Conrad Electronic launches PCB assembly service in Germany

November 04, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Conrad Electronic has announced a series of moves that it intends will reinforce its move to become a major business-to-business electronic distributor, in addition to its operations as a retail supplier. The distributor has also announced an upgrade to its PCB prototyping/manufacturing service (in some countries) and the addition (in Germany) of a service that allows design, layout, fabrication and assembly of PCBs and manufacture of laser cut stencils for surface mount boards.

The integrated online service allows engineers to design, layout and order fabricated, populated, printed circuit boards (PCBs), in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The service also supports the design, manufacture and supply of laser cut stencils for surface mount boards. Conrad’s Component and PCB Service meets industrial standards and is compatible with most popular layout programs including EAGLE, Altium, OrCad and TARGET 3001! Customers can order small quantities without extra charges and there are no film costs or limitations on the number drilled holes in a design.

As well as being able to access The Component and PCB Service directly via the company’s website, Conrad customers can also download (again, in Germany, Austria and Switzeralnd, plus Netherlands) the full version of the popular TARGET 3001! PCB software free-of-charge to complete their design and layout. They can then link to the Conrad Component and PCB Service to order boards and components.

TARGET 3001! is configured such that all information and data for a project is contained within a single file. This simplifies the design process and means there are no inconsistencies between the schematic and the layout. Components can be amended in the schematic or layout individually; independent of the database. 3D visualisation of the assembled PCB including the capability to export the board to mechanical CAD systems is a further advantage. For the laser cut SMD Stencil element of its Component and PCB Service, Conrad has partnered with leading printed circuit board specialist Beta LAYOUT GmbH.

As part of its move to become a larger player in electronic component distribution, the company has recently acquired Rapid Electronics in the UK, and SOS electronic in Slovakia – both of which will retain their own identities within the group. Commenting on the progress of this move, a spokesman referred to a recent substantial investment in professional electronics distribution, including a completely new electrostatic-safe warehousing facility; he noted that the B2B business runs separate