In today’s episode, we are going to look at our data requirements in
order to process your job, and how providing the correct standard of
data can reduce queries and opportunities for error.
Applicable to all documentation:
• Our preference is to receive Electronic documents
• Documents should have a unique version/revision in order to track
• Customers should update the version if they make even minor changes
to documentation that they have provided us to view (even if those
documents were provided just for quote purposes)
• Electronic format – our preference is spreadsheet (MS Excel)
o Most straight forward for us to work with
• Obvious stuff – circuit ref’s, description, quantity
• Customer part numbers
o Useful for using as a unique reference during communication
o Can be useful for identifying common parts across multiple assemblies
• Manufacturer and Supplier part numbers
• Non fitted parts (NF/OMIT)
PCB manufacturing files – Gerber data
• Usually supplied as single image, and we would step and repeat to
suit our processes.
• Ensure that gerber data includes manufacturing specifications
o Legend colour
o Resist colour
o Copper weight
o PCB thickness
o plating finish
• Breakout positions – highlight critical area of board outline?
Placement Data – ASCII CAD
• More useful than the standard centroid data (see picture)
• Many formats of output, but there are two generic formats:
o ODB++
Placement drawing
• Mandatory for Fast Track
• Needs to be complete
o Showing every circuit reference
o Clearly showing polarity of polarised components
Mechanical drawings
• Require 2D CAD drawings for bespoke parts (even if free-issue – for
inspection purposes)
• Mechanical assemblies may require an exploded assembly drawing or
photo board assembly process
• Acceptable formats:
o AutoCAD DWG or DXF
o Solidworks eDrawings
o PDF (including the new 3D PDF format)
Test / Device Programming
• Firmware for programmable devices (inc. configuration bit settings
and checksum if poss.)
• Schematic diagrams
• Test instructions
More detail can be found in our Manufacturing Data Requirements
document, which can be found on our website, at


4 Tactics to Selecting a Low-volume PCB Assembly Producer

pcb assembly

Working with low-quantity PCB assemblies has its upsides and drawbacks. As the client, there are several guidelines that can help you get the most from your assembly. On this page, we’re going to explain how to exploit the benefits and ways to go around the negative aspects.

Ways to Pick a Low-volume PCB Assembly Producer?

The tips pointed out here should help you make the most from your low-quantity PCB assembly order.

1. Single Service Provider

Decide on a low-quantity PCB manufacturer who can be a one-stop service provider for all of your PCB needs. The great thing about working with a small order is basically you don’t need to coordinate with several organizations or individuals. Your order can be treated by a single point of contact.

2. Great need of Prototypes

Even though working with small orders, you must require use of prototypes – although it causes an added expense. Prototypes will enable you to check your design and improve on it, if needed.

3. Low-volume PCB Producer

pcb assembly

Producing low-quantity PCB assemblies can be quite a task when using the services of an rookie manufacturer. Since the order quantity is low, expense of production will likely be to some degree higher. Therefore, any mistake by the PCB manufacturer will deliver greater losses for the client.

4. Standard PCB Practices

Standard best practices about PCB making must be implemented even if working with a low-quantity PCB assembly. This includes design, fabricating, assemblage, as well as PCBA testing procedures.

Working with a low-quantity PCB assembly has its own group of merits. Utilising standard best practices enables you to build an order that will help you finally.