In the past, JLCPCB did not have to pay extra for imposition of two exactly the same circuits on a 10x10cm board, but when I ordered this time, I had to pay extra.
supposed to save money, but have to pay more
This time, I'm ordering a board from JLCPCB that will be used in a kit called FCAV, which is a video output kit for the NES.
The NES has an RF output, a system that cannot be connected to newer televisions, so it cannot be connected to a TV to play. Therefore, we developed the "NES Video Modification Kit" (FCAV), which modifies the NES to output video on yellow, white, and red terminals, and is now Sales.
This time, I decided to order the board as the FCAV stock was running out.
Most PCB manufacturers in China will produce 10 identical boards for as low as $5, as long as the board size is less than 10cm x 10cm.
Since the boards we will be ordering are less than 10cm x 5cm, we can have twice the amount of boards made by having two boards lined up on one board. Placing multiple circuits on a single board is called "imposition. Imposition of the same circuit is called "same design panelizing", and imposition of different circuits is called "different design panelizing".
Some board manufacturers in China will charge extra for "different design panelizing" where different circuits are impositioned on one board, but will manufacture without extra charge for "same design panelizing" where the same circuits are impositioned.
This time, I thought there would be no additional charge since it was the same type of imposition, so I placed the order in the usual manner but was contacted by the support center.
They said, "You will have to pay extra for the same design panelizing."The additional cost was $8.03. If you have to pay an extra $8.03, then the significance of imposition is diminished.
I communicated with them several times after this, and the reason was that the same type of imposition would incur a cost, and the width of the discarded board (used to connect boards together, and then cut off and discarded after mounting the components) was less than 15mm.
same design panelizing was paid for
In JLCPCB, even for same design panelizing, there was a field to select "Panel by Customer" in Delivery Format and enter the imposition settings. I may have overlooked this before, but entering this item did indeed increase the cost of the PCB.
However, the amount to be increased was not as much as the $8.03 being requested this time.
Additional charges based on V-cut substrate size
The JLCPCB's information page on the additional costs involved says as above. If the length or width of the board is extremely small, there is likely to be a cost of $8.
However, if this is also applied to the discarded board, 30mm will not be available on both sides of the board. I wonder if that's true? I'm not sure.
Moreover, the page says that different design panelizing is charged, but it doesn't mention same design panelizing. It may just be that the information on this page is outdated...
I can't cancel it
If I had to pay the extra $8, I would have cancelled the order and changed to a non-interface board or asked another manufacturer to manufacture it, but I had also ordered another board and that was in the next process, so I could not cancel the order.
We had no choice but to pay extra to have it manufactured.
Beware of additional costs if you pay in advance
The case of JCLPCB
The ordering procedure in the case of JLCPCB is as follows.
- Enter various settings and upload the PCB manufacturing data
- Prices are determined based on the settings you enter
- JLCPCB will check the data and make additional payments if there are additional costs.
- PCB manufacturing
The fee is paid first, and then the manufacturer checks the data. Substrate verification may reveal additional costs, in which case you will need to pay the costs additionally. Sometimes it takes a while to check this data, and this time it was two hours after the order was placed.
Even if you later find out that there will be additional costs that you did not anticipate and you want to cancel the order, you may not be able to do so, as in this case. Even if you are able to cancel the order, you may be worried until you check your credit card statement to see if you will really be refunded.
For payment after data check
- Enter various settings and upload the Gerber file
- Manufacturer checks data and determines price
- PCB manufacturing
First, the manufacturer will check the data and determine the price. If you are satisfied with the price, you can make the payment and proceed to manufacturing. If you are not satisfied with the price, you can cancel the order, or modify or change the board and place another order. PCBWay and PCBgogo are also very fast, checking data in less than 10 minutes.
This procedure is a very safe way to place an order.
Moreover, these two companies support Japanese, making it easy for Japanese to place orders. In particular, PCBgogo has a dedicated staff that is fluent in Japanese, so even beginners can feel safe since they can communicate in Japanese in case of any problems. But PCBgogo may also charge for same design panelizing.
I learned a lot this time
It's been a while since I ordered the PCB from JLCPCB, but they now charge extra for the same design panelizing. This time, I made a mistake in entering my settings, but I thought that PCBWay and PCBgogo, where you pay after the manufacturer checks the data, is clearer and safer.