PCB Cost Factors 3
EPCB explained how layer count, laminate material, copper weights, etc., affect the cost of an individual circuit board before. In this article, we will explain several cost factors influenced by via-fill, X-outs and golden fingers.
Via-Fill: In the via-in pad design, via-fill is always needed. And non-conductive via-fill medium is much cheaper than conductive one, because the conductive medium is generally silver particles embedded in the epoxy which limits the smallest via size it can effectively fill. So if you choose the conductive via-fill medium, you have to pay more. Besides, whatever the fill type is, they require curing time and that also increases your PCB cost.
X-Outs: When manufacture and ship PCBs in a certain sequence, some PCBs are doomed to be damaged and will be marked accordingly, such as a big ‘X’ on them. If you not allow your manufacturer to ship X-outs, you can require more panels to ensure the entire order is filled. But that also means your cost is increased.
Golden Fingers: Gold is traded on the open market and its price is not cheap. Unlike immersion gold, golden fingers require much thicker and harder finish that can bear the repeated abuse of being inserted into a spring-loaded connector. Because of the hard-gold feature, it is also called an electro-plated finish as opposed to an electro-less finish. Besides, golden fingers usually need additional manual processing for beveling of finger to make it easier to insert into the connector. All this obviously add your PCB cost.
Various cost factors are explained by EPCB, and they are all quite commonly seen in our industry. Of course, there still exists lots of other less-common cost factors which are not listed here, such as, edge-plating, counter-sinking, etc. Hope those explained are useful for you.