Today I’m going to review one of the well-known PCB manufacturers in India, PCB Power.

PCB Power is a 20 years old Indian PCB manufacturing company located in Gujrat, it also provides PCB layout, component sourcing, assembly & stencil manufacturing services.

Over the years I have used PCB Power services many times in various projects but I wasn’t able to review them as the PCBs I worked on were for commercial projects. Currently, I have been working on a personal project which is an extension of my earlier project call Constant Current Dummy Load.

Below is the 3D rendering of the PCB in KiCAD in comparison with the board I got from PCB Power.

PCB render image

Final PCB

“Above image is not clear as my mobile was not able to take a good picture in indoor lighting, the board actually came out very good!”

Given PCB Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 100 mm x 75 mm
  • Layers: 2
  • Start Copper Thickness: 35 µm
  • Finish Copper Thickness: 60 µm
  • Surface Finish: Immersion Gold / ENIG

Following are a few parameters that I consider while deciding the quality of PCB:

  1. Alignment:
    • Solder mask alignment was perfect, I couldn’t see any misalignment from one side of the board to the other.
    • The drill was also well aligned as the drills we spot on in the centre of the pads and thus there were no breakouts
  2. Via & Pads:
    • Vias are covered with solder mask which I was not expecting as I didn’t specifically mention that I needed it.
    • Vias & Pads came out very good there were no breakouts in vias.
    • Plated through holes also came out well and have a solid connection between layers.

      PTH Image
      Plated Through Hole Image
  3. Dimensions:
    • Dimensions of the PCB and the edge cuts were accurate.
    • The board was routed from all four sides and there were in total six mouse bites marks along the edge of the board.
  4. Silk Screen:
    • Silkscreen was very accurate there was no bleeding and text resolution was fine enough that I cannot see any visible dots.
  5. Gerbers:
    • It is very important to me that the manufacturers do not touch my Gerbers, in past, I had cases were one of the local PCB manufacturer removed vias from my board because he thought there were too many vias without notifying me in advance.
    • PCB Power didn’t touch my Gerbers and in past, they have notified me if they find a fault in the PCB.
  6. Manufacturers marking:
    • No one likes any markings on their front silkscreen of the board especially if the board is not going into a case or is been used as a front panel.
    • PCB Power has added ET OK mark with a tracking number on the front silkscreen, after a closer look I found that they do provide an option to not print the ET OK print on the silkscreen but I guess they might still print the tracking number – needed to be confirmed.

Actual PCB

  • Other Considerations:
    • Cost: Costing I got from PCB power is very competitive when compared to other Indian & international (Chinese) manufacturers especially when you consider the shipping cost.
    • Time to delivery: I ordered my PCBs with a delivery term of 28 Days to get low cost but luckily and got it delivered to me within a bit more than a week.

Conclusion:

I am certainly very happy with the boards that I got from the PCB Power. I would like to mention one con which I have found when working with them on a commercial project, as I mentioned they provide various PCB related services and when you use them as a turnkey solution to manufacture, procure parts and assemble the PCB they provide different quotes for each service and if you have multiple boards like I did you end up having 10 – 15 quotes which you have to go through each of them to find irregularities, track them and get rectified from PCB Power which takes up a lot of time and is really very annoying.

There is one new thing I tried on this board, that is to print my name on the board by removing the solder mask over a flood plain instead of normal silkscreen printing and as the board had a gold surface finish the name came out with golden finish which really looks awesome.

Golden name
Printing YashRK by removing the solder-mask layer

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Siddharth Kothari

    Very well illustrated review. I might as well send my design to them. On a side note, I have had a great experience with JLC and Lion circuits too. Both of them do a decent job.

    1. Yash Kudale

      Thanks!
      Cost wise JLC has no match but quality of PCB is better with PCB Power. But I have not used Lion Circuits’ services yet, I will try them next.

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