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Out of the Box Manufacturing provides PCB manufacturing services. We build circuit boards and assemblies faster, smarter, and with the highest level of quality.

Below find frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to PCB Fabrication, PCB Assembly & PCB Manufacturing Service.

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Electronic Manufacturing Materials

Can we overnight components?

Yes, however, there is a fee associated with this service.

Why do we request an excel based BOM?

Excel BOMs are much easier to import and export into and out of programs. We can also copy and paste part numbers rather than retyping which introduces the opportunity for human error.

Can we buy materials from brokers?

No, as a result of our various quality registrations, we do not purchase materials from brokers, only authorized distributors. If a customer finds themselves in this situation, we would ask them to reach out to us for assistance as we may be able to help them identify alternate sources.

What are ‘Popcorn parts’ and how can a customer deal with availability issues?

A ‘Popcorn part’ is a component that is made by several manufacturers. A lot of time and energy can be saved during the quoting and purchasing process if customer approved alternates are listed on the BOM.

Sales & Service

How long do quotes take?

Consigned quotes can be completed in less than a day, while turnkey can be completed in less than 5 days in order to obtain the best price. If a Customer needs their turnkey quote completed more quickly, OBMFG can accommodate, we just caution that we may not be able to get the lowest competitive pricing option.

Do you have a minimum order quantity

No! OBMFG will accept orders of any quantity.

Do you provide DFM feedback?

Yes! A First Article report is provided in the box with every order. We believe it is valuable for our customers to know if any issues arose during the assembly process. We also list suggestions for modifying the design or component selection on your next revision to make it easier to manufacture and to help reduce price.

How are shortages or obsolescence handled?

If consigned shortages are identified during the kitting process, we will notify the customer and ask for guidance on how they would like to proceed. We can ship short, order components and wait for delivery, add to the cost of the assembly, or wait for the customer to supply the parts. Keep in mind, Consigned turn-time starts the day of the last received component, so time is of the essence!

Why are overages required and how many?

Parts loaded on feeders need a minimum lead to load on the machines and depending on the part size it that could be 5-10 parts.   Additionally, the machine will reject a part from time to time. We ask for at least 10 parts or 5% overage, whichever is larger. We do understand there are high dollar parts on the boards and if they are large enough, this overage can be drastically reduced. We do ask to never send exact quantities. It never fails that when we are dealing with exact quantities, Murphy will bite us and a part will be damaged, lost, or have a vendor defect.

Can you provide alternates?

Whenever possible, OBMFG tried to identify alternate components for our customers. However, we are a build to print shop and the ultimate decision and approval lies with the Customer. We will never place an alternate part without Customer approval. We are electronic assembly experts, not component experts.

Does it matter if the PCB is panelized?

Yes, individually routed boards typically require fixtures and processes much slower than if a board were to be panelized in an array. Including this information when you request a quote (if consigned) is important for us to provide an accurate quote when pricing.

Do you cut corners in the process when doing same-day or 1-day turns?

No, we manufacture using the same quality and procedures as a normal non-expedited job. However, we may allocate additional resources or utilize different equipment in order to move the job more quickly through the facility.  

Why are PCB costs from us typically lower than what Customers can find?

We have special discounted pricing with our suppliers because we buy in volume. 

Why do we provide the customer with a costed BOM on a Turnkey quote?

We want to be completely open and honest with our customers and show the pricing we’ve gotten just in case they’ve found a better price elsewhere.


Does a customer need to provide ASCii CAD data or ODB++ with an order and why?

ASCii CAD or ODB++ allows us to use the customer’s data to create assembly documentation and various machine programs.  Without this data programs need to be manually generated which results in extra costs to the customer that can be easily avoided. CAD is “smart data” that can be used to link a component to a reference designator and provides component orientation. Utilizing Gerber files on their own does not allow for this degree of detail. The export of CAD or ODB++ is a relatively easy process for a customer that can be done with most programs used to create the assembly. OBMFG can provide a “how to” guide for exporting from various programs.

Why should a Customer provide bare PCBs in a panelized array with rails and fiducials as standard practice?

Panelization is placing 2 or more board images on blank material for processing, thus saving time processing one board at a time. 

Scored arrays are preferred although not required. 

It is highly recommended that irregularly shaped PCBs are panelized and may need tab routing to maintain a rectangular shape for component placement.  

As an aid to automatic placement, three global fiducial marks are required on the board surfaces which contain surface mount components. The machine needs a common point to reference on each PCBA to ensure placement accuracy. 

Components should not be placed within 0.150″ (0.250″ preferred) of the edge of the board to provide a free area to allow the board to travel down conveyors and for the machine to securely clamp the PCB.  0.250” Rails can be added to a PCB during fabrication to allow the designer to add components near the edge of a PCB while still providing a free area for vacuum sealing and grasping of the board.