Q: What do I need to provide for a quotation?
A: Gerber files are always preferred, using English units in ODB++ or 274X format and named with 8 characters and 3 character file extensions.
If gerber files are not available, a Fabrication drawing or print in PDF format, showing the board outline, stack-up, drill chart, specifications and tolerances and any other special characteristics or requirements.


Q: What do I need to provide when I place an order?
A: Required:
Gerber Files (RS-274-X or RS-274-D format)
All copper layers (including inner and outer layers)
Solder mask layers
Silkscreen/Legend layers
Via plugging layers (if applicable)
Solder paste layers (for board assembly)
Aperture list if apertures are not embedded in the Gerber data (i.e. not using RS-274-X format)
Drill file with tool codes and X-Y coordinates for all holes (ASCII or EIA format)
IPC-D-356 netlist (used for continuity testing)
Readme File containing Engineering contact information and any special instructions
Fabrication drawing
Board outline, dimensions, including cutouts, chamfers, radii, bevels, scores, etc.
Dimensions from a reference hole in the board to a corner or to two sides of the board outline
A drill chart with the hole symbols on the drawing and the finished hole sizes
Material requirements
Finished board thickness and tolerance
Layer stack-up order
Controlled impedance requirements (if applicable)
Dimensioned array drawing (if the design is to be shipped as a multiple-up array)
Notes defining any other requirements or specifications pertinent to the design
Valor ODB++ file – preferred by PCB vendors instead of Gerber format
Check plots in Adobe PDF form. Incoming QC uses this to check PCB

Q: What are the most common reasons why my order gets placed on hold?
A: Your order may be placed on hold if:
Any file is corrupt or missing from the Gerber Package.
Fabrication drawing (print) is not supplied, or it is missing information, such as:
Material type and finished thickness of the board
Finished copper weight
Board dimensions and outline
Cut outs or slots information
Board construction is not defined
Discrepancies exist between Gerber and Fabrication drawing/print.
Layer stack-up not defined or is missing.
Netlist error or violation.
Gerber files are not 1:1 (true size).
Spacing violations.
Impedance calculation does not meet drawing specification.
Surface finish not defined.
Missing holes.
Plated and Non-plated holes are not clearly defined.
Non-plated holes are on copper areas.
Thermal connections are missing on plane layers
Plane layers should be supplied in negative format for the following reasons:
Negative layers file sizes, in many cases, are not as large as positive layer files
Negative layers are much quicker to work with for Design Rule Check (DRC) purposes
Polygons in plane layers and signal layers are not desired for the following reasons:
Our CAD software, Valor Genesis, will attempt to fill the polygons automatically.
More than one circuit board design exists on the image (please include only one design per order). SCC engineering checks the gerber files to insure multiple part numbers are not included. We reserve the right to refuse jobs that do not fit these criteria. You will be notified in the event your job is placed on hold.

Q: What is a DRC?
A: This is a standard procedure with our high-end CAM system, Valor Genesis, in which we verify that your data meets our DFM guidelines

Q: What if my design doesn’t pass the DRC?
A: We will provide you with a screen dump of any violations and work with you to bring it within acceptable manufacturing standards.

Q: How do I get my order off hold?
A: Please provide 24-hour contact information and be available to answer any technical questions promptly.

Q: When will the ‘On Hold’ time affect the due date of my order?
A: The schedule is extended by a minimum of the amount of time your job was on hold. We never want to see your job on hold or have to add time. We will make our best effort to avoid doing so, or making up for the lost time; however, we cannot guarantee your job will not be affected.

Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: Please contact your customer service representative immediately to discuss your options. We will make our best effort to minimize the charge; however, time and material cannot be vanquished.

Q: What is the Day-1 cut-off time?
A: Usually 9am. Please contact your customer service representative for more information.


Q: What are your payment terms?
A: We offer a 2% discount if payment is received within 10-days following the date-of-invoice. Otherwise, our terms are Net 30 days. Any other agreements must be in writing and accepted by both parties.

Q: How can I establish credit?
A: Fax your credit information to 714-668-2139, Attn. Credit Dept.; the following information is needed:  Your name, Company Name, Address, Bank Reference and at least 3 Trade References.

Q: Do you accept any Major Credit Cards?
A: Yes, but please discuss this with your sales representative for approval.

Q: How do you calculate Sales Tax?
A: Sales tax is not charged on parts shipped outside of California. Orders shipped within California are subject to State Tax Laws (this includes ALL non-recurring charges). For sales tax exemption, you will need to complete a card (RESALE CERTIFICATE – WOLCOTTS FORM 153 REV 08/03). We can provide you with this card.


Q: What is RoHS/WEEE?
A: For the electronics industry, there are many challenges to be more environmentally friendly. With the July 1, 2006 deadline already passed, there are a number of concerns regarding PCBs and PCBA's that must be considered. Though much has been accomplished, there is a trickle down effect that we are all involved in. With few exceptions, all products destined for the European Union must be within the limits outlined by RoHS. California has announced that it will implement the same requirements effective January 1, 2007.

The main thrust of the RoHS requirement is that 6 hazardous substances may not exceed strict limits set by these directives. These substances are lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl and polybrominated biphenyl ethers. These substances are limited to 1000 parts per million (0.1%) with the exception of cadmium which is restricted to 100 parts per million (0.01%). For the printed circuit board industry the restrictions on lead and polybrominates (used as flame retardants in plastics, i.e. epoxy resins) are far reaching.

Q: Are RoHS compliant PCB’s able to withstand Lead Free Assembly environment?
A: Not necessarily. These are two separate requirements that are somewhat misunderstood in our industry. RoHS requirement simply limits the amount of the 6 hazardous substances (see. What is RoHS/WEEE?). Lead Free Assembly relates to the actual soldering temperature needed for ‘lead free component’ placement. Lead free PCBA process subjects the PCB substrate to much higher temperatures for a longer period of time. Consequently, PCB’s that meet RoHS standards can experience delamination during lead-free assembly. To be safe, make sure you are aware of the type of assembly (i.e. leaded or lead-free) and specify this on your fabrication drawing. SCC can help you with this.

Q: How do all these new directives about lead free affect my PCBs?
A: For many years the electronics industries have used tin/lead solder to join the components to the PCB’s. The board fabricators have also used tin/lead solders as a surface finish to protect the copper from corrosion. The 63/37 tin lead ratio of solder fit well within the assembly thermal parameters and the physical limitations of the base materials. The standard FR-4 laminates were also compatible with the wave solder systems. RoHS requirements have changed the rules. With the new directive, tin lead solders are not allowed and therefore major changes are required in the PCB fabrication and assembly arenas to adapt to this.

Q: Are there changes to the laminates that will be used for RoHS compliant PCB’s?
A: Yes, laminate suppliers have developed resin systems used in the laminates that are compatible with the temperatures required for assembly. Our lead free laminates are also UL approved.

Q: How does the restriction on leaded solder affect my PCB’s?
A: The PCBA industry will have to increase the thermal profile and dwell times of their processes in order to process the lead free solders. These increased time and temperatures will require laminates that can withstand the higher thermal profile. SCC is has met this demand with new laminates that do not degrade in the harsher environment.

Q: So what is SCC's solution?
A: SCC has addressed these concerns in a manner that is beneficial to both the assembler and the end user of the PCBs that we build. Our lead free boards are made with laminate that have a higher Td (decomposition temperature) to withstand the increased temperature and dwell times required during assembly.  The plating finishes that we have available are also RoHS compatible. The most common surface finish is Immersion Gold [ENIG]; in addition, we offer Immersion Silver which is a less expensive alternative and has excellent solderability characteristics. You will want to consult your PCB Assembler for their input on surface finish.

South Coast Circuits is ready to help you convert to the requirements of RoHS/WEEE directives.

Q: Can SCC produce Lead Free PCBs?
A: Yes, since 2005.

Q: How do I order lead free PCBs from South Coast Circuits?
A: Within the next few months the non-compliant materials will no longer be available because the laminate suppliers are all in the process of converting to the new directive. Meanwhile, we can work with you to develop specifications to meet the lead free requirements (i.e. laminate, surface finish).

Q: How do we specify that my parts need to be RoHS/Lead-free compliant?
A: You should add this requirement to your fabrication drawing and/or PCB Specification. You may request a Certificate of Compliance (COC) stating that the parts meet this directive.

Q: Can SCC supply a Certificate of Compliance to the RoHS directive?
A: Yes.

Q: Will RoHS compliant PCB’s take longer to process?
A: There is a minimal increase in the lamination time cycle for multi-layer boards; however, this will not have an impact on the lead-time quoted by SCC.

Electrical Test Disclaimer:  We recommend that customers provide IPC Netlist with their data set. This insures that parts are tested to their design. The accepted format is IPC-356. In the event a Netlist cannot be provided, SCC will extract the Netlist from the data and use this to create the test program. In such cases, SCC cannot guarantee, nor be held liable for the electrical performance of the parts.

Disclaimer:  We strive to keep all of the information on this page relevant and accurate. However, some of the information may be out of date by the time of your viewing. We will continue to make periodic updates to try to present you with useful and accurate data. Please contact your sales representative if you have any questions and for additional help.