Frequently Asked Questions

1. What services do your quote include?

Our quote includes:

  • Purchase of a solder stencil.
  • Machine placements of SMT components and the hand insertion of through-hole components.

Our quote does not include:

  • Special oven profile creation
  • Any conformal coating
  • Required modifications
  • Special gluing
  • Components masking
  • Special tooling process — press-fit connectors, crimp connectors and pins, etc.

Please call or email if you have special requirements.

2. What are your "start" times and work hours?

When considering turn-around times, our work hours are regular business days. We exclude all holidays and weekends.

Your completed files must be available at PCB Trace Technologies Inc the day before your kit arrives, and your turn-time starts at noon on the day your kit arrives.

3. How do you handle component shortages?

When we notice a shortage, we have two options. Based on your decision, we can:

A. Notify you and wait until you ship us the part to complete the order.

B. Complete the order without that part and allow you to manually place it yourself when you receive the boards.

To maintain the maximum flexibility and keep costs down as far as possible, we do not inventory your parts prior to processing the job. We’re an assembly house; we depend on you to supply the right quantity of the right parts. Please make sure you supply the correct parts. Even on a ten-day order, we may not notice a shortage until the day before the shipping date.

4. What if I have problems with my boards? How do you handle rework?

If you find an issue with our workmanship within 90 days, we would be happy to evaluate and repair your assemblies, at no charge.

Normally, we require an RMA for returns. Prior to any return shipping, please contact us for an RMA number.

5. What discounts do you offer?

3 pcs 5 days 2 Layers, $10.00 ea / 4 Layer $20.00 ea – See New customer special page for more details.

$1500.00 Off to new customer for PCB/PCBA order. Max credit $500.00 per order.

6. How do I ship packages to PCB Trace Technologies Inc?

Please be sure to mark the outside of each package with the PCB Trace Technologies Inc and order number to:

PCB Trace Technologies Inc
500 Yosemite Dr. # 106
Milpitas, CA 95035

7. What do you do with extra components after finishing the build?

Any extra components, purchased to meet the supplier’s minimum order, we turn over to the customer after assembly, along with the finished PCBs.

8. What quantities do you handle?

Typically, we process prototype quantities in large production quantities. Give us a call at 1-408-580-0722 or email us at [email protected].

If you need regular production in quantities that total more than 5000 in 1 year, please contact us at 1-408-580-0722 or email us at [email protected].

9. What is your optimum panel size?

Generally, PCB Trace Technologies Inc can handle board size up to 20 in x 24 in. However, our optimum working panel size is roughly 12 in x 18 in for sample runs & 18 in x 24 in for medium to large PCB production runs.

In small quantities (Less than 25 units or so) panelization is not a critical item, but it is helpful with very small board sizes and with higher volumes.

In certain cases, our Short-Run Production service does require panelization.

10. Do you X-ray BGAs?

As part of our standard assembly and testing process, we do X-ray BGAs. We also X-ray leadless ICs and other parts with leads that can’t be examined with a microscope.

11. Do boards need to have a silkscreen for assembly?

Silkscreen is not a necessity, but it is preferred.

In order to verify component placement and rotation, board submissions without silkscreen require some other form of documentation. We review board orders without silkscreen before accepting.

12. How do I send you special instructions?

Please include any Special instructions at the time of submitting an order. Provide these instructions within the Assembly Instructions document. Depending on the need for visual aids, this is usually in PDF or Notepad format.

13. What is Centroid data?

Centroid data is the Insertion or Pick-and-place or XY data. This is the machine placement file and should include:

  • X, Y, Theta
  • Side of Board (Top or Bottom)
  • Reference Designator

If we generate the Centroid file for you, based on the number of SMT placements per board, we will add the additional charges.

14. What are your requirements for the Bill of materials formatting?

The BOM should include:

  • Supplier and Part No.
  • Reference Designator
  • Description of Component
  • Package Type (footprint)

The Microsoft Excel format (.xls, .xlsx, .csv, or tab-delimited) is necessary for the Bill of Materials (BOM).

15. Can I use Digi-Key part numbers in my BOM?

Yes, you can use the Digi-Key part numbers. Your BOM structure should be:

  • Digi-Key Part No.
  • Reference Designator
  • Description
  • Package Type (footprint)

16. What Gerber layers do you need for assembly?

Please send files in the Gerber RS-274X format.

For assembly, we need at the minimum:

  • Silkscreen
  • Copper (trace layers)
  • Solder paste layers

Preferably, as if you were sending them in for fabrication, send us all Gerber files generated by your CAD program.

17. How should I supply components to you?

The same part number listed on your bill of materials should be clearly marked on each bag, tray, etc.

Depending on the assembly service you choose, we can work with:

  • Tape cut to 6” min length
  • Tubes
  • Reels
  • Trays

We assume you have taken adequate care to protect the integrity of the components.

If components are moisture or static sensitive, please package accordingly in sealed and/or static controlled packaging.

Call before quoting a job with loose SMT components because:

  • We consider SMT components provided in loose or in bulk fashion as thru-hole components for manual placement.
  • Sending them to us loose may cause damage and this will likely cost you extra in handling charges.
  • It is almost always less expensive to buy anew strip of components than to have us install them when they are loose.

NOTE: Please adhere to the parts requirements for the assembly service you are using. Visit our Services Overview for more information.

18. Do you have any existing inventory I can use?

Mostly, we do not carry any inventory. Only for a few customers, who we work with closely, we carry some inventory items.

19. If I am submitting more than one order at the same time, should I kit the components together? How do I kit parts if I’m submitting multiple orders?

Each order requires its own kit.

You may send multiple kits in a single package, but please ensure to mark each kit clearly.

Parts mutually used on two or more jobs should be clearly marked with a sticker or other marking to denote that the parts are shared, and indicate the projects they are used on. When using mutual parts, remember to provide an extra 5% for each project. Forgetting to include the extra 5% for each separate build is the biggest blunder.

20. What services do you offer?

PCB Trace Technologies Inc offers three basic Printed Circuit Board assembly services:

At PCB Trace Technologies Inc, we can run just a few boards, built up quickly, with flexibility in kitting the components.

At PCB Trace Technologies Inc, we optimize for runs for up to 5,000 boards, this is our Production Assembly Service. We have priced it just right and perfect for taking your finished design to market. When you have completed testing of your design, and are ready to start building your product in quantity, choose our Production Assembly Service.

To see detailed benefits & requirements for each of our assembly services, please visit our Services Overview, or call PCB Trace Technologies Inc at 408-580-0722 or email at [email protected] for more information.

21. What are your requirements for your services?

PCB Trace Technologies Inc is most flexible on any services required by customer – little to no restrictions on PCBs, Parts, or Placements.

PCBs: 500 in X .500 in (min) X 23 in. (max)


  • Cut & Continuous tape – Min 6” Cut tape required.
  • Full or Partial Reels
  • Tubes
  • Trays
  • Thrugh-Hole parts on tape or in bulk

Placements: N/A


  • Gerber CAD Data with NC Excellon Drill file (ASCII format)
  • Bill of Materials (.xls, .xlsx, .csv, or tab-delimited text)
  • RS-274X Gerber files
  • Centroid (aka Pick-and-Place) file

22. What data files should I send for assembly orders?

Depending on the assembly service you are using, PCB Trace Technologies Inc requires some or all of the following information:

  • Gerber CAD Data with NC Excellon Drill file (ASCII format)
  • Bill of Materials (.xls, .xlsx, .csv, or tab-delimited text)
  • RS-274X Gerber files
  • Centroid (aka Pick-and-Place) file

23. What are your technical capabilities? / What can you assemble?

We have all the standard capabilities, but PCB Trace Technologies Inc takes pride on being able to handle almost any job.

If you can’t find what you need, call us at 1-408-580-0722 or email [email protected] with your job specs, and we’ll see what we can do to help.

24. Can PCB Trace Technologies Inc order parts for me?

Absolutely. If necessary, PCB Trace Technologies Inc provides Turn-Key service. We can order your parts, manufacture your Printed Circuit Boards, assemble the PCBs, test them, and provide the completed PCBs to you.

To see detailed benefits & requirements for each of our assembly services, please visit our Services Overview, or call PCB Trace Technologies Inc at  +408-580-0722 for more information.

25. I need PCB Layout also. Do you offer PCB Layout or any other engineering services?

Yes, you may obtain a quote for this by sending your Schematic to [email protected]

Through years of working with our in-house electrical and manufacturing engineers, we’ve accumulated the know-how to create custom designs that succeed.

We design to IPC standards and our layout works meet all major certification standards such as UL, CE, TUV, etc.

26. Can you do a partial assembly?

Yes, we do partial assemblies. Please provide instructions in your BOM .xls file for the components you do not want placed. (Mostly, the term used are DNI (Do not Install) or DNL (Do not Load)

27. What other services do you offer besides Assembly? Building Cables? Box Build?

PCB Trace Technologies Inc does prototype box build and other mechanical assembly, as well as general electronics work.

We can also do solder-based cable work & crimp-based cable work.

For mechanical assembly, we do require a sample, or specific assembly instructions.

Please submit an RFQ or give us a call to discuss you needs.

28. Do you offer lead-free builds?

Yes, we offer Lead-Free PCB Assembly.

29. Can you handle moisture sensitive components?

Over time, many SMT component packages absorb small amounts of moisture. When these components go through the reflow oven, this moisture may expand, damaging or destroying the component. Sometimes the damage can be seen visually; sometimes it can’t be seen at all.

We bake to drive this damaging moisture out of the components. However, baking your components may delay your job by up to 48 hours. We do not count the bake time toward your turn-time.

We follow the JDEC J-STD-033B.1 standard.

That means, if the component has a moisture sensitive label, or the package is open and without a label, we will either determine if it needs to be baked or call you for a decision.

On 5- and 10-day turn-times, this probably will not cause a delay. On 24- and 48-hour jobs, the need to bake components will cause a delay of up to 48 hours. We will add the extra time for baking to your turn-time.

If possible, always send us your components sealed in their original packaging, just as you have received them.

30. Can you panelize boards (sometimes called array boards)?

If you want us to assemble a full panel of boards, you should still seek a quote for the individual board.

Unless instructed otherwise, we de-panelize the boards after assembly.

In the “Special Requirements / Comments for Assembly” box on our site, let us know that you want the boards panelized ten-per-panel and whether your Gerber files are for panelized or single boards.

Also, in the “Special Requirements / Comments for Assembly” box on our site, let us know if you want the boards to stay in the panel after assembly. If we do not have this information, we will de-panelize them.

31. What standards and certifications does PCB Trace Technologies Inc follow?

PCB Trace Technologies Inc is certified for ISO 2001:9000, ITAR, UL & Cage Code

By default, we inspect to IPC-A-610, Class II standards. Class III inspection is available upon request.

For RoHS, we adhere to IPC-1066, finish category E1.

For moisture, we follow the JDEC J-STD-033B.1 standard.

32. On turn-key jobs, does PCB Trace Technologies Inc cross or substitute parts?

PCB Trace Technologies Inc does not substitute parts or cross the part numbers without an approval from the customer. As we do not carry any inventory, we do not have any parts for substitution or crossing. If parts on your assembly are not available for purchase, we first discuss the situation with you. Then, before we order, you decide what changes are necessary to the bill of materials.

33. How does PCB Trace Technologies Inc order components for Turn-Key orders?

For most component orders, we order your exact bill of material, plus overage.

Occasionally, because of supplier minimum/multiple order requirements, we must purchase extra parts than are necessary for assembly. Prior to ordering, we discuss these purchase overruns with you, our customer.

34. What is the lead time on a turn-key order?

Assembly order lead times, quoted on our website, only include the time between we receive your parts and the time your completed order is ready to ship. To determine Turn-Key order lead times, the extra time we need to obtain the parts we will add to the assembly lead time.

Keep in mind that PCB Trace Technologies Inc can produce boards in 24 hours to 5 days for prototypes to small production and in 7-10 days for medium to large quantities. Depending on your needs, we can adjust the lead time between PCB manufacturing & Assembly labor.

Prior to assembling the order, we need to receive all components at PCB Trace Technologies Inc.

35. Can PCB Trace Technologies Inc order only components, manufacture only circuit boards or simply provide only assembly labor service?

Yes, we do Partial Turn-Key assemblies. We can order only the parts that you don’t want to or can’t procure and supply. We can also provide circuit board manufacturing services or Assembly Labor service depending on your requirement.

36. Do you have a minimum order size for turn-key orders?

We do not have any minimum order size. We can handle even 1 pc.

37. What happens to the components leftover from Turn-Key orders?

We turn over all extra components, that we had purchased to meet the supplier’s minimum order to the customer after assembly along with the finished PCBs.

38. What do you require for a turn-key order?

  • Bill of material, complete with information in excel format.
  • Complete info including – manufacturer’s name, part number, ref designators, component description, quantity
  • All Gerber files
  • Centroid data – PCB Trace Technologies Inc can also create this file, if necessary

39. How do you process payment for a turn-key job?

We need an up-front payment. This is the cost of components or 50% of the order, whichever is greater. The balance is due at the time of shipment unless we have approved your company for Net terms.

Get a custom quote Get an offline quote

Increased Production Panel Output

We can now ship 100 production panels of 18"x24" in 5-7 working days for 2 to 10 layer designs.


Looking for an expert solution for your company?

PCB Trace Technologies Inc. specializes in higher layer count PCBs, exotic materials, laser drill micro-vias, blind/buried vias, as well as conductive and non-conductive via fill.