Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions are most commonly asked of our experienced staff at ECI and we have provided basic answers below to help you get started with your project. You may click on any question and will be taken directly to our answer. If you still have questions concerning these or other topics, we encourage you to contact us here.
Q: What Type of Files For Artwork Do You Prefer?
A: Our designers are capable of designing from concept, or you can submit one of the following acceptable file formats, which includes:
Incompatible file types include:
.GIF files .TIF files .JPG files
.PMP files, .PPT files, Photoshop or Paint
.DOC files (Microsoft Word) .VSD files (Visio) MAC files (we are a PC environment)
These file types are good at communicating your general ideas but we cannot use them.
Please note: ECI will do our best to use any artwork provided, or create new artwork if we receive an incompatible file type.
Compatible File types include:
CAD - AutoCAD (.dwg, .dxf)
Corel Draw (.cdr)
Encapsulated Post Script (.eps)
Files should always be saved in their original format. Please include all fonts and images. We accept PDFs for reference and construction only.
Native vector files in ai. / .eps with embedded fonts, logos and graphics. .dwg / .dxf for dimensional purposes
For more information on our artwork submission guidelines, check out this article here.
Q: How Can scratches be avoided or general wear and tear be limited?
A: Our overlays can be printed on a hard coated material which is clear and therefore can be printed on the back surface for added print protection.
For more information on how to prevent damage to your products, check out this article here.
Our labels are also printed with UV cured inks and we can add a clear over-laminate material to further protect the ink
Q: What are the advantages of screen printing vs digital?
A: The quality and durability of the screen printing process is superior and consistent. The colors will not vary as they do in digital printing not only run to run but potentially within runs. Inks used in the screen printing process are much more durable and vibrant and will withstand years of use. Meanwhile, digital printing allows for more complex graphics and half-tones, but a bit more limited color gamut.
Q: What is your standard turn time?
A: Our standard turn time for orders is 3 weeks or 15 business days. However this can vary depending on the type of product, its complexity, and whether or not it is a new order. A new membrane switch has to have design time built in and there are files sent to the customer that must be approved. Typically, new orders would need approximately 4 to 5 weeks. However, we are willing to work with you and will expedite any job to the best of our ability to meet your needs.
Q: What is your minimum order?
A: ECI does not have a minimum order quantity. As with our prototyping capabilities, we are set up to produce one offs as well as higher volumes. However we will always give the customer costing options at higher quantities.
Q: How do we choose colors for our graphics?
A: ECI will work with you to find the perfect color for your project. The most common tool we use is a PMS (Pantone Mixing System) color match book which you can use for reference. We can also match to RAL (European version of PMS), samples and color chips. We suggest solid coated colors for a bolder look. Colors from the computer will be accepted but may not be exact.
For more information on The Pantone Color Matching System click here.
Q: What aspects have the biggest effect on price?
A: A number of components in assembly, Order quantity, size of part, number of colors, base circuit type (PCB, FPC), intricate half tones, shading and adhesive type.
Q: Can i get a small quantity prototype run without incurring expensive tooling costs?
A: Yes! ECI has the ability to digitally cut and fabricate small orders which will substantially reduce tooling and set-up costs.
Q: Can I get an expedited lead time?
A: Yes. Tell us your requirements, as we understand that special circumstances occur, and we’ll do our best to accommodate you. ECI does everything possible not to charge expedite fees, and only in the most extreme circumstances.
Q: Can you provide a sample of the final product before production?
A: Yes. ECI can provide you with a prototype. However, because the products we manufacture are custom parts based on our customer’s design, we require a completed design, film, proof and color match to be done. Once we receive the first article’s approval, we will start the process over again, which will affect the lead time.
Q: Can we include leds in our design?
A: Yes! ECI has the ability and experience to include subminiature components such as LED’s and resistors in our products. LEDs can be embedded between the layers and because of “side fire,” hot spots are eliminated.
Q: Our products are used in very difficult environments. can you suggest materials that will last?
A: Yes! ECI accommodates many kinds of environments such as military, medical, marine, food service and outdoor. There are many different types of plastics and adhesives that can be used in harsh environments. We can design your product to withstand environments that include chemicals, solvents, high humidity, moisture and immersion and many other combinations. Let us know what kinds of issues you are trying to prevent and we will suggest solutions.
Q: What sets you apart from your competitors? Why should we use ECI?
A: This is a very competitive industry. Many of us produce a quality product and if you look hard enough you will always find someone cheaper than the next guy. However it is our customer service, attention to detail, quality management, and our commitment to our customers that set us apart. ECI works closely with their customers to ensure satisfaction. Our flexible production capabilities, as well as our advanced problem solving skills allow us to guide you through your products' development.
Q: Requirements and questions for quoting:
For all items we would need to know from the customer what the materials are, size, and colors. For quoting purposes only we can use the amount of colors if the color arrangement has not been determined.
It is most beneficial if a customer has files and / or samples for us when quoting. But if not here are some basic questions:
Are there windows or cutouts?
Is there embossing?
For a membrane switch – are the buttons tactile?
Where would the tail exit and how long should it be?
What type of connector? ( Female with housing, male pins, Zif )
What is the product being applied to?
Where is the product being applied? Understanding the environment and the application can better help ECI assist in determining materials or construction.
What is the annual usage of this product, along with prototype quantity, first Articles required, and a minimum order quantity (MOQ) needed?