Turnkey manufacture?

Making PCB Layouts, Manual routing, Auto-routing, Copper pouring, Updating from Schematic, Manufacturing Output
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Joined: 10 Oct 2018, 15:04

Turnkey manufacture?

#1 Post by diptracy » 24 Oct 2019, 16:19

Hi, I've been using diptrace software for a while and getting better all the time. I have seen at some pcb houses they offer a service where they manufacture or partly manufacture a pcb for you. I would like to know what is involved. What do you have to do on diptrace that tells the manufacturer how to assemble the board for you. I keep hearing the word "turnkey" with regard to this process.

I suppose what would be nice, on some of my boards that use a lot of smt parts, it would be nice if the pcb house could do this (assuming the price is reasonable). When I design my boards, I always specify what part is required for a certain component, would this be enough for a pcb house (once the gerber is generated) to make it?

I suppose what I am looking for is a bit more insight into the process.


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Joined: 26 Feb 2015, 18:04

Re: Turnkey manufacture?

#2 Post by GuitarPhil » 25 Oct 2019, 18:16

As well as the gerber files you need to create a Bill of materials BOM file (do this is in schematic editor and save as BOM.csv).

In PCB editor export a pick & place file, also as a CSV e.g. call it CPL.csv. This tells the factory where to put the parts on your pcb, the rotation angle etc.

I am currently waiting for my first boards back from JLCPCB. They are a mixed SMD/thru hole design. I will do the thru-hole parts myself when I get the partly populated boards back.

When you upload your files you start with the gerbers and drill file (which should be in a zip file), choose the number of pcbs you want then upload the BOM and CPL files, specify which side of the board you want populated (they only populate one side so pick the one with most (all) your SMD parts). You then have to go through and confirm all the parts by selecting from their catalog. Many parts are classed as 'Basic' as they are already loaded in their SMT assembly machines so you only pay for the part. Others will be listed as 'Extended' and will incur a $3 charge per component for the labour involved in loading them into the pick and place machine. Other parts may not be available at all so you'll have to solder them yourself.

The columns and headings for the CPL file should be:

Designator Mid X Mid Y Layer Rotation



PS My pcbs have about 70 SMT parts each and cost less than £50 for the parts and 10 boards assembled plus shipping. :)

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Re: Turnkey manufacture?

#3 Post by usedtobe » 30 Oct 2019, 17:08

I can highly recommend the JLCPCB service! I've been using this since it became available a few months ago, and have had 10+ projects assembled this. Best price I've ever encountered, and really really great service. I had a guy from China call me at 10:30pm on a friday to resolve an issue with my gerbers. Download their templates to help you generate compatible .csv files: BOM (bill of materials) and CPL (component placement list), which would come from "File -> Export -> Pick and Place" in diptrace.

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Re: Turnkey manufacture?

#4 Post by Oleevia » 05 Nov 2019, 08:02

Thanks for the recommendation!

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Joined: 31 Dec 2019, 21:31
Location: Sunnyvale, CA, USA

Re: Turnkey manufacture?

#5 Post by AmitThePCBGuy » 31 Dec 2019, 21:35

The word "turnkey" is simply understood as a full PCB fabrication and assembly as a bundle. Typically, the manufacturer will ask for a set of Gerber files to perform DFM checks alongside the BOM file.
Amit Bahl
Director of Sales & Marketing

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