Our team (three hobbyists now developing our first serious device) is interested in soldering/assembling approximately 200 PCBs. We've already found a low-cost manufacturer for the raw boards, so just the assembly remains.
We'd like to keep the total assembly time and cost reasonably low of course, and therefore are considering various approaches.
The numbers are as follows:
- 200 single-sided PCBs
- 5 cm X 5 cm board size
- 30 capacitors and resistors (0603 size)
- 5 components QFN / QFP
- 4 components SOIC / SSOP
- 1 USB connector
- 1 SD-card-socket
The raw boards may come bunched/panelized as manufactured but essentially, we want to get, on average, each individual board done in less than 20 minutes ideally.
Which one of the following options would you suggest as best? (given the cost constraint and the desired time per board I stated above):
- Option A: Hand-place components with tweezers, solder resistors and caps with iron, and solder QFN's with hot-air gun ?
- Option B: Apply solder paste (possibly using a stencil), hand-place components with tweezers, then use a toaster/reflow oven ?
- Option C: Get it done entirely by an assembly shop ?
Note: All three of us in the team have roughly around 6 months of consistent experience with the traditional soldering method (tweezer, soldering iron, and hot-air-gun). We don't mind any necessary hand-work at all because we're definitely excited about our board, but it would be good to know we're choosing an efficient approach.