This is the TWIKI page for the procurement of PCBs for ATLAS HL-LHC upgrade projects


In 2020 ATLAS has decided to offer a centralized PCB procurement service to electronics designers. In the following a Market Survey was carried out in order to identify suitable companies and an Invitation to Tender was done to get competitive price quotations and to find the cheapest bidders. Eventually, blanket purchase contracts have been signed with 3 companies. They are:
Company Country Contract
MicroPack India B1710/00
Shennan circuits USA (with production in China) B1709/00
Somacis Italy B1711/00

Note: Somacis also has a factory in China but we have not tested it yet.

The contracts have entered into force in June 2022 and will be valid for 5 years. The contracts also allow 3rd parties (e.g. assembly houses) to order PCBs directly from the selected manufacturers.

It is not mandatory to order your PCBs from one of these 3 companies but strongly advised. If you want to place an order with another supplier (because the companies under contract cannot meet your needs), you shall get in contact with the CERN procurement service.

CERN and the companies have agreed that all communication will be channelled through one contact person on each side (CERN and the company). For CERN this is Markus Joos (e-mail), who shall be kept in CC for all communication between the two parties. In case of absence, Markus is replaced by Jean-Michel Jouanigot (e-mail) and Hucheng Chen(e-mail).

Scope of the supply

This service is limited to the production of rigid PCBs. Flexible PCBs are excluded as well as any form of assembly work.

Establishment of contact

One of the first steps in your project (when it comes to the production of H/W) will be to discuss the stack-up and the materials with the company and to talk with them about their manufacturing capabilities such that you can plan the layout of your PCB accordingly. This first contact between you and the company has to be established via Markus. Once the contact has been established you can requests offers and place orders.

Ordering procedures and payment

You can either choose your favourite company or decide to ask 2 or all 3 for offers. Even if you choose only one company, the first step of the procurement process is the request for an offer. You are expected to provide a full set of final manufacturing files (gerber files, stack up, drilling files, dielectric material, etc.). These files will not be checked by CERN but directly forwarded to the company(/ies). You must also specify the desired delivery lead time. Some companies offer a faster delivery (for a higher price).

Once a decision for a company has been made, that company will perform a DFM analysis of the design and report back to CERN (and yourself). If necessary, the results of this analysis can be discussed directly between you and the company (but Markus is to be kept in CC for all communication).

The PCBs will be ordered by means of a DAI document in EDH. If requested, Markus can assist you with the creation of the DAI.

Below is some help for the completion of the DAI.

DAI form:

Field Value to put
Technical Contact Your name
Contract "B1709/00" for Shennan
"B1710/00" for MicroPack
"B1711/00" for Somacis
Departmental Request DR-8219699/EP/ATLAS
Supplier "SHEN27" for Shennan
"MIC133" for MicroPack
"SOMA06 MA02" for Somacis
Contact for order Leave empty
Currency "EUR" for Somacis
"USD" for Shennan and MicroPack
Transport cost There are different options. To be decided case by case
Packaging Packaging cost are included in the unit prices
Research and development no

DAI form:

Field Value to put
Other information Check: "I confirm that the offer corresponding to the DAI has been obtained by the Procurement Service"

Order balancing

It is our intention that all 3 companies get more or less an equal share of the contracts. In case this does not happen naturally, the ATLAS Electronics Coordinator may intervene.

Orders from 3rd parties

In this case the technical communication takes place directly between the two industrial companies but the price of the PCBs has to be disclosed to CERN and CERN has to kept informed about the main steps of the collaboration.


By default all PCBs will be delivered to CERN. CERN will not inspect the PCBs or check the supply for completeness (because the PCBs may be in sealed packages that must not be opened). If the PCBs must be forwarded to a remote institute, it is your responsibility to take care of the logistics. You must complete a shipping request in EDH and make sure that you comply with the rules of CERN and your country with respect to e.g. custom formalities.


The PCBs come with a standard warranty of 2 years that should remain valid once they have been populated.

Qualifications of the companies

In the attachments below you can find the documents (technical specification and tender form) that were used for the Invitation to Tender. These documents specify which skills and certificates (e.g NADCAP) the companies had to have in order to qualify as well as the services (DFM, test reports, etc.) that they have to provide. If you have requirements that are substantially different from those listed in the documents, please notify us as early as possible.

Access to the contracts for non-ATLAS projects

After discussions with the ATLAS resource manager and the procurement service it was decided to allow teams from other experiments to use the contracts for the procurement of PCBs if and only if these conditions are met:
  • Orders for other experiments must be paid from budget codes that do not involve any CERN money (no CERN budget codes, and only Team codes which do not contain CERN contributions), unless ATLAS specifically approves it
  • Other experiments have to request quotes from all three contractors and go with the cheapest offer
  • The respective team agrees that Markus Joos (or Jean-Michel Jouanigot / Hucheng Chen if absent) establishes the first contact with the manufacturers and is kept in CC on all relevant communication. This concerns in particular all communication with respect to prices.

-- MarkusJoos - 2022-05-12

Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
PNGpng DAI.png r1 manage 109.9 K 2022-06-28 - 09:30 MarkusJoos  
PNGpng DAI2.png r1 manage 77.4 K 2022-06-28 - 09:47 MarkusJoos  
Unknown file formatdocx IT-4617_Technical_Specification.docx r1 manage 223.3 K 2022-05-13 - 09:09 MarkusJoos  
Unknown file formatdocx IT-4617_Tender_Form.docx r1 manage 97.9 K 2022-05-13 - 09:09 MarkusJoos  
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Topic revision: r14 - 2022-08-26 - MarkusJoos
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