Re: Feasibility of a small run/prototype SMT assembly service

by digistump on Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:31 pm

Thanks Rochey! solid advice and perspective - $100k is available capitol not what we plan to drop on machines - and as you noted a solid business plan is a must - hence asking questions, getting feedback, and all the research not reflected in my ramblings here - stating our available capitol was not to show we were fools (we very well may be though!) but to show we are serious and not hoping to start a business on $1000 and a radio shack iron - I've run some successful companies and helped launch several startups, don't worry if 100 people say "that's cool do it" we won't run out and buy the first machine we see :) Also all business plans have to be approved by my wife, so that means they better be pretty sound!

We're calculating 10k sq inches to break even on initial investment with PCB manufacturer and taxes included in that number, not including labor - so that could mean 500-1000 panels (well 1000-2000, but 500-1000 different ones), we'd likely start with a queue and a limit based on the number of panels we can do per day and be very upfront about lead times.

Thanks for the caution - we could make 10s of thousands of our boards for the price of the equipment - and very well based on the feedback on this thread so far it might not be viable, but we sure are going to keep trying to figure out if we can make it viable, simply because we believe it is a service that is needed and would contribute greatly to the hobby electronics world - after all we can't imagine if BatchPCB/OSH Park had never come along and made prototype boards dead simple, dirt cheap, and relatively fast for the price.

Thanks again!
User avatar
digistump
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:31 pm
Location: Washougal, WA

Re: Feasibility of a small run/prototype SMT assembly servic

by Alphatronique on Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:55 pm

delete by me ..
Last edited by Alphatronique on Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Best regard
Marc Lalonde CID.
IPC Certified PCB Designer.
Alphatroniqe inc.
www.alphatronique.com
http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyData_Group
User avatar
Alphatronique
 
Posts: 206
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:30 am

Re: Feasibility of a small run/prototype SMT assembly service

by digistump on Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:36 pm

Certainly Marc, pick and place and a good reflow would both be needed.
We would leave thru hole up to the customer to do themselves, I realize you couldn't do that in your business model, but as we only want to offer a hoobyist service and not a production one I think most hobbyists/prototypers would find it more than acceptable to have to due thru hole components themselves. We're lucky enough to have the laser cutter.

Your experiences certainly make me think there is no viable business in short run PnP, and I may be naive but it seems like a standard part library could over come many issues, and the wrong part/footprint/etc issues would fall more on the hobbyist submitting the design (not that we wouldn't want to help when possible). I think it would be very important to make it clear that the hobbyist using our service was responsible for their design, we certainly wouldn't be offering rework on design mistakes, after all I'm not going to ask OSH Park to remake my boards because I routed them wrong.

By having a standard parts selection cut-tape, feeders, etc issues would be greatly reduced - we'd only be running full reels and we know the costs to buy all the feeders - they sure are expensive aren't they! Luckly most popular parts are 8mm which are the cheapest.

I have no doubt humans making low wages would be more flexible and practical, but humans making fair wages to operate machines is much more appealing and part of what I'd like to sell about it - that and the fact that nothing would be made in China or other low wage countries.

I'll keep that in mind about old machines, I think we're mainly looking at new ones, including the 722FV that's so popular on this form.

Thanks again for the feedback! Please don't take my determination to figure out how this could work as a lack of appreciation for your stories of caution!
User avatar
digistump
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:31 pm
Location: Washougal, WA

Re: Feasibility of a small run/prototype SMT assembly servic

by Alphatronique on Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:59 am

delete by me
Last edited by Alphatronique on Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Best regard
Marc Lalonde CID.
IPC Certified PCB Designer.
Alphatroniqe inc.
www.alphatronique.com
http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyData_Group
User avatar
Alphatronique
 
Posts: 206
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:30 am

Re: Feasibility of a small run/prototype SMT assembly service

by digistump on Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:26 pm

Marc,

I've followed the posts on your mydata machine, that was quite a task getting it in there - my space for equipment is also my basement, unfortunately it is even less accessible, which would be the appeal of a smaller lighter machine, though I certainly am not ruling out a dedicated building or running 220 to my shop.

Have you worked at all with using X-Y data for the PnP or do you always just program the machine directly/use teaching mode? If you have, what has your experience been when the X-Y data is correct and accurate?

I really like the semi automated assembly idea - unfortunately it is not for me, as I rather not have to hire a staff and deal with all that comes with it. Really cool idea with the galvo though!

I have a few boards getting ready for medium run production, I'm thinking perhaps I'll use the assembly of them to justify the PnP purchase (afterall even if my idea failed it'd be great to have a PnP!) and then see if I can write custom software to make it practical/explore the limitations of it.

Thanks again Marc!
User avatar
digistump
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:31 pm
Location: Washougal, WA

Re: Feasibility of a small run/prototype SMT assembly servic

by Alphatronique on Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:48 pm

delete dy me ..
Last edited by Alphatronique on Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Best regard
Marc Lalonde CID.
IPC Certified PCB Designer.
Alphatroniqe inc.
www.alphatronique.com
http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyData_Group
User avatar
Alphatronique
 
Posts: 206
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:30 am

Re: Feasibility of a small run/prototype SMT assembly servic

by Alphatronique on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:35 pm

delete by me
Last edited by Alphatronique on Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Best regard
Marc Lalonde CID.
IPC Certified PCB Designer.
Alphatroniqe inc.
www.alphatronique.com
http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyData_Group
User avatar
Alphatronique
 
Posts: 206
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:30 am

Re: Feasibility of a small run/prototype SMT assembly service

by digistump on Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:20 pm

I had a message asking for an update on all of this so I thought I'd provide one for anyone watching this thread:

I had to put this idea on the back burner due to the success of another project - the Digispark: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dig ... -dev-board

But this project has provided the capitol for me to setup a SMT assembly line (we are having the Digisparks contract made, but hope to make them in house after the first run as well as many other products when we open our web store). As part of our web store we will be offering custom laser cutting, a PCB pool service, and lots of neat boards, kits, etc - so naturally we hope to add a small run/prototype SMT service to this eventually - so the idea is still alive and well, and once we have our SMT assembly line setup I'll start playing with this idea again and be able to test feasibility in a real environment.

Thanks everyone for all the great info shared in this thread!
Erik
User avatar
digistump
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:31 pm
Location: Washougal, WA

Re: Feasibility of a small run/prototype SMT assembly service

by Alphatronique on Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:26 pm

Hi

that good ;-)

i will post i coming week a small hack to mydata machine
for remplace computer whit mutch more powerfull pc
that not make machien faster since pc was only for GUI and verry hight level task
but it will fast the webserver ,permit to use solid state drive ,usb mouse / keyboard
(original pc was pentium 100 to 233mhz so it real shame)

so any way i hope you will have great sucess to setup your shop
and if need will happy to help

Best regard
Best regard
Marc Lalonde CID.
IPC Certified PCB Designer.
Alphatroniqe inc.
www.alphatronique.com
http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyData_Group
User avatar
Alphatronique
 
Posts: 206
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:30 am

Re: Feasibility of a small run/prototype SMT assembly service

by Alphatronique on Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:05 pm

Hi Erick

did you progress whit your idea ?

on my side i begin to open a bit my shop to outside job
i worked on formula that permit online qoute ,that not to complex but wrok well
i do a average of time need for program a part ,and load/unload feeder
then got a price per part based on shop hour rate / part/h that machine actually place
and keep some extra margin for smaller part for permit more inspection rework

you may test it here http://www.alphatronique.com/instant-quote/
i force to put email so i may track and find bog whit formula i use :mrgreen:

think that key point was to make programing tool that permit to convert native cad file to machine file format
for now i have done P-cad ,Zuken ,pulsonix (Pads and altium may imported whit zuken so handle by same time)
still have to work for a eagel ULP script for have a good coverage

the good thing whit use of original cad data was keep file format inteligence that gerber lost
so i may extract part position ,position X ,Y and rotation and part name whit footprint name
that make programming much more simpler ...

Best regard
Last edited by Alphatronique on Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
Best regard
Marc Lalonde CID.
IPC Certified PCB Designer.
Alphatroniqe inc.
www.alphatronique.com
http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyData_Group
User avatar
Alphatronique
 
Posts: 206
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:30 am

Re: Feasibility of a small run/prototype SMT assembly service

by baklazanek on Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:29 am

Alphatronique wrote:Hi Erick

did you progress whit your idea ?

on my side i begin to open a bit my shop to outside job
i worked on formula that permit online qoute ,that not to complex but wrok well
i do a average of time need for program a part ,and load/unload feeder
then got a price per part based on shop hour rate / part/h that machine actually place
and keep some extra margin for smaller part for permit more inspection rework

you may test it here http://www.alphatronique.com/?page_id=150
i force to put email so i may track and find bog whit formula i use :mrgreen:

think that key point was to make programing tool that permit to convert native cad file to machine file format
for now i have done P-cad ,Zuken ,pulsonix (Pads and altium may imported whit zuken so handle by same time)
still have to work for a eagel ULP script for have a good coverage

the good thing whit use of original cad data was keep file format inteligence that gerber lost
so i may extract part position ,position X ,Y and rotation and part name whit footprint name
that make programming much more simpler ...

Best regard


Page not found :(



____________________________
Image
baklazanek
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:27 am

Re: Feasibility of a small run/prototype SMT assembly service

by Alphatronique on Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:31 pm

Hi

sorry got change to website for the PCB assembly the good link was

that nex url .. http://www.alphatronique.com/instant-quote/

Best regard
Best regard
Marc Lalonde CID.
IPC Certified PCB Designer.
Alphatroniqe inc.
www.alphatronique.com
http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyData_Group
User avatar
Alphatronique
 
Posts: 206
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:30 am

Re: Feasibility of a small run/prototype SMT assembly servic

by nexpcb on Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:54 am

Hi Erik,
From your cool kickstart projects and http://digistump.com/,
Why don't you try our prototype SMT assembly service services of http://www.nexpcb.com. Then you could focus on your digistump.com
User avatar
nexpcb
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: boston