If I switch to Saturn, will I be charged for tooling and testing?
We have a history of working with our customers to transition business from other suppliers in consolidation efforts. We will work with you based on the package size to reduce or eliminate NREs for the smoothest transition possible.
What is Saturn’s capacity usually running at? Why?
65%. To leave room (flexibility for prototypes).
What separates the quality offered by Saturn from its competitors?
Everything we build is geared toward long-term, high-reliability. We hold an automotive certification for safety, under-hood, and high-reliability applications. We achieved this certification by modifying our processes, not by building those particular boards differently. As such, all our customers benefit from it whether they need it or not.
Will IS410 be obsoleted and replaced by 370HR? Should we be specifying 370HR on future designs?
While it is not true that Isola is obsoleting IS-410, they are definitely pushing 370HR harder due to its longer shelf life and higher margins (though I'm not supposed to know this). At the end of the day, both of these are just brand names for the same group of laminate systems. I would suggest moving towards the IPC callouts for lead-free capable laminate groups rather than brand names. The proper grouping that encompasses both of these materials is IPC 4101/129. This will allow your vendors to find the best value laminate system for you by opening the potential types of laminate up from just Isola products to suppliers worldwide.
We have been specifying Immersion Silver plating since 2006. Do you recommend switching to Pb-free HASL (SnNiCu)? Will this reduce cost?
Switching to Lead Free HASL will save cost and fallout by increasing your storage time and being more resilient to substandard storage conditions. However, you have to be careful not to call it out on boards with tight BGAs.
Is it worthwhile to consolidate hole size (for example: changing .036" hole to .038")? Is there an additional cost?
We are not concerned about about hole sizes above 14 mils. If hole sizes are similar enough that there aren't standard tools to separate them, our CAD will combine them anyway. Also, our machines have fully automated tool change capabilities so the labor components are not affected by extra tool size requirements.
What colors of soldermask does Saturn offer?
Standard colors are Green, Blue, Black, Red, and standard White. We also offer extreme high temperature white that doesn’t brown during PCB fabrication or assembly, primarily for the LED market.
What is Saturn’s policy and procedure for product testing?
Everything we produce is to IPC Class III, or to customer specifications if they are more stringent. Furthermore, we 100% electrically test all product.
How large is your facility?
130,000 sq. ft.