might be little counter intuitive to use when compared to other fab online portal and also the Insta Quote system works only after creating an account. Which might be little cumbersome if you just want a quick price comparison.

Lion Circuits are relatively new manufacturers and within due time they have gained respect and customer base due to their dedicated team work and quality products delivery. By using advanced technology and methods they ensure standardization and confidentiality of your design. After understanding Lion Circuits platform and their manufacturing capabilities, one can make an informed choice about selecting a manufacturer in India.

Note : This article is not sponsored by Lion Circuits, the article is written based on personal experience and information that’s given by few reviewer and Lion Circuit website.

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