Through-hole design vs. SMD assembly service

Richard White asked Mar 13,2019

We have used PCBWay many times for PCB fabrication and are very happy with the results.  Design has always been using through-hole components which we assemble by hand ourselves.

I would like to outsource assembly work to PCBWay.  I did request a quote for through-hole assembly but the price seemed a little higher than I was hoping.  I want to ask therefore:

1) In general, is SMD assembly service cheaper than through-hole part assembly?  

2) I have read that SMD assembly can be automated, making it even more affordable... If so, then typically what is the minimum order quantity for this to happen?

Thank you for your advice!

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