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How you pack & ship your board level assemblies?

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How you pack & ship your board level assemblies? | 14 February, 2018

How you pack & ship your board level assemblies?

I mean assembled PCB modules without housing etc. We often have small assemblies (cigarette box size) in the $5-15 range. We put them the (dreadful) red bubble bags and then on carton trays with carton dividers.

Generally I don't thin the red bubble bags are really that suitable. They are too soft to give real protection, and on worse, the softness makes it difficult to feed modules into the bag - and on the clients side it takes time time to take them out.

An upgrade would be probably the silvery color hard PET bags.

My question is, with a divided carton tray is individual packing even required? We did had a trial were we had just a sheets of silvery ESD PET foil on the bottom of each tray and it seemed to work too.

How you pack small low cost assemblies?

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How you pack & ship your board level assemblies? | 15 February, 2018

Hi Leadthree,

We have a combination of methods depending on volume, value, size, level of build, and what the customer does with them.

So on high volume low value we have rigid plastic ESD boxes with lids, foam lined, that layers of custom vac formed trays drop into, where the boards are all oriented the same way. The customer then hinges back the top lid and the PCBs are in the correct direction to take out and clip into their plastics. We collect these on the next delivery and reuse.

We also have standard shipping boxes with multiple inserts like you and either foam liners or card and ESD bubble wrap.

We tend to be doing more custom packaging these days as we've been on a drive to minimize the damage that occurs in transit or at the customers, as a lot of our assys are consigned. The packaging costs more to develop and we have more stock, but the returns are a lot lower.

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How you pack & ship your board level assemblies? | 15 February, 2018

How are you shipping, 3rd party such as UPS, DHL, etc. Or do you have your own personnel who will be a lot more carful with the packages?

I've shipped boards just in the silver ESD bags with out problems. The trick is to pack them fairly tightly so they don't flop around in the box. We shipped them using our own driver and truck so we knew they would be handled with care.

If shipping via UPS, however, I'd pack them much more carefully with a lot more padding since the gorillas that work there aren't known for their delicate touch.

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How you pack & ship your board level assemblies? | 16 February, 2018

100% agree with dwl.

last year one of our 3rd party delivery partners got rear ended resulting in about 30% of a $120,000 shipment being written off. If it hadn't been for foam lined flight cases we would have lost the lot.

Also for smaller 3rd party shipments we use triple layer outer boxes, often with customer shelf friendly boxes inside, so they don't decant and damage.

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How you pack & ship your board level assemblies? | 17 February, 2018

I ship mainly TNT. They handle the boxes very careful, because it said so on their website ;-)

But seriously, we use quality cartons and I feel safe. We use a divider packing and the modules are rather loose since we use it for a few different modules.

There is one thing I didn't really thought about yet when considering no individual bag shipping; carton material produces quite a bit of dust. I think this might be a problem. A thermoformed ESD safe tray might be more suitable.

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How you pack & ship your board level assemblies? | 13 March, 2018

Do you also have some accessories that you use to keep your board level assemblies secured? I'm planning to buy some truck accessories (headache rack and chains) at to keep the boxes safe on the bed of my truck.

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