PCB Assembly in China


We’re building a new product that intends to use a P1 as its brain. We’ve got a pretty workable prototype already in place and we’re now trying to get the budgeting right to go into crowdfunding soon. We were wondering if anyone could share tips and experiences with PCB Assembly for low to mid-volume quantities - we may not end needing a lot more than 2000 boards, but they will be laaarge PCBs with a lot of components each - including a lot of thru-holes.

We’ve mainly been doing hand assembly and we’ve used a local (Portugal) assembly partner in previous products. For PCB fabrication we’ve had experience with Myropcb (which also does Assembly), PCBway (which does offer but they don’t seem to be geared towards it) and a few manufacturers in Europe (mainly in Bulgaria). We’re dying to try HQPCB which was recommended in the proto2prod blog. Can anyone share experiences and recommendations on PCB Assembly companies in China?


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Hey @warding!

This is Will, Head of Supply Chain over at Particle. HQPCB is an awesome and very cost effective option, but they don’t currently do PCBA (assembly), just PCB production.

For small batch prototyping and PCBA, I’ve been dying to check out Seeed Studios new PCB fusion program. I think they have pretty cost competitive options, and the open parts library they’ve developed is sourced locally in Shenzhen, so it can start you down the road of sourcing for mass production also. Here’s a link to the PCB Fusion service:


As far as identify CM’s for mass production, we also have some recommendations. In general, it’s not strictly volume that is important, but actually [order qty] * [BOM cost] that manufacturers care about. The higher the BOM cost, the larger the opportunity for value add services and margin, so an expensive PCB is easier to produce in small volumes than a small, cheap one :slight_smile:

Give us an email at proto2prod@particle.io and we can share some more info about larger CM’s when your team needs the info!


Thanks for the reply @will!

I had heard good things about PCB fusion. I find that the PCB fabrication part is competitive for smaller sizes, but less competitive than other options for the size we’re looking for (25*25 in cm). With assembly, however, it may make sense. We tend to be cheap and prefer to do the assembly for prototyping quantities by hand in-house to avoid the importation of a higher value item (our customs officers are pretty anal, it can add a week to delivery and increase the cost 2x.).

Thanks for the pointers, we’ll definitely be in touch.

Cool, let me know what you end up doing–I’d be curious to know :smile:


I live in Hong Kong and am in the middle of getting my unit professionally produced. I have a few contacts in Mainland China and may be able to help. Please let me know if you wish to pursue this. I have been using Seeed PCB service for my prototyping it is cheap and fast.

Best regards,

Good question !

I would not attempt to name any specific companies offering services. I have used 20+ companies in China, Korea, Malaysia, Canada, USA, Hungary, UK. That said I look for some carefully answered questions when looking for a manufacturer:

  1. Are they a “full service” provider. Design check-PCB-Procurement-PCBA-QC-Test-QA-Logistics
  2. What is their loss on misplaced components/ECfailed boards, etc. i.e. how much waste
  3. Actual turnaround time. Don’t believe 5 days. 14 days min and thats a fully sourced order. Unless they have all parts in stock, expect delays.
  4. Component quality which refers to substitutes that may be locally available (cheaper) but possibly less reliable. Also are the parts provided surplus, at a discount to lower costs for the first run.
  5. Is the order repeatable.
  6. Packaging services should be available - usually not by the PCBA supplier, but by an associated company. The issue is - will the PCBA team own responsibility for the packaging/logistics as part of the order or is that external. Remember communications between companies in other countries are not exactly timely, clear or accurate!
  7. Who explicitly at the PCBA facility is in charge - of the customer and project - and who manages the company. Will you need a translator.

I could go on…

Outsourcing PCB assembly house for your electronics project----http://www.syspcb.com/News/323.htm

May be you can have a try with ALLPCB.com.
You can find a lot of PCB manufacturers there.
The quality and price is good.

I did business with Elecrow for prototypes. Price is very good and production is fast. There was small errors in the assembly of the pcbs I made with them. 1 bigger error and they compensate for it.