Automating Rapid Prototypes

Both product lifecycles and printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs) are continuing to shrink. In the world of prototyping, the need for speed continues. But so does the need for repeatable quality, often achievable only with machine assembly. Milwaukee Electronics has pioneered a way to support both rapid prototyping and high mix low volume (HMLV) assembly, via machine assembly with minimal constraints on materials packaging styles. The end result is zero lead-time, zero excess material and superior quality.

The Challenge

In both rapid prototyping and HMLV assembly, convenience and speed is key. To avoid excess material, needed quantities are often procured as cut tape from Digikey. At the same time, parts are getting smaller and/or more complex. Accurate hand placement of BGAs, QFNs and other parts is impossible in many cases. And rounding out this perfect storm, engineering resources are also continuing to shrink. Teams no longer have administrative assistance to order parts and prototypes, or to build prototypes in-house. They need a partner capable of quickly getting the job done.

The Process

Milwaukee Electronics wanted to create a service capable of addressing all three elements: speed, machine assembled quality and ease of ordering. Our team modified an SMT placement to accept Digikey cut tape and patented the process. We chose flexible assembly equipment capable of supporting a variety of component feeders and trays, as well. Then we created the first e-commerce ordering system capable of providing instant PCB assembly quotes.

The Solution

Today, that solution is known as Screaming Circuits, an industry leading PCB assembly service. We recognize that time is money and even back our commit dates with a delivery guarantee. Customers can ship material (even cut tape) or we can procure it. Our full service website takes your BOM and searches the part information from Digikey and Mouser. Ordering is easy and can be done entirely online or via a live customer service representative. Pricing reflects turn time. In short, you get the cycle time you need, competitive pricing, no excess material and ease of ordering with one quick stop at