The European engineers are a very inventive and enterprising group, this has led to a huge industry of innovation and prototypes.
Manufacturing of these prototypes for customers can be costly and labour intensive and quoting is inhibitive because of the setup and material costs. Setup of a production line for 1 board or 10,000 boards costs the same, so where can cost saving be made without compromising on quality?
Your PCB supplier offers a great deal on large batch quantities of boards, this is because it is easy then to dilute the tooling charges across 1,000’s of PCBs but cannot offer a good price for a small quantity because the tooling charges are a constant.
The answer is order pooling, sharing the cost of tooling with multiple customers where 1 board costs significantly less than just the tooling charges from a conventional PCB fabricator. Eurocircuits have created a system where we process over 400 orders per day, so sharing the production panel space is never a problem.