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.
Stencils are a large and unavoidable cost for manufacturing PCB’s, this is because stencils for large industrial stencil printers are licenced to manufacture and the size is a constant to fit the machine frames, with a typical cost of €200 to €300, again this makes Prototypes impractical, but again the solution is a system whereby the stencil is based on the size of the individual board and not a fixed constant. Eurocircuits have developed a registration system – eC-registration – for perfect board and stencil alignment a