6 Step to Ordering your Photo-Mask
1) Check the design carefully
Dependant upon which CAD system you use to design your photo-mask, the CAD layout is the one stage that causes the most delays in manufacturing. Designs are often rushed and poorly laid out, and ‘design intent’ is often not passed onto our CAD team, meaning that designs can become ambiguous and sometimes even impossible to work out. Avoid delays by ensuring that the design is manufacturable – please read the ‘Design Rule Guides’ along with the Specifications & Tolerances, and check them carefully alongside your CAD layout and mask requirements. When you are sure that the design is manufacturable, move onto the next stage !
2) Check the Price on the Calculator
We have a calculator on our website that gives you the price of the mask dependant upon the criteria that you select. Choose from film or chrome substrates, and then select from the different sizes and resolutions required. As you select fields on the calculator, more sections will become visible up until you reach the final calculation fields. Simply hit ‘calculate’ to get a price. Feel free to change certain parameters and re-calculate the price of the mask. For ease of use, you can select currencies in £uk sterling, $ US dollars or E Euros. When you are ready, move onto the next stage which is quoting
3) Get a Quote
You can now click the ‘send quote’ button on the form. A new form will appear, where you fill out your details and also include a reference name for the mask. If possible, please use this same reference when ordering to make it easier for us to match the quote price to the mask. The formatted quote will be automatically sent direct to you. We also receive a copy of the quote at the same time, so can help you later if you have any queries regarding the price or specification
4) Use the Mask Order Form
Once you have received the quote and are happy with the price, you can select the ‘buy now’ button on the calculator to be taken straight to the mask order page (you are also welcome to navigate to it directly from any of the links on the website).
This form is the heart of our job-entry process. It gives us all of the relevant information to begin the manufacturing process, and we strongly recommend you use it as part of the ordering process. Please see the section on the order form in this chapter for further information
5) Upload the Design
This is normally done at the same time as the Order Form is submitted. Once submitted, you are taken to a second page on the form where you can attach a pre-compressed file (such as ZIP, TAR, ARC etc). We always recommend that any design files, no matter how small, are compressed (or zipped) together. This is the best method for sending data to us because it offers a quicker transfer, a protection against data corruption, a secure folder and at the same time allows you to compress together multiple files in one. Typical compression programs include PKZIp, WinZIp, 7zip etc. If you are unsure about this compression method, please contact our technical support. If your file is bigger than 25mb when compressed (i.e. a VERY big file) then we suggest sending it by our TRANSFER-BIG-FILES dropbox. Details on this can be found in the links on the order form.
Along with the design file, please include any other documentation that may be relevant to the mask order – such as purchase orders or inspection requirements. We would also welcome a copy of the quotation PDF (if you received one in step 3) to help speed up the booking in process.
6) Arrange Payment
The vast majority of our customers use a Credit Account, whereby they place orders on us to manufacture the goods, and we then invoice the masks when the masks are dispatched. The customer then has a pre-defined period (normally 30 days) to pay the invoice. Whenever this method is being used, the order MUST be accompanied by an official ‘purchase order’ from your company or organisation. This is the official acknowledgement that your organisation is ordering the goods. Where preferred, we can also take credit card payments for the order. Upon submission of the Mask order Form, you will be asked whether you are paying on account or by credit card, and you will then be taken to the relevant section of the website.