I'm planning to sell boards I designed but I will start in low volume lots (50 to 100 boards). I 'm seeing if its feasible to assembly the boards ourselves, using SMD stencils and reflow oven. I was reading a lot and it seems quite interesting. Now, my question is considering the boards are simple (4" x 2" PCB, 2 48-pin LQFP chips,1 SOIT16 chip, 2 USB connectors, 1 DB9 connector, and less than 30 caps and resistors), would it be worth to do the assembly from the cost perspective? I know I can get very low prices in China (or any other place) but I guess I will need to run higher volumes (I guess 1000 or more boards), and I will also need the investment to support that...(components and labor).
My point is not really try to get much lower assemblies costs in this way, but not have to invest that money in such large quantities. (I will not manufacture the PCB boards...Just assemble them)
I would like to hear someone else's experience in cases like this.
Many thanks for your inputs. The board is simple, but the added value comes from the Software (embedded and Desktop). Certainly I expect to sell over 1000 over the time, but I don't want to invest in such lotes of 1000... That's why I will start with 100 until I feel confident with this. Now, having said this, and assuming I would assembly the boards in the US, I would like to know if I could save money or not doing the assembly ourselves. The product itself will give me a profit to cover design, firmware, etc. Now, may I make extra money from the assembly, considering lotes of 100 through companies in the US? If I can save $20 per board in assembly costs I would be more than happy... Is this what they would typically ask for the assembly? I'm not planning to do the assembly myself but relatives that need to work, so I prefer to give them the job and save money at the same time. I hope this makes sense....