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FAQ // Ordering PCBs from Sierra Circuits

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Managing Your Order

What’s an Internet order number?

An internet order number is a number we assign to a job. It is formatted like this: 123456-iRW. It is specifically associated with a board that you have ordered from us.

What’s a Sierra Project (SPX)?

Your Sierra Project Number (e.g., SPX12345) identifies the specific project folder associated with your order. The Project Folder is where you will be able to view and resolve issues we found in running DFM and DFA checks, see previous events, and change settings and request changes.

What’s an issue number?

These are issues that arise within each Sierra Project (SPX), such as if a job is missing information or payment information doesn’t go through. They are labeled like IST12345. Issues that are critical can be marked as being on-hold. You will be able to respond to the issue in your Project page under the Issues & Holds tab. There is the option to upload files if our engineers request updated information from you.

How secure are my ITAR order and Sierra project (SPX)?

ITAR orders and ITAR Sierra Project (SPX) should be accessed by USA personnel. Sierra does have access level security to protect the ITAR information, and the project is accessible by the ITAR compliance Sierra team members. We do expect the same responsibility from our customers to involve only ITAR compliance engineers for the ITAR orders and project. ITAR information must be provided upfront along with the files. Sierra is not responsible for ITAR violation if the customer missed informing the ITAR restriction during the file submission.

Shipping and Tracking

Can I track the shipping for my order?

Yes, every Sierra Circuits order comes standard with shipping tracking!

After you have placed your order, you will be emailed an invoice with the tracking information, but it may not be live until we actually ship your order. You will be able to find the tracking information in your customer portal. Go to View Past Orders, then click either the order number or the Sierra project number. The shipping information is on both of these pages.

Can I change my billing and shipping information?

Yes, you can change your billing information or shipping information on every Sierra Circuits order.

To change your information, press hit the “Change Request” button under the “Issues and Holds” tab on your Project Page. From there you will be able to change your billing and shipping information.

Where can I find the post-shipment documents?

You can access post-shipment documents in the Sierra Project, on your Customer Dashboard.

Once your order is shipped, you can find quality, accounting, and shipping documents under the documents tab of the Sierra Project.

Can I use my own Shipping account?

Yes, we can ship your order using your FedEx or UPS account number.

After you place your order, there is an option in your customer portal to input your FedEx or UPS shipping information.

Orders On-Hold

What can cause my order to go on hold?

You can help to ensure that your PCBs are manufactured without being put on hold. Please review these common reasons for orders being put on-hold:

  • Any file is corrupt or missing
  • PCB fabrication print is not supplied, or it is missing the following:
    • Material type and finished thickness of the board
    • Finished copper weight
    • Board dimensions and outline
    • Cut outs or slots information
  • Discrepancies between Gerber files and PCB fabrication print
  • Board construction is not defined
  • Surface finish not defined
  • No drill file available
  • Drill file is not ASCII format
  • Missing holes
  • Plated and non-plated holes not defined
  • No aperture list available
  • No layer stack-up information available
  • Gerber files not scaled one to one
  • Thermal connections missing on plane layers
  • Plane layers should be supplied in negative format for the following reasons:
    • Negative layers, in many cases, are not as large of a file size as positive layer files
    • Negative layers are much quicker to work with when we run our engineering analysis
    • Positive layers contribute to longer test times in final test
    • Polygons in plane layers and signal layers are not desired for the following reasons:
      • Our CAD program will attempt to fill the polygons automatically but can miss some areas on the layers. This would result in missing data and possibly a non-functional board.

What happens if my order goes on hold and how do I get my order off hold?

Order on hold? Don’t worry! We’re available 24/7 to help move your order through fabrication and assembly.

In your customer portal, your Sierra Project (SPX) has a “Notification List” of people you have listed to contact.

If your order goes on hold, the people listed in the “Notification List” in your customer portal will be contacted and informed of the hold. People in this list can check the customer portal order page and see what the problem is under the “Issues and Holds” tab in the customer interaction system. Answering our engineers’ questions about your board and supplying missing information can be posted in the system.

Another option is to contact your account manager directly by phone, email, or online chat.

How does the on-hold time affect the due date of my order?

The quicker we can get an answer from you on the on-hold issue, the quicker we ensure your boards can be manufactured.

The schedule is extended depending on how much time your job is on-hold. Sometimes being on-hold for too long may cause certain internal manufacturing deadlines to be missed and may lead to a full extra day delay. Bottom line:  We make the best effort to make up for lost time, but cannot guarantee it.

Cancellation Policy

What is the cancellation policy for online orders?

Cancellation charges apply depending on how far along your order has progressed. We will always do our best to minimize cost to our customers.

Turnaround Times

How do I calculate turn time? What is the cut off time to place an order?

For all turn times (except same day turn): Files should be received by 5:00 PM (then this day is counted as Day 0). And the next day is counted as Day 1.

For example: If you place a 3-day turn PCB order by 5:00 PM on Monday, then Tuesday is counted as Day 1 and the order will ship on Day 3 which is Thursday evening.

Note: Weekends and business holidays are not counted.

For assembly orders, please note that if you are sending us components, the date we receive components will factor into the final ship date.

Based on the turn time you chose for PCB fabrication and for assembly, we provide you a projected ship date as soon as the order is placed. Our projected date includes the buffer we need for sending our PCBs to our assembly plant. The ship date may change if there are any on-holds which are not resolved quickly or if there are delays from your side (say, in sending us consigned components).

Is “will-call” pickup available for online orders?

Yes, we do allow will-calls for online orders Here is what you need to know:

  • A service charge of $15 applies to every will-call order.
  • On the day that your boards are due, we will give you a confirmation call by 4 PM.
  • Boards can be picked up from our lobby at: Sierra Circuits, Inc., 1980 Lundy Ave (Receiving Department), San Jose, CA 95131.
  • Your order can be picked up only between 5 to 6 pm PST.
  • Please have a printed sales order confirmation ready and a valid ID.
  • Once you are in the lobby, someone will help you, or you may call your Web Product Specialist.
  • In the rare case that a will-call order is not ready on the due date, the will-call service charges will be canceled.
Re-ordering PCBs

Can I reorder a board from a previous order?

Yes, we will use your previous Gerber and previously used online BOM when submitting a re-order. No new files will be required or accepted for a re-order. Please note: Assembly labor and component price may be revised based on current component availability. You will see your previous online BOM and have a chance to edit if needed.

Billing

How can I establish credit?

Note that online orders are through credit card (Amex/Visa/MC,Discover) only. No need to establish credit for online orders.

For orders through your Account Managers, standard terms are net 30. Anything different must have written approval. Fax your credit information to 408-735-1408 with Attn: Credit Department on the cover sheet.

Please fax the following: Your name, company, address, bank references and at least 3 trade references.

How are taxes calculated? What if my boards are for re-sale?

No Sales Tax is charged for orders shipped outside of California.

The following applies only to orders shipping to a California address: To exempt a Turnkey PRO order from California Sales Tax, you must mark the order as “Non Taxable” and mention your resale number. Upload your Resale Certificate online or email it to webpcb@protoexpress.com.

Terms and Conditions

What are the terms & conditions?

See our full terms and conditions here: https://www.protoexpress.com/terms-and-conditions

Talk to a Sierra Circuits PCB Expert today

24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call us: +1 (800) 763-7503
Email us: through our Customer Care form