Printed Circuit Boards are the heart of our electronic and electrical devices. Therefore, to ensure best possible output we have to be very considerate in our PCB manufacturing from designing to assembling.
While designing is easily possible at individual levels due to availability of multiple software, fabrication and assembly of PCBs become very tedious and expensive at individual level. Further one cannot ignore the lack of perfection in the finished product due to amateurishness.
Thus, to save time, energy and money along with getting the best possible outcome it’s better to outsource the fabrication process. Today, we are going to discuss one such PCB manufacturer who is devoted to delivering the best results to their clients.
About the Manufacturer
PCBWay is a professional PCB manufacturer, shipping worldwide and headquartered at Hangzhou, China. With over 15 years of professional experience, PCBWay was officially founded in 2014 and today their market spans over 150 countries and has a client base of around 250,000.
- Currently they have five PCB and PCBA factories located in Shenzhen, China.
- Focussing on quality assurance and cost effectiveness, they have spent $2,000,000 for setting Surface Treatment Equipment Automatic Copper Production Line.
- For testing and inspection, their equipment ranges from Flying Probe Testing, X-Ray Inspection Machine to Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) Machine.
- They provide one-stop online self-quote order system along with 24*7 online customer services.
- Their employee base consists of more than 70 personnel in the senior management team and senior engineer team, 50 personnel in the commercial team and 500 personnel in the professional production team.
We have an article explaining the DIY PCB Manufacturing process which explains the steps involved in PCB manufacturing but that might not work in large scale. You can see the below diagram to see the PCB manufacturing process followed by PCBWay to successfully complete one batch of PCB order.
Array of Customers:
Their customer base extend to-
- Smart Devices Industries, from PCB prototype to production stage, PCBWay provide their services.
- In the field of Medicine and Biomedical, their clients occupy a large part of our customers. Due to PCBWay’ s strict quality standard and short lead time and competitive pricing, the customer base in this area is continuously rising.
- For Commercial, Industrial and Automotive purposes, PCBWay has the largest contribution from such clients in their customer pool. Again, fast response, short delivery time, professional engineering support and continuously affordable price have played a vital role in retaining and expanding customer scale in these industries.
- Also include University, Schools and Amateur, which are the most price sensitive customers. Further PCBWay provides educational sponsorships to student and individual projects to help the budding talent. We have already seen one such example of PCBWay sponsorship in our previous article ‘MITAYI: Inspired by Raspberry Pi’
What can one get from PCBWay?
What services are available on their website?
What is the complete range of their capabilities?
Don’t worry we’ll walk you through their entire capability compass.
PCBWay has PCB prototype, fabrication and assembly capabilities, which will be discussed in detail. Further they also provide services in other areas such as, SMD stencils, PCB design aids and layouts, all processes involved in surface finishing, drill and through plating, mechanics, layout build-up and quality control.
This is not it, recently they also provide services in CNC machining, 3D printing, sheet metal fabrication and injection molding.
PCB Capabilities: They have divided their working in two categories. The first category is “Quick-turn” and means they can offer Small Quantity – Quick Turn PCBs, Custom Spec – Standard PCBs, Quick-order PCB.
The second is “Advanced” offering and it shows the very best that PCBWay can offer: Full Spec PCBs, Highly Specialized Precision PCBs, & Large Scale Production. On their website they have enlisted the detailed specifications which will help you in assisting your choice.
PCB Assembly Capabilities: The lead time for assembly is in between 24 hours to a few weeks depending on specifications and cost involved. They provide three options for assembly: the client provides the part components to be assembled (knitting option), they source the parts too (turn-key option) and a partial turn-key option. Apart from mentioned assembly specifications on their website, one can also directly contact them for customization.
Lead Time: The Time is on Your Side
One of the major highlights about PCBWay is their commitment to delivery on time and at the fastest pace. Depending on one’s order, they have a pretty impressive lead time. For instance, while a prototype can be delivered just in 24 hours, a quick turn or standard PCB, their lead time ranges between 24 hours to within a week.
For an advanced PCB order, their lead time ranges between 2 days to 15 days. However, in case of ultra urgency, they can squeeze the lead time as low as 2 to 4 days.
How to Place Your Order?
Placing orders on PCBWay is hassle-free and pretty straight-forward with just a few clicks.
If you want to place an order for PCB, go to ‘PCB Instant Quote’ and select PCB option.
Fill in the various specifications as per your need, also, if you are an amateur you can select ‘quick-order PCB’ and directly upload your Gerber file from which specifications will be selected automatically.
After putting in the parameters, specify the build time and add it to the cart.
Login to your account and wait for the engineer reviews to your order, most of the time it will be done within 30 minutes and once the order status is ‘audit pass’ you can make the payment to complete your order.
Similarly, orders can be placed for other services like assembly, SMD stencils, etc.
If you like to know what is the quality of the PCB they provide, you can check out the below video. We made a detailed visual inspection on various aspects of the PCB.
Here is the list of test if you like to replicate :
Other Important Details:
Payment and Refund:
While they provide a wide range of payment options such as PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Bank Transfer, etc. they also leave the scope of refunds open in case of any inconvenience. If the product is not as per the gerber file or lacks in meeting IPC standards, the product can be returned or refunded within 14 days of delivery.
PCBWay offers a wide spectrum of delivery options keeping in mind the logistics methods, item weight, country, calculate shipping cost and shipping time. They provide Various options available for delivery DHL, UPS, TNT, EMS, FedEx, Hongkong Post/China Post, air or sea as mode of transportation or a combination of both.
PCBWay has been certificated with IATF 16949, it is the International Standard for Automotive Quality Management Systems.
PCBWay has been certificated with ISO 13485:2016, it specifies requirements for a quality management system where an organization needs to demonstrate its ability to provide medical devices and related services that consistently meet customer and applicable regulatory requirements.
Its other certifications include, REACH SVHC to PCB product, RoHS to PCB product, UL certified, among others.
UL Certification- Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a certifying agency for product safety, located in Illinois since 1894. It is one of most trusted product safety test certification both in America and worldwide. If one wants to mark the UL logo on their board, PCBWay provides an additional option while placing order to do so.
No one can speak better than the people who have experienced the various services by PCBWay. Here are some of the responses from world over by the various customers connected to PCBWay.
If you are working on a non-profit or hobby project you can approach PCBWay for free PCB! It means that no matter who you are (even if you are not an Influencer) and what you do (Includes non professionals), you can definitely get a sponsor from PCBWay, only if you are confident enough about your COOL project and describe it with details through online application form.
- 1. Describe your team and project with appealing words and pictures as detailed as possible.
- 2. Upload the PCB files to Instant quote for placing the order.
- 3. Get a coupon after your article pass our audit.
- 4. Show case the project on social media / blog or any platform along with PCBWay name on it.
PCBWay also offers 10-15% discount on orders from teachers and students. This covers the PCBs for classroom projects, team or club projects and all kinds of students’ competitions. As original pricing is already competitive, 10-15% discount helps students save even more in their purchases.
You can read and apply for sponsorship here.
Why You should Use PCBWay
These points are more favourable to both amateur designer and professionals alike.
- They not only manufacture your board but also some time correct minor design flaws.
- The lead time for manufacturing PCB is 24 hours
- One of the Best Quality PCB, with exceptional surface finish, silk layer and acceptable tolerance on overall manufacturing.
- The customer service is amazing, most of the time any concern or doubts are answered within few hours
- Various options available for delivery DHL, UPS, TNT, EMS, FedEx, Hongkong Post/China Post, air or sea as mode of transportation or a combination of both.
Why You shouldn’t Use PCBWay
Few of these points affect more amateur designer and non professionals rather than professional and companies.
- Additional Cost to remove PCB identification number
- 24hours does not apply for all types of PCB. Advanced PCB takes 7-8days, Flex PCB takes 6-7days (without additional charge), even standard PCB takes 3-4days if the solder mask is not Green, if you chose ENIG Surface finish or few more exceptions that you will notice when you place the order.
- The Standard PCB might cost low as $5 but on contrary the cost of Transport will be at least 5-6 times the cost of the PCB. Example a standard PCB with 2 Layers with the dimension of 50mm X 50mm cost $5 where as the shipping cost $27.82 (China to India).
- The total cost of the PCB might increase depending on the country that you stay. Example in India importing the PCB can have a additional charge 10% (custom duty) along side 28% IGST on total amount (28% of [Cost of the PCB + Cost of the Shipping + Custom Duty]). So it’s seems more reasonable to manufacture in local than importing the PCB if not related to business purposes.
If you need an excellent PCB and you don’t worry about shipping / customs, we’ll highly recommend PCBWay. Apart from offering a wide range of services they use state-of-art technology, offer good customer services, user friendly delivery mechanism and credibility vested by various certification agencies give an edge to them.
Note : This article is not sponsored by PCBWay, the article is written based on personal experience and information that’s given by few reviewer and PCBWay website.