I've created a couple of kits based on the Arduino, and have got to the point that they are working well and selling. At the moment I'm ordering all the parts separately, putting them together by hand and sending them out from Switzerland.
The kits consist of a PCB and some components. The PCB I have designed, the components are all more or less standard.
I have two problems which I want to resolve:
1) I only have 24 hours a day, and have to be careful how I use them, picking and packing takes time
2) Postage from Switzerland is prohibitively expensive
Now I would like to automate the gathering of the kit components and despatch. I don't want the kits assembled (not yet at least).
Does anyone know good (i.e. reliable and trusted) source of kit picking and bagging, as well as semi-automated despatch and tracking?
Thanks for the help!
In Australia, there is a thriving industry of kits, driven by the one remaining electronics magazine that publishes kit projects. The two main chain stores which service this industry are Jaycar and Altronics. There are other smaller stores which do that too.
I believe both of the two big ones do have a kit-packing service which will work with you to package kits for you. Shipping from Australia is likely as expensive as Switzerland but you may find some tax advantages to doing so.
Thanks for that! I think the problem for me will be the quantity. I'm only doing a few a month, and I guess that these guys will want a large up front investment.
I'll have a poke around and see if it will work for me. If it does, I'll report experiences back here because I guess it will be interesting for others.
I spent a couple of days looking into this, and have found what I think is a great solution.
The guys that created my prototype PCBs also provide a service to do all the rest of the steps, right up to assembly. The minimum order is 50 pieces, and they charge a set up cost (in my case $100) and a per kit cost (in my case $5 for picking and packing).
Of course the shipping is extra. That is via air mail with tracking number for $6. The equivalent here is Switzerland is $20.
If you are interested, the company I have been dealing with is "BoTech Circuits". Contact firstname.lastname@example.org (http://mailto:email@example.com).
Mention to Bo that you heard about it here.
Just to complete this thread, I am linking it to another, longer discussion on the forum:
PCB Manufacture and Assembly (http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=123212.15)
This topic and others are in there...