Our New PCBA Capabilities Page: A Design Guide To Savings

June 4, 2018 , in Blog

The Engineer Experience

We are OBSESSED with improving the engineer experience

                  —Shashank Samala, Tempo Co-founder & VP of Product

Finding out what your CM can do, what it will cost, and how long it will take can be a tedious experience. You may get lucky and chance upon the right person who can answer your questions but more often than not you are left to search a badly organized website for whatever scraps of information are there. Our goal at Tempo is to revolutionize this experience and give engineers the tools they need to make smart, cost-effective PCB design decisions—even when it’s at our expense.

Cost and Lead Time Transparency

In April we launched a new brand and website and as part of that initiative we created a completely redesigned Capabilities page. This page continues our commitment to PCBA pricing transparency and brings even greater cost and lead time transparency to engineers before they even quote.

In this post, I’ll be detailing how to get the most value from the information provided on the Capabilities page and how to use this during the design phase to streamline quoting and manufacture. The information is best used early in a design where you can adjust your specifications to optimize for cost and lead time but you can still use it if you have completed your design to give you an idea of what to expect from a quote.

Design Example

Let’s say you’re doing a rigid design and choosing between between 2.5mil and 4mil trace and space. 2.5mil traces would make the layout easier and lead to a smaller overall board size but you want to see how that would impact the board manufacture.

To see the cost impact, navigate to the Width and Space specification on the Rigid manufacturing tab.

Click on the “+” button and the cost and lead time breakdown will expand down.

The single “$” and “🕐” represent the baseline cost and lead time for that specification. Each additional “$” or “🕐” indicated is a cost or time adder for that level. From this you can see that the 2.5mil trace and space would have a large additional cost and lead time. For this design, you can live with the larger trace size so you revise your design to go with the 4mil trace width. Voila! Now you have saved yourself a rude shock a month later when you see the quote for that board. You can see a specification break down where ever you see a “+” button on the page. For specifications that do not have that button, there is no cost or lead time adder.

Finding a Capability

To find a specific PCBA capability you can browse through the manufacturing category tabs or you can use the search bar to go to them directly. The categories tabs are at the top of the specification section and are broken down into Rigid Fabrication, Flex Fabrication, and Assembly.

For rigid-flex boards find the specifications for the rigid sections of the board in the rigid category and the flex sections of the board in the flex category. To search, click on that the search icon in the side bar.

Then enter the capability you are interested in, and as you type suggested results will be displayed. If you do not see what you are looking for press enter and see the full results page.

Suggested Results
Suggested Results
Results Page
Results Page

Design Well, Manufacture Well

The Capabilities page is only one aspect in our drive to bring you the information you need to make great decisions for your board. Start a quote and get access to our BOM tool where you can see real-time sourcing or our CAD tool where you can get instant DFM feedback. We also provide DRC files you can download. If you’re an Altium user, you can simply import these files into your PCB design project. If you have questions about about how manufacturing will affect your design, contact us.

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