----- Original Message -----
From: "Adeel Malik" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "'Protel EDA Forum'" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Friday, October 04, 2002 1:37 PM
Subject: [PEDA] Important Factors determining the cost of PCB Population

> Hi All,
>          The recent thread on "Board Population Houses" has prompted me to
> ask this question. Can someone tell me what are the Major factors that
> contribute to the "Board Population Cost" charged by the vendors. The cost
> will of course include the no. of SMD and Insertion-Mount components and
> their specific package type, but I want to get somewhat a generic idea as
> how the Vendors charge their customers and how this cost can be minimized
> ensuring to some guidelines, in the early phase of design.

Of course this is more or less dictated by your board function and end use /
volume. You should have most of these in your list of design objectives,
final format, product spec & target market cost as to what DFM rules you

If it is possible to have a design review, or just a sit down discussion
with your assembly house, that should cover most of your issues. Just
remember that not all CEMs will support the same rules.

BUT, before you spend a lot of time with these guys, do a proper
capabilities assessment yourself on the assembly house itself.

Companies who are better equipped are not necessarily more expensive as they
can be more efficient (less overheads attached to labour rates).

Do not waste your time with any houses who believe that they are more
important than the customer (there are many that do) as if any problems are
encountered, you will get little support.

Most important thing is that if you have a $200 board, you will only make 20
of them, don't spend 3-5 days of hard work to get the cost to $199 each! or
you will not be doing yourself any favours. An example would be if you
incorporated a lot of glue logic to PLD and saved say 20 placements, you
might have saved $0.35 in place costs but the PLD costs a $1, but if you
need to do this to cut board area to meet product specs, then so be it. Most
of the time, the assembly cost itself (exclude setup & test) contributes
very little to the overall cost of the bare board itself.

Sorry if it is not what you want to hear, but as vendor capabilities &
charge matrices vary so much, it is difficult to answer so generically. Best
to ask the CEM's that question directly, do not be afraid to ask really
blunt questions, after all, they are there to offer a service to you.

Some items were covered by many people here in a thread related to Protel
pick & place file formats. You should search the archives for these.

Best Regards

John A. Ross

RSD Communications Ltd
8 BorrowMeadow Road, Springkerse Industrial Estate
Stirling, Scotland FK7 7UW

Tel (Office)  +44 [0]1786 450572 Ext 225
Tel ( Lab  )  +44 [0]1786 450572 Ext 248
Fax              +44 [0]1786 474653
GSM           +44 [0]7831 373727

Email        [EMAIL PROTECTED]
WWW     http://www.rsd.tv

> Regards,
> Adeel Malik

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