Post by XODES on Feb 19, 2021 15:21:33 GMT
From the very beginning, even before those Corona times, I decided my products would be produced/assembled locally, as much as possible, or at least in France. And that was totally feasible for my Eurorack products so far.
Of course some of the materials I have to use are not even produced in Europe, as we decided long time ago already we'd send production for a lot of things in Asia, yet most of the added-value tasks for now happened at maximum 50Km from me I guess.
Even though I met people willing to help, and understanding the expectations of the musical instruments market which is way smaller that what they're used to, producing locally has a cost. I started getting quotes from local CMs, and an assembled module that would be a quad version of the randomizer showcased recently would have to sell above 45 Euros excl. VAT!
I know some people often expect smaller things to be cheaper, which is very untrue, as in the end there's the same amount of work and components to be assembled in a "standard" and "miniaturized" version of... whatever it is (and even though this isn't always true, making things smaller will sometimes require more work at the development stage).
An alternative would be to assemble boards in-house, as I have access to a reflow oven. It never was my initial plan as I have a lot of other things to do, yet it could be OK only for boards with low parts count for now as I don't have a pick-n-place machine (yet).
This should lower the price by at least ~10 Euros, yet it still means a logic module in 1/3 format made in France would be around twice the price of a standard one.
I already abandoned some projects in the past because of this kind of issue, and even though it can be somewhat frustrating, I'm OK with that.
I'm now waiting for quotes for assembly within Europe, supposedly at a lower cost, yet the last time I was promised this kind of "lower prices" thing, I was more than disappointed. Still, I wouldn't be fully satisfied with this solution I guess, as I like being able to easily go visit the people I work with.
A totally different approach would be to (re) design some things to make these DIY friendly, with THT components only, which is far from being the case right now, and make these available as kits, or assembled. The format wouldn't allow doing things that would require a lot of electronics on board though, and it would be hard to stack PCBs.
So... to the people interested in those 1/3 modules, what would be your expectations?