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Topics => Product Design => Topic started by: Sandeep_Raj on Jul 07, 2013, 07:33 pm

Title: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: Sandeep_Raj on Jul 07, 2013, 07:33 pm
I am planning to start a IC fabrication business. It is about designing circuits, printing and fabricating them into commercial circuit boards. I need all the machinery and raw materials to make them. Is there somewhere I can get these stuff? Please Suggest

Thankyou
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: CrossRoads on Jul 07, 2013, 09:19 pm
Are you talking about making the actual chips, packaging the die, etc? Or just mounting components manufactured by others onto PCBs that you may or may not manufacture?
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: Sandeep_Raj on Jul 08, 2013, 06:30 am
just mounting components on PCBs. Creating my own circuit design, making commercial pcb and mounting components in them.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: aarondc on Jul 08, 2013, 11:30 am
For surface mount your best bet is pick and place machines.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: Sandeep_Raj on Jul 08, 2013, 06:06 pm
Pick and place. Seriously? Dude. I need to print my circuits in pcb. To create my own design and make my own pcb. Pick and place machine? What are you talking about? how will that help. Am a bit serious in here plz.



Thank you
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: CrossRoads on Jul 08, 2013, 06:51 pm
The pick & place machine is to put the components on the boards, which you said you needed in reply #2.
You would use a program like Eagle from cadsoft.de (cadsoftusa.com) to design the PCB, any of several companies that specialize in making PCBs, than pick & place machine to place the components on the PCB and the re-flow soldering to make the electrical connections.

I get the impression you don't really know what you are getting into here.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: Sandeep_Raj on Jul 08, 2013, 07:30 pm
Well. Yea. Basically am a Mba student. My project is to start a business and show growth in it. Am planning to start a pcb design and manufacture unit. I have little Idea on what to do. My plan is not to manufacture ic. It is only to make pcb. I need to manufacture the board where the ic is placed. What all machineries do I need. What all raw materials are required plz let me know.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: Sandeep_Raj on Jul 08, 2013, 08:06 pm
I just checked the site which you gave me. I can understand that the circuit is designed using it. The pick and place machine places the components in the board. Please bare my ignorance. How is that design printed in the pcb? How is it done? What machine is used to do that. Please let me know. I greatly appreciate your patience for putting up with me.


Thank you
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: CrossRoads on Jul 08, 2013, 08:16 pm
Ah, so you've scaled back a bit.
Basically, you will buy 2 sided copper clad fiberglass, perhaps in different thicknesses.
Expose a pattern onto the boards, which determines where copper will remain.
Cure that pattern, then immerse the boards in a solution that removes the unexposed copper.
Remove the material over the remaining copper.
Drill holes to all connections from one side to the other.
"Plate" the holes to connect the 2 sides.
Apply a solder mask to prevent solder from shorting between traces and other traces, or copper planes.
Apply/print any labelling.
QA control all along the way, including electrical test for continuity and not shorts.
Cut the boards to shape.
Package.
Ship.
Online ordering.
Payment processing.
Website/Marketing.

This site goes thru the steps in more detailn for how a board is made, with videos too.  You can find other similar data online.
http://www.eurocircuits.com/index.php/making-a-pcb-eductional-movies

As to what the actual machines used are along each step, now that you know what to look for, you can search for them online.
Different machines can do different maximum size boards, and I imagine different machines are needed for a simple 2 layer board vs a 4-6-8-12-14-16 layer board, the larger ones used for computer boards and backplanes, often with blind and buried vias (vias that connect internally but do not go thru all layers).
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: CrossRoads on Jul 08, 2013, 11:42 pm
Overwhelmed?
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: aarondc on Jul 08, 2013, 11:44 pm
is this just for an assignment for your MBA course?

Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: aarondc on Jul 08, 2013, 11:47 pm
if on the other hand you are serious, what is your target market?
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: Sandeep_Raj on Jul 09, 2013, 02:19 am
It is not just for my mba course. I actually am serious about it. At initial stages my target market would be students of all age group.
Title: Re: Custom PCB Fabrication Company...
Post by: aarondc on Jul 09, 2013, 02:33 am

It is not just for my mba course. I actually am serious about it. At initial stages my target market would be students of all age group.


I am curious why an MBA student seeks information on what is required to fabricate PCBs for their business before doing market analysis on whether the business is viable. Particularly given you have no experience in the field of an established market with well-known players, miniscule margins and a certain level of fabrication quality required that would involve (IMO) large capital start up costs. (Compared to say, Apple, who essentially created the home PC market, or Microsoft, who created the home OS market).

Not to mention lack of repeat business and the inherent low-income (cliche?) exhibited by student populations, where disposable income seems to be directed towards entertainment.

I don't see 8 year old students paying for custom PCB manufacture either. In fact uni-level would be the most likely, if any.

I am also curious what sort of students would rather have someone make their PCBs for them (where the driver would be course related, surely), rather than make them themselves.

Can I ask why you have chosen custom PCB manufacture as your business? Have you ever done anything in the electronics field?
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: aarondc on Jul 09, 2013, 02:38 am

This site goes thru the steps in more detailn for how a board is made, with videos too.  You can find other similar data online.
http://www.eurocircuits.com/index.php/making-a-pcb-eductional-movies


Brilliant link, thank you.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: Sandeep_Raj on Jul 09, 2013, 03:11 am
My under graduation is electronics based. I have done programming and made my own projects using dotted PCB. From the link posted It seems that the intial setup cost might be in millions. Is there ways to cut these cost off? I am looking for a cost effective setup. Manufacturing PCB is in parallel with Institutes which provides course on how to use them. It will also be available in online retail store.

I have seen small scale manufacturers having their name in circuit boards that they design. SparkFun has their own pcb boards. Do they have the same setup? Simple Labs, Basha electronics, sunrom are some online retailers who manufacture pcb on their own, from what I know, they have more cost effective methods of producing them. Could you please suggest on this.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: Sandeep_Raj on Jul 09, 2013, 03:13 am
I am not giving up on this PCB stuff though. If its not cost effective, I would think about outsourcing it. But I am hoping that there would be a cost effective way to do it.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: JChristensen on Jul 09, 2013, 03:19 am

I have seen small scale manufacturers having their name in circuit boards that they design. SparkFun has their own pcb boards. Do they have the same setup?


You are aware that a company or person need not own a PCB fab to have their name put on a board? Sparkfun makes a fair number of boards, I'm not aware that they own a fab.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: CrossRoads on Jul 09, 2013, 05:37 am
I have my name put on cards that iteadstudio builds for me.
Well, my initials and the year anyway.  But you can get carried away and put anything you want on the card.
(http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17/Mega_screw_shield2.jpg)
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: Sandeep_Raj on Jul 09, 2013, 03:34 pm
Did you manufacture that pcb?
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: CrossRoads on Jul 09, 2013, 05:07 pm
No, I had iteadstudio manufacture it. I assembled the parts onto it.
I could perhaps etch the copper and drill the holes, but I don't have the means for applying the solder mask (gives the green color), for making the connections thru the board (thru hole plating), or adding the crisp marking. And doing it all repeatable manner.
Companies like iteadstudio have all the automated tools for doing that. I just had to send them the Gerber files that define the design, which I created in eagle.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: Sandeep_Raj on Jul 10, 2013, 06:09 am
How do you etch the copper and drill holes, is there a cheap professional tool to do these. How much does hole plating and solder masking machines cost? How much did itdea charge you  to make that board?
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: CrossRoads on Jul 10, 2013, 08:17 am
www.iteadstudio.com, do some reading.
Completed boards are priced by size.
I design them using Eagle from cadsoftusa.com, other tools are also available.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: KirAsh4 on Jul 10, 2013, 10:11 am
For the record, Sparkfun is about 5 minutes from my house and I've been there many times and walked through the building.  They do not have any pcb manufacturing capabilities.  Like many of us, they too outsource the job.  They only do assembly in house.  They have some awesome pick and place machines as well as ovens on the property.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: Sandeep_Raj on Jul 10, 2013, 08:46 pm
That was a nice site. Got lots of data for my project. Thanks a lot. I still would like to know how you etch and drill. what machines you use?
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: KirAsh4 on Jul 10, 2013, 09:23 pm
Drilling is generally done with a CNC drill press, able to use various drill sizes.  Recently some manufacturers have moved to CNC laser drilling which allows for much smaller and tighter holes.

As for etching, I would presume you can built your own etch tanks and process.  There are machines for that but I don't have an idea of where to point you to.  But, when you start getting into that scale, you need to think about the facilities and proper ventilation of the chemicals, as well as proper disposal.  You can't just wash the stuff down the drain.  So now you're dealing with your municipality and what you can or can't do.

If you are serious about this, there is no cutting corners and you are looking at a rather large venture capital to start with.  As you've already discovered, it'll be in the millions.  Nothing says you CAN'T do this, assuming you can secure the funding.  However, you need to keep in mind your competition: China.

I can have ten 50mm x 50mm boards made for under $10 + s/h from China.  I can have three of the same board made through OSH park (who also outsources to China) for the same price.  Or I can have a single one made at a company that's 100% based in the US, for a little over $300 (price based on a September 2012 quote.)

China has the raw materials locally, they don't need to import anything (from afar).  This is why a lot of the electronics giants are in Asia (besides cheap labor.)  Companies based in the US (or anywhere else for that mater) have to import everything ... 99% of the time, from those Asian countries.  Someone, somewhere, has to pay for that.  So, it's either we outsource it all for cheap, or we pay a premium.  I choose to outsource, as does a lot of other US companies ... Apple being a big one.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: CrossRoads on Jul 10, 2013, 09:41 pm
Quote
I still would like to know how you etch and drill.

I personally don't, iteadstudio does all that. The video's I linked to earlier discuss that, you can search for other information on the same.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: dannable on Jul 10, 2013, 09:51 pm
If you search the forums for the word 'vinyl' you will eventually find a method of creating one-off pcbs yourself.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: 1ChicagoDave on Jul 14, 2013, 10:30 pm


  As you've already discovered, it'll be in the millions.  Nothing says you CAN'T do this, assuming you can secure the funding.  However, you need to keep in mind your competition: China.

I can have ten 50mm x 50mm boards made for under $10 + s/h from China.  I can have three of the same board made through OSH park (who also outsources to China) for the same price.  Or I can have a single one made at a company that's 100% based in the US, for a little over $300 (price based on a September 2012 quote.)


There are places in the U.S. that can make PCBs for much less than that. Albeit, it takes a bit of searching around. I've done the homework, because I refuse to support the downfall of the American economy & workforce just to save a few bucks. -- I need to start a thread with links to reasonably priced American PCB manufacturers that people can use.

Quote

China has the raw materials locally, they don't need to import anything (from afar).  This is why a lot of the electronics giants are in Asia (besides cheap labor.)  Companies based in the US (or anywhere else for that matter) have to import everything ... 99% of the time, from those Asian countries.  Someone, somewhere, has to pay for that.  So, it's either we outsource it all for cheap, or we pay a premium.  I choose to outsource, as does a lot of other US companies ... Apple being a big one.


Actually, the U.S. (and other countries) exports many of the raw materials to China, and then imports the finished products back in. Where China prevails is in labor costs (and lower overall cost & standard of living). What I made in one day as a Union Journeyman can pay an entire assembly line to work for (at least) a whole week in China. And, since most workers are forced to live, sleep, & eat at the manufacturing compounds where they work, there is no need to pay the workers "extra" for those expenses that almost everyone in other countries would have. Well, that, and the Chinese government artificially devaluing their money to keep the exchange rates in their favor....

Yes, China has a huge advantage for now. But, that's why we need people working on new business models that may help balance things out.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: CrossRoads on Jul 15, 2013, 04:01 am
Quote
There are places in the U.S. that can make PCBs for much less than that.

I've not been able to find one. In most cases, there is a setup charge that makes small lots uneconomical.
Places I have tried were not able to accomodate combining small boards into a panel for unique users.
I suppose if you wanted to take on that task, as dorkbot/patchpcb has done, and with a US manufacturer, you might make a go of it.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: 1ChicagoDave on Jul 15, 2013, 04:32 am

Quote
There are places in the U.S. that can make PCBs for much less than that.

I've not been able to find one. In most cases, there is a setup charge that makes small lots uneconomical.
Places I have tried were not able to accomodate combining small boards into a panel for unique users.
I suppose if you wanted to take on that task, as dorkbot/patchpcb has done, and with a US manufacturer, you might make a go of it.


$34 / board. 2 layers. Full spec. 5 day lead time. Located in Arizona.

http://www.4pcb.com/33-each-pcbs/ (http://www.4pcb.com/33-each-pcbs/)

As low as $28 / board, shipped. 2 layers, etc, etc....   Located in Oregon.

https://www.sunstone.com/quoteValueProto.aspx (https://www.sunstone.com/quoteValueProto.aspx)


Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: CrossRoads on Jul 15, 2013, 05:20 am
So how is that better than a 10-lot at $0.99/5cmx5cm board + $5-8shipping,
http://imall.iteadstudio.com/open-pcb/pcb-prototyping/im120418001.html
or a 10-lot at$2.49/10cmx10cm  board plus similar shipping?
http://imall.iteadstudio.com/open-pcb/pcb-prototyping/im120418003.html

Sunstone, 10-lot of 2"x2" = $145.  Not exactly hobbiest friendly.
4pbc = 10-lot would  supposedly by $330.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: 1ChicagoDave on Jul 15, 2013, 04:55 pm

So how is that better than a 10-lot at $0.99/5cmx5cm board + $5-8shipping,
http://imall.iteadstudio.com/open-pcb/pcb-prototyping/im120418001.html
or a 10-lot at$2.49/10cmx10cm  board plus similar shipping?
http://imall.iteadstudio.com/open-pcb/pcb-prototyping/im120418003.html

Sunstone, 10-lot of 2"x2" = $145.  Not exactly hobbiest friendly.
4pbc = 10-lot would  supposedly by $330.


Define "better" in this context. "Better" is a subjective term.

Are itead studio board made in the U.S.?

Re-read my first response. I suggested there were "Made in USA" options for much less $$ than $300 for a single board. 10 boards for $145, I believe, is a better value than 1 board @ $300, yes?

But since you asked.... :D
I also feel it's better since it helps my neighbor feed his family, helps keep Americans employed, off of unemployment & welfare....keeps my money circulating within the U.S. economy (which others could eventually use to hire me or buy things from me).....and ultimately contributing to a lower tax burden, leaving more money for other programs (which may lead to creation of more jobs? Allowing even more people to be able to afford to hire myself, or my neighbors...).  And it continues, around, and around. Keeping homes occupied & paid for, keeping my local economy healthy, and making sure money is available (and being used) to make improvements that people need.  Instead of China, where they are using the money we send over there to build entire "ghost cities" full of giant buildings, replicas of Manhattan, London, miles & miles of high-rise buildings......that all sit empty because nobody can afford to live in them. It's hard for me to support that kind of economy when everyday I pass a half-dozen homeless people begging me for change & sleeping on the sidewalk.

That's "better" to me.  I am just a hardcore supporter of local businesses for similar reasons. I tend to find overall "value" more important than the obvious, bottom line, out-of-pocket, initial "cost".

If all we care about is getting things as cheap as possible, soon that will be all we can afford to care about.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: CrossRoads on Jul 15, 2013, 07:09 pm
Ok, I re-read, you said "There are places in the U.S. that can make PCBs for much less than that."
I don't see how $145 or $300 is "much less" than iteadstudio which has jumped into the hobby market taken on the task of combining multiple small designs into one panel, electrically tests them, individually packages them, and  ships to the US.  I have contacted several US board makers, pointing out the US hobby market would support them if they did similar. None are willing to take it on, instead each order is treated individually with minimums on set up charges and amount of material to be used.
I was defining better merely in terms of price, which was how you asked the question.
I agree with all you say re: buy/support American. For hobby market, small time tinkerer, it does not make econimic sense.  For business market, I totally agree, buy/sell American and keep it here.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: Sandeep_Raj on Jul 24, 2013, 08:23 pm
Help in IC procurement

I read your post. It was very helpful. I have decided to outsource pcb manufacturing to China. This makes me own an assembling unit which is cheaper. I found few website where I can get Ic and other components in china, I would like to know few more places where I can get the Ic s like gyro, accelero meter and stuff. This help would really help me in completing my project. I request you to share these information.
Awaiting your reply.

Thankyou
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: CrossRoads on Jul 24, 2013, 08:26 pm
www.digikey.com, www.mouser.com, and try the manufacturer's directly.
Title: Re: IC Fabrication Company...
Post by: NANDBlog on Sep 07, 2013, 03:46 am
How to do it?
Step 0: make cost estimation
Step 1: get a venture capital
Step 2: Hire engineer to make it
Step 3: realize that the cost estimation was 10-100-1000 times less than what is actually required
Step 4: bankruptcy