Even with the recent price cuts for amazing assembly, part variance is still a huge price driver. Having only a few standard SMD capacitors (e.g., 100n, 1u, 10u, 22u, 47u) and resistors (e.g., 33, 49.9, 100, 1k, 1k5, 2k2, 3k3, 4k7) always spooled up and therefore without a setup fee would significantly reduce assembly costs for prototyping projects with few specialized parts.
Hi @Carsten, welcome to our community!
Thanks for the feedback on our pricing. The reason why part variance is a cost driver in our pricing is that it is in reality. Each additional unique part of a project has to be sourced and handled separately. Most important, it requires additional machines/work station set up. The fact that the used components are standard components has little effect. Before our price cuts, we had a fixed job fee. However, it was imbalanced for those who had only a few different components on the board.
I know that it not possible all the time, but the easiest way is to simplify the design and reduce part variance.
I fully understand that part variance is a cost driver, because parts have to be individually procured and the PnP machines must be loaded and set up. In that regard your prices are already competitive (e.g., one of your Asian competitors charges 2,97 € for setup per part). I’m absolutely willing to pay a reasonable premium for a local supplier with a superior workflow.
What I meant by “standard SMD components” is a list of a select few (10~20) of highly demanded components. You define that list (e.g., based on previous assembly statistics and/or community surveys) and communicate it to your customers. If these components are always loaded in the PnP machines (like your competition from Asia does it), no overhead for handling and setup is incurred.
Because I’m looking at it mostly from a microcontroller and mixed signal perspective, I assume a lot of projects require decoupling capacitors and basic pull up/down resistors. If only the most common ones of these (and maybe 1~2 types of ferrite beads) are always loaded on the PnP machines and therefore excluded from the part variance fee, the total assembly fees could reduce significantly.
I see your point. We are always looking for opportunities to lower our prices, so I forwarded the feedback internally.