An assembly solution for the wider electronics engineering community

At Eurocircuits we are already well-known for our powerful offer manufacturing prototype and small batch PCBs for electronics engineers. We have already extended this back into the design process with our links to EAGLE and to Altium. But what about assembly?

We are often asked if we can assemble boards and several of our competitors offer this service. The following diagram illustrates powerfully why we should not.

Prototype and small batch assembly requires a heavy investment in equipment and expertise. So it has a high cost of service. On the other hand, customers are driven by price. The value of the service is perceived solely in price terms, cutting prices and lowering margins. The pure prototype assembler risks getting caught in the mouse-trap where low prices mean that he can no longer cover the cost of his service. Two ways of increasing margins have emerged over over the last few years. Some assembly companies have stayed with small batch assembly but moved into very high technology markets like defence, aviation, medical or high-end communications. Others have moved into high-volume assembly, only making prototypes as a loss leader to land large contracts.

At Eurocircuits we have evolved our business model to handle medium technology prototype and small batch PCBs quickly, reliably and cost-effectively. We are not in the very high technology market nor are we volume producers. So offering a “me too” prototype assembly service would not work. And in any case it doesn’t make business sense to compete with our customers.

We have a better solution.

When he needs prototype and small batch assembly, the customer’s service perception is highest when his needs are met immediately. For a designer this may be difficult to achieve using a sub-contract company. He has to spend time communicating his requirements and he has to wait for a slot in the sub-contractor’s scheduling. On the other hand, if he does his own assembly there is no delay. He knows what the design has to do; he knows the components; he can start as soon as he is ready. Of course he needs a supply of components, he needs suitable equipment and he needs to know how to use it. Our eC-solutions program means that we can offer our designer customers a full range of suitable equipment and back it up with training programs and consumable supplies, developed in-house and via our partner companies. For more information on the program, go to our website section about smd-reflow-soldering equipment