Summer break

Eurocircuits doesn’t take a summer break since your project deadlines don’t either.

Our full range of PCB manufacturing services is available throughout the year. We have no summer shutdown; we only close the plant for Christmas and New Year.

As a board designer you need to be confident that your PCB supplier can offer fast and reliable deliveries whenever you need them. To achieve this needs experienced and specialist capacity planning. With no summer shut-down we must have spare capacity to accommodate machine downtime for planned maintenance, as well as to meet demand growth and demand spikes. We have generated this extra capacity through ongoing investments in new plant and equipment. Capacity planning has allowed us to handle demand growth, as well as routine maintenance, without weakening our on-time delivery rate.

And if something goes wrong? Where possible we have duplicated processes and machinery, and we have two plants in Europe geared specifically to PCB prototype production, both using the same business model we have refined over the past 26 years.

Our production staff are committed to providing a continuous service with reliable deliveries all year round. Our support engineers are equally committed to sharing our knowledge of PCB fabrication with the design community. They make sure that there are engineers on hand every day to answer your chat requests.

To see one of our factories in action, go to the video of the Eger, Hungary factory or in more detail How to make a PCB, also filmed in Eger. See another reason why, when you place your order, you can be confident that you will get the right board on the right day.

Looking back at 2016

Let’s throw some figures at you:

PCB services

Year

Customers

Orders

Sales

2016

+/- 11.000

+/- 100.000

+/- 20.900.000

2015

+/- 10.000

+/- 93.000

+/- 19.250.000

2014

+/- 9.000

+/- 77.500

+/- 16.600.000

2013

+/- 8.000

+/- 69.500

+/- 15.500.000

2012

+/- 6.900

+/- 63.000

+/- 15.000.000

All sales figures are in € and exclude transport costs and taxes.

Eurocircuits has shown a consistent growth in customers and orders over the last 2 decades. 2016 has been another successful year with a consolidated turnover including PCB services, eC-equipment and consumables exceeding 21,6 million Euro. This growth allows us to continue to develop new products and services for our customers. We will continue to invest in new equipment and new processes to keep you at the cutting edge of PCB technology, and to provide more of the tools that will help you deliver your products to market on time and on budget.

2017 will see another leap forward in PCB services, in PCB software tools and in eC-equipment. Here let’s summarize what was new in 2016.

We have introduced a new type of soldermask for better direct imaging performances. Read all about it here.

SM_eger

Eurocircuits Eger finishes it’s second building in Eger. More here.

new building

We have celebrated our 25th company anniversary. Report.

25Y cake

We have explained the limits of order pooling and offered an efficiency tool for calculating non-pooling jobs.

production panel gold

Of course we kept on improving our PCB Visualizer which has now been recognised by our customers and the market as one of the best performing free DRC DFM tools for bare boards in the market.

The Eurocircuits team

Eurocircuits 25 years in PCB business.

The 23rd of May 2016 we celebrated the 25th anniversary of our company.

The journey started 25 years ago in a dark pub in the center of Mechelen, Belgium, where Luc and Dirk shared the dream to start their own company. The Belgian beer gave them the courage to do so.

In 1991 Luc visited Hungary with nothing more than this courage and was lucky to meet the right people at the right time with the right spirit. We want to thank all these people that contributed to the successful company we are today.

We do have something to celebrate. In 25 years we built a company that generates a yearly turnover of more than 20 million euro. More than 300 families in Europe and India depend on our operation for their daily income. More than 10.000 customers place orders with us every year, we target to process 100.000 orders this year. And all this in an industry in crisis, where the majority of the companies from 25 years ago do not exist anymore.

This proves the success of our strategy, the quality of our teams and the flexibility of our organisation.

We are ready to continue our journey and explore further opportunities in the future.

 

To remember this 25th anniversary milestone, we have cut our name in the stone of a CNC drilling machine that served us 25 years long, and was only recently taken out of production.

At the same time of celebrating our 25th aniversary we could officialy op our new building.

For some years we felt the need to increase the production surface in Hungary. Finally in 2013 the decision was made and  started the project. After planning, organizing the location and all the permissions, we contracted with Aktual Bau, who also built our existing building in 2004. The construction started in july, 2015 and was finished last month.

The building is a part of our 4M€ investment project 2015-2016. With it, we created extra space to expand and serve our customers with a broader pallet of services.

 

 

 

We had the pleasure to share these happy moments with our European staff who joined us in Eger Hungary from the 20th till the 22nd of May.

Some impressions are bundled in this short movie.

 

May 2016, Eurocircuits is 25 years young.

From zero to European Reference in our market in 25 years.

Starting with a telephone, fax and a PC, Eurocircuits grew in 25 years to an international group with 3 modern factories, over 200 employees and more than 10.000 customers trusting us yearly with around 100.000 orders. A story that will be celebrated a few times this year.

Currently Eurocircuits is the European reference for PCB prototypes and small series. “Everything we sell, we make” we don’t sell other peoples’ product, giving us complete control from start to finish offering what is known in the market as standard technology, hence no laser drilled holes. Eurocircuits specialises in order pooling which brings the price down for prototypes and small series. The offered pallet of technological possibilities is one of the largest in the market.

The entire Eurocircuits service spectrum is available for consulting and ordering on line. Our website is a free to use library of PCB issues and every customer account contains a large number of free to use tools that help electronics designers prepare their layout data for error-free ordering or even offer them editing tools that may not have been available in their CAD package.

“Whatever you do yourself, you do best” is one of Eurocircuits mottos. Next to the production of the PCBs we also program our own software packages. Our online administration, front end web interface as well as the back office support, is created by Eurocircuits. Therefore, ICT investments form an important chunk of our yearly budget.

23rd of May is the red letter day for Eurocircuits NV. We will celebrate this in Hungary and at the same time inaugurate our new second building of Eurocircuits kft, we will report of this later.

For now, we pledge our continued commitment to our customers and prospects for the next 25 years.

Eurocircuits Eger finishes second building.

In 2014 the plan grew to extend the housing for our Eurocircuits kft facility in Eger. After the preparation of the building ground in 2014, the construction started in July 2015. 31st of March 2016 the building was officially finished after which we can start furnishing it.

The building has two floors and is 1,980 sqm large. Like our 5,000 sqm main building it is build on a rather steep slope. Around 7.000 cubic meter of soil was dug out.

The basement is a solid concrete construction with 30cm brick walls and 12cm thermal insulation. The basement is 890 sqm large and serves as stock, logistic area, server room, technical installation and then mens social rooms.

The upper level is a metal construction with insulated panels 150/160mm (Kingspan). Also 890 sqm, it serves as production area, office, kitchen and social area for the women workers.

Operating between the two floors, there is a 600kg strong elevator.

The entire building is managed by a Building Management System that takes control over the fire detection, the access control, the camera system and the heating and cooling and the energy management.

We have a large interest in consciously using energy. Our 37KW air-compressor contains a heat exchanger, our building is fitted with 3-layer glass windows, walls roof and the basement floor are well insulated and the roof is filled with solar collectors for hot water and 34KW strong solar cells.

The total investment was 1.35M€, spent to allow our Eurocircuits Eger site to grow and flourish.

CAM Engineers celebrating Holi – a festival of colours

Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival. It signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring and the end of winter.

During Holi, Hindus attend a public bonfire, spray friends and family with coloured powders and water, and generally go a bit wild.
In PCB Planet, the Eurocircuits engineering unit, over 100 engineers are preparing CAD-data for production. More than 600 jobs pass through their hands on daily basis.
Holi is a welcome break and gives our people the occasion to meet each other in different circumstances. Watch the pictures and you will understand why we asked them to celebrate outside the building.

Looking forward in 2016

In 2016 our focus will be on our core business processes, making them faster and more efficient.

In our BLOG looking back at 2015 we presented an overview of last years’ achievements. This year we are preparing ourselves to handle more than 100.000,- orders in our manufacturing and over 400.000,- data sets through our PCB Visualizer.

=> Improving speed, performance and efficiency will be our number one priority during the first 6 months of 2016.

Once the above goals have been achieved, we still have many exciting projects in the pipeline to help improve the products and services that we offer, with more yet to be revealed during the year:

  1. PCB Solver tools:

    2015 we made our PCB Visualizer vector based allowing more PRE-CAM tasks to be performed and allowing a better interaction with the user. Our goal is still to automatically process PCB data as far as possible through the CAM operations before our customers launch their orders. Simultaneously allowing customer interaction to solve potential production issues before they delay delivery or increase costs.

    What this means is that the data will be composed, like Gerber, of “real” entities (tracks, pads, planes, holes etc.). This allows for faster processing, but also opens the way for a whole range of new applications and repair solutions, for example, like auto repair of annular rings and outline editor as explained in our BLOG looking back at 2015.

    • When we prepare a job for production we run a number of routine automated procedures on our front-end engineering CAM systems (more). These adjust the design data to our manufacturing tolerances. The procedures include:
      • Preparing the soldermask to provide a minimum clearance from the copper pad, adequate cover over adjacent tracks, minimum webs between pads etc.(see our PCB Design Guidelines page 15)
      • Clipping the silkscreen to make sure that there is no ink on solderpads ( PCB Design Guidelines page 17)
      • Other adjustments as described in our BLOGS: Eurocircuits Data Preparation – Single Image 1 and Eurocircuits Data Preparation – Single Image 2.PCB Solver will automatically display the results of these procedures immediatly via the PCB Visualizer. You can exactly see what your finished board will look like before you place your order. If you find any potential issues, you have time to modify your design- or talk to our engineers via Online Chat.
    • PCB solver tools will continue to flag up DRC issues as they arise. The software will propose possible solutions based on the service specifications chosen and the options available in our CAM system. This may mean simply changing the classification of the job, but other options can include reducing a via-hole size, enlarging a pad size etc. Users will have the option to confirm the individual changes proposed by setting up approval rules (accept all changes, accept certain types of change, or confirm each case). The proposed solutions will be as described in our data preparation BLOGS Eurocircuits Data Preparation – Single Image 1 and 
      Eurocircuits Data Preparation – Single Image 2

  2. Assembly tools:

    • Solder paste editor. Edit solder paste pads on customer’s own paste layer or one generated by Eurocircuits. Functions include adding and deleting pads, as well as enlarging or shrinking them in X, Y or both. Add tooling holes or targets plus dimensions and positioning for the stencil.
    • Design for Assembly. Two predictive tools to help to detect locations where there is a risk of poor soldering.
      • Solder escape. Detect and flag places where solder could escape from the solder-pad, leaving a weak joint.

         

      • Solder bridge. Detect and flag potential solder shorts based on minimum isolation distances, soldermask configuration and solder process type.
         

  3. Services:

    • High definition solder mask. 2015, we have installed a Ledia direct imaging machine. This exposes standard photo-imageable soldermasks directly, without the need for phototools. Direct exposure allows narrower clearances between soldermask and copper pads as well as thinner webs between soldermask windows for easier and more reliable assembly of difficult components (QFN, BGA, small pitch, etc…). See our PCB Design Guidelines p. 15.

And we are looking forward to the finishing of our new building in Eger and our 25th anniversary on the 1st of May 2016!

Looking back at 2015

Let’s throw some figures at you:

PCB services

Year

Customers

Orders

Sales

2015

+/- 10.000

+/- 93.000

+/- 19.250.000

2014

+/- 9.000

+/- 77.500

+/- 16.600.000

2013

+/- 8.000

+/- 69.500

+/- 15.500.000

2012

+/- 6.900

+/- 63.000

+/- 15.000.000

All sales figures are in € and exclude transport costs and taxes.

Eurocircuits has shown a consistent growth in customers and orders over the last 2 decades. 2015 has been another successful year with a consolidated turnover including PCB services, eC-equipment and consumables exceeding 20 million Euro. This growth allows us to continue to develop new products and services for our customers. We will continue to invest in new equipment and new processes to keep you at the cutting edge of PCB technology, and to provide more of the tools that will help you deliver your products to market on time and on budget.

2016 will see another leap forward in PCB services, in PCB software tools and in eC-equipment. These are described in our “Looking forward in 2016” BLOG. Here let’s summarize what was new in 2015.

First the services:

  1. NAKED proto. We introduced this “true” prototype service to lower costs and to respond to the demand for prototypes without soldermask.
    NAKED proto – insight and details
  2. SEMI-FLEX pool. To answer the demand for FLEX-TO-INSTALL prototypes and small series.
    SEMI-FLEX pool – insight and details
  3. New options for Chemical Nickel-Gold Surface finish.
    Che Ni/Au finish extended
  4. More options added for BINDI pool
    BINDI pool extended announced in our news letter

New software tools

to help designers cut costs, save time in safely ordering their PCBs and tailor their design data for particular orders:

  1. Focus on PCB Visualizer core engine. We foucussed on speed and respons times of the system as well rebuilding the core to handle vector data.
    1. 2015 we processed 335.000,- PCB data sets with an average system repons time of 139 seconds thus bringing a full analyses and visualisation of your board on screen within 3 minutes average (We do see peek moments in the morning and around 16H00 and the processing time for a 2-layer board is not the same as for a 12-layer board, actual experiences may vary from the average based upon these circumstances.).
    2. By autumn 2015 we succeeded in turning the system into a real vector based system which builds the fundament for many new applications. Points 2 and 3 are examples of that.
  2. New Auto-Repair function in PCB Visualizer. Intelligent DRC rules repair Annular Rings that are too small to manufacture.
    New Auto-repair function in PCB Visualizer
  3. Outline/Milling Editor. Use the Outline/Milling Editor to correct the board outline where the outline (profile) data is missing, incomplete, incorrect or duplicated (two outlines found).
    Outline/Milling Editor – PCB Solver tool updated
  4. We updated our Pre-Production Approval functionality to handle DATA issues. This new way of handling data issues reduced the number of real exceptions that stopped the processing of data, no matter how briefly, by a factor 6 to 4% of all data sets.
    Watch our movie.
  5. New website. We renewed our website to better serve the need of the electronics design engineers offering clearer information and tools.
    eurocircuits.com

New equipment

expanding our PCB assembling and soldering aids:

  1. eC-placer. To manually assist and aid with accurate and fast population of components to your PCB prototype.
    eC-placer
  2. eC-fume-cube. An efficient and silent fume extraction system to complement our eC-reflow-mate-hood.
    eC-fume-cube

Workshops:

We organized a series of workshops on prototype soldering and on working with the EAGLE CAD system. Many of our customers upgraded their EAGLE systems in the summer when CadSoft released a major new version. If you would like to join a workshop, contact your local sales team or email euro@eurocircuits.com.

Based on this experience we have introduced a series of BLOGs about layout and EAGLE which you can find here.

Investments in ICT, plant and equipment:

We re-invested more than €2.5 million during 2015 in R&D and new equipment including:

    1. Extra software licenses to boost the capacity and speed of our website, so that we can provide a better access experience to more customers at the same time.
    2. PCB Visualizer development. Each year we spend over 300k Euro in further development of our online tools because we believe in tools that make ordering faster and more efficient.
    3. eC-placer development.
    4. Digital legend inkjet printers.

      We acquired 2 new Orbotech sprint 120 inkjet printers and upgraded our old one”s to this latest technology.

    5. New solder mask spray coaters in our Eger plant.
    6. New drilling, routing and V-cut machines.
    7. New schmoll machines were added to our machine park bringing especially routing and V-cut up to the latest high standards.An extra plasma etching machine, AOI, laboratory equipment etc… complete the list of 2015 installed machines.

Eurocircuits – supporting the European design community 24/7 throughout the summer

Project deadlines don’t take a summer break, so Eurocircuits doesn’t either; our full range of PCB manufacturing services is available throughout the year. We have no summer shutdown; we only close the plant for Christmas and New Year.

Our staff are committed to providing a continuous service with reliable deliveries all year round. And not just our production staff. Our support engineers are equally committed to sharing our knowledge of PCB fabrication with the design community. They make sure that there are engineers on hand every day to answer your chat requests.

As a board designer you need to be confident that your PCB supplier can offer fast and reliable deliveries whenever you need them. To achieve this needs experienced and specialist capacity planning. With no summer shut-down we must have spare capacity to accommodate machine downtime for planned maintenance, as well as to meet demand growth and demand spikes. We have generated this extra capacity through ongoing investments in new plant and equipment, including the Ledia V5 Direct Imaging system installed in January 2015. Capacity planning has allowed us to handle demand growth (orders up this year already 16% on the same period in 2014), and demand spikes (orders for March 2015 up 35% compared to March 2014) as well as routine maintenance, without weakening our on-time delivery rate.

And if something goes wrong? Where possible we have duplicated processes and machinery, and we have two plants in Europe geared specifically to PCB prototype production, both using the same business model we have refined over the past 15 years.

To see one of our factories in action, go to the video of the Eger, Hungary factory or in more detail How to make a PCB, also filmed in Eger. See another reason why, when you place your order, you can be confident that you will get the right board on the right day.

Deal yourself a smart hand with Eurocircuits

It’s the beginning of a new year and we would like to thank our many customers for their valued business. As our thank-you, every user will receive a pack of eurocircuits playing cards with his first Eurocircuits order placed on or after Monday 12 January 2015. The cards will be shipped with the delivery.

Often, companies limit their thanks to the “first lucky 100” orders. Eurocircuits have over 9,000 active customers in a year and we want to thank as many of their eurocircuits users as possible. We have prepared plenty of packs of cards. So we can say that the offer is limited to the first 8.000 smart users.

As well as the playing cards we will be offering many other good things during 2015, good deliveries, good quality and good prices, as well as new tools to help you bring your projects to market on time and on budget. For a starter, visit our blog Looking forward in 2015. We will keep you updated via our Technical update emails – and every new release will be fully described in a blog.