PCB Prototypes

PCB Prototypes

For very quick PCB prototype deliveries (24 hours to 3 day), we only offer lead free hot air solder level or electroless nickel plus immersion gold. Five days and upwards from receipt of manufacturing data, we offer any finishes mentioned under “PCB Board types we make”.

We can make, test and despatch conventional and double-sided plated through hole (pth) printed circuit boards within 24 hours of receipt of manufacturing data, provided we receive the data early enough on day one. Multilayers might take longer.

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PCB Prototype UK

PCB Turnarounds offered:

Same day printed circuit boards made and dispatched same day manufacturing data received (conventional and very basic double-sided pth only).

24 hour printed circuits (conventional and all D/S pth) made, tested and dispatched within 24 hours of receipt of manufacturing data. Normally data must be received at the start of working day 1 for full spec boards plus test to be completed in this time scale. Many customers are happy with our 100% visual inspection and waive the double-side roving probe bare board test option for conventional and most double-sided pth.

48 hour Boards made, tested and dispatched within forty eight hours of receipt of manufacturing data (conventional, pth and very basic 4-layer multilayer).

Three day Boards made, tested and dispatched within three days of receipt of manufacturing data (conventional, pth and most 4-layer multilayers)

Four day As three day, but at less cost to the customer.

Five day As three day, but most finishes can now be offered (in addition to hot air solder level) on all bar six & eight layer multilayer.

Six day As five day, but at less cost to the customer.

Seven day As five day, but all finishes available on all board types.

Ten day As seven day, but at less cost to the customer.

Quality printed circuits

Quality printed circuits as defined and aspired to by Elite Circuits Ltd must have:

(01) The correct track widths and copper thickness.
(02) The correct hole sizes.
(03) Holes positioned centrally in pads.
(04) No discontinuities (opens) in tracks, vias, or component holes.
(05) No partial discontinuities in tracks.
(06) No partial discontinuites in vias or component holes.
(07) No repaired discontinuites.
(08) No breakdown of isolation (shorts) between tracks and pads.
(09) Sufficient copper through hole plate to avoid outgassing.
(10) Pads that maintain solderability for a protracted period (at least two years for lead free solder).
(11) Correctly applied and cured soldermask.
(12) Correctly applied and cured component location.

Quality Guaranteed

Please note that bare board testing (BBT) on its own is far from being an accurate guide to the quality of a printed circuit board. It does not detect partial discontinuities, repairs, copper thicknesses, hole sizes, solderability, or track widths. A PCB that has passed BBT could have a very tenuous connection through a via, for example, and such a circuit would be prone (if not actually destined) to fail in service. This is why Elite Circuits Ltd performs many more checks than just BBT to ensure the quality of the pcbs it manufactures.

Click each tab below to view our short, medium and long run guides

One man’s short run is another man’s prototype and yet another man’s medium run.

We cost prototypes and short runs by the number of panels we need to make to fulfill the order and the time we are required to make them in. An example of our pricing is as follows:

Double-sided pth with soldermask and ident, a lead free solder levelled finish, and a lead time of 10 working days.

First panel £120
Second £60 (or less dependant on quantity ordered)
Third & subsequent £30 (or less dependant on quantity ordered)
Tooling £65

In certain circumstances special prices for prototypes are available when less than a panel’s worth is required, and/or no soldermask or ident is needed.

A very rough guide to yield per panel is the equivalent of four single euro pcbs.

As the lead time reduces, so the cost per panel increases, e.g. 5 day + 25%; 3 day + 50%; 24 hour + 110%. The cost of tooling and testing does not increase as the lead-time reduces.

Please note it is easier to tell us how many boards you require and on which date you wish to receive them, and let us give you a price subject to inspection of manufacturing data supplied.

It should also be remembered that we can guarantee to deliver printed circuits when promised with no shorts, no opens, and no repairs.

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To cut a long story short, we will make as many boards as you want provided you are happy to pay our price.

Another way of looking at it, is that there are suppliers both in the U.K. and world-wide who can make top quality boards. As the quantities go up and the lead times go out, the prices some of these charge are so competitive that many who have tried to match them have ended up going into liquidation. We don’t intend to make the same mistake.

Taking single euro size pcbs as an example, we regularly make batches of hundreds off. We make far more batches of tens, twenties, and fifties, etc., because our prices are much more cost effective for such quantities. Customers who value peace of mind, however, and who don’t mind paying a little extra to get known good boards delivered on time will also use us for the larger quantities.

Yet another way of looking at it can be summed up in the old adage: “For the most part, you get what you pay for”.

Not normally our ballpark. There are plenty of PCB manufacturers wanting large runs and offering very competitive prices to get them. Just try and make sure you don’t deal with one that is verging on insolvency. Most companies take out credit checks on potential customers, few think to do the same for potential suppliers.

We are happy for customers to put their really large requirements elsewhere (preferably a member of the Merlin PCB Group) whilst staying with us for their smaller runs and urgent work, but we are always pleased to quote for even the largest runs.