Contract Electronics Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Blog

Q1 2018 Market Conditions Report for the Electronics Industry 

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Fri, Feb 16, 2018 @ 01:20 PM

Future Electronics recently released the Q1 2018 Market Conditions Report for the electronics industry.

DSC03170.jpgZentech works closely with Future Electronics and our customers to identify and prepare in advance for potential lead times issues. As economic activity continues to expand across all markets, it is important for OEM’s to review their upcoming requirements and forecasts carefully. There is nothing worse than working hard to land business and then learn that component lead times are going to prevent you from making committed deliveries to your customers. Contact your Zentech sales team member to discuss today. We can perform a lead time analysis for your program and best position you for success in the future in the wake of lead times creeping out, in some cases dramatically, for many component types.

Click the button below to read the report.  

Q1 2018 Market Conditions Report

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies. The company is headquartered in its purpose-built facility located in Baltimore, MD, and Fredericksburg, VA, and maintains several 
key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour

Zentech Fredericksburg Video Tour

SMTA Invites You to Best Practices in Electronic Assembly Processes Chapter Tutorial

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

SMTA logo.pngThe  SMTA Capital Chapter is pleased to announce that it will host a Chapter Tutorial Program on March 15th from 9AM to 3PM in Rockville, MD. Phil Zarrow, ITM consulting, will present “Understanding and Implementing Best Practices in Electronic Assembly Processes”.

You have the responsibility and resources to improve the productivity of an assembly operation….what do you do? This course drives awareness and solutions to the adverse impact that non-optimal assembly practices and processes have on the product quality and financial success of electronic assembly businesses. A comprehensive perspective on problem issues is developed for the most currently critical electronic assembly process, materials (both existing and emerging), equipment, procedures, and methods. Most importantly, practical solutions are presented. Key issues that consistently result in assembly problems and low yields are identified and resolved. This seminar is intended for anyone involved in directing, developing, managing and/or executing assembly line operations including managers, line supervisors and line engineers involved in manufacturing, design and quality engineering. 
 
Topics will cover best practices for the following processes: assembly, solder paste printing, pick and place, reflow soldering, wave soldering, selective soldering, and cleaning vs No-Clean considerations. The event will conclude with a Q&A session with the presenter.
 
Who Should Attend:
This course is intended for Manufacturing, Process, Design, Test and Quality Engineering personnel as well as Management who are involved in the production of surface mount or mixed technology assemblies.
 
Location:
Best Western Plus Hotel & Suites
1251 W Montgomery Ave
Rockville, MD 20850
 
Please join us for this learning and networking event. The registration fees are $200 for members, $295 for non-members, $50 for student chapter members, and $70 for student-non chapter members.  A one-year Individual or Student SMTA Membership is included in the $295 or $70 non-member prices.  Registration deadline is March 1st.

RSVP Now

About Phil Zarrow: Phil Zarrow has been involved with PCB fabrication and assembly for more than thirty-five years. His expertise includes the manufacture of equipment for circuit board fabrication and assembly of through-hole and surface mount technologies. In addition to his background in automated assembly and cleaning, Mr. Zarrow is recognized for his expertise in surface mount reflow soldering technology and in the design and implementation of SMT placement equipment and reflow soldering systems. Having held key technical and management positions with Vitronics Corporation, Excellon-Micronetics and Universal Instruments Corporation, he has extensive hands-on experience with set-up and troubleshooting through-hole and SMT processes throughout the world. During his tenure as Director of Technology Development for GSS/Array Technology, Mr. Zarrow was responsible for specifying and setting up medium- and high-speed assembly lines, as well as investigating and implementing emerging and leading-edge technologies, equipment and processes.

About SMTA:  30 Years Developing Solutions in Electronics Assembly 
The SMTA membership is an international network of professionals who build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in electronic assembly technologies, including microsystems, emerging technologies, and related business operations.  

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies.The company has facilities in Baltimore, MD (headquarters) and Fredericksburg, Va. and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour 

Zentech Fredericksburg Video Tour

New Product Introduction: Contract Manufacturing is a Partnership

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Fri, Feb 09, 2018 @ 10:23 AM

circuit-boards.jpgIn order to make your new product a success, you need a contract manufacturer that is partnering with you to ensure reliability and optimum functionality of your final product.

Some contract manufacturers may just take your data and immediately fabricate the product with no careful study of the data, materials or process. This results in faulty products and leaves you with unhappy customers. A contract manufacturing partner, however, realizes they are only as successful as you are and design a process to ensure success; this is called the New Product Introduction. Make sure your EMS company has established these procedures:

  • NPI Kick-off Meeting A superior contract manufacturer knows that input from all departments is key to successfully building your product. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss your product requirements with Manufacturing Engineering, Quality, Configuration Control, and Purchasing teams. Open communication and teamwork between departments is essential.
  • Technical Data Package (TDP) Review  This is a careful step by step process to ensure your product is built right the first time. The Manufacturing Engineer (ME) will review the Technical Data Package (TDP) and hold a meeting with Quality Assurance, Configuration Management and all other associated team members to review all the contractual requirements using a Product Requirements Checklist and your TDP.

    The assigned Manufacturing Engineer begins designing the Assembly Instruction (AI). The ME should review the CAD data, Gerber files & drawings, required tooling & fixtures and delivery dates & calculated release date, submitting any questions or concerns to the PM for resolution. The ME will generate an initial router using the labor quote sheet for the NPI, update the material distribution list on the BOM, and generate an initial AI. The ME will also use the initial standard router until the assemblies have been processed at each work center. After each work center, the job router and the AI will be updated and approved. After all of the processes have been defined and the steps have been time studied, the standard router shall be updated with actual router steps and time studied labor.
  • NPI Lot Build Scheduled product quantities greater than five shall be held at each work center until the NPI quantity (5 or fewer) is complete through that work center and instructions for that work center are incorporated into the Assembly Instruction. The ME is responsible to move the product through the factory, defining necessary processes, including photos when required, for the development of the AI by work center. He or she is also responsible for the quality of the NPI assembly and works closely with Quality Assurance personnel to inspect and verify compliance to customer requirements and workmanship standards.
  • Assembly Instruction (AI) Release The ME will review the Assembly Instruction for completeness, compliance to the AI standard format, and approves the AI. After updating the routers, the distribution list in cold fusion, and the AI, the ME is responsible for holding a training meeting with the assembly leads for acceptance of the documentation.

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies.The company has facilities in Baltimore, MD (headquarters) and Fredericksburg, Va. and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour 

Zentech Fredericksburg Video Tour

How Does an EMS Company Develop an Effective Risk Management Plan?

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Mon, Feb 05, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

EMS-Electronics2.jpgSuccessful EMS companies have Risk Management Plans. By establishing a proactive risk management process and performing regular risk monitoring activities, your company will be able to identify potential problems early and develop and present mitigation options to your customer. 

It is important to develop a Risk Management Plan (RMP) which will define the specific risk management approach, roles and responsibilities, tools, data, and cost to effectively manage risk for the project. The RMP will detail the process used to identify, analyze, document, track, mitigate, and report contract risks. This risk management methodology provides a structured and thorough approach to overall risk management planning and mitigation execution. Risk factors should be documented through a risk management log and continuously conduct extensive analysis to minimize adverse effects on cost, process and schedule. Risks that may have highly-adverse negative impact on the customer are considered major risks (cost, process, and schedule). These major risks are typically identified through quoting activities and new product introduction. When an order is accepted which carries a major risk, the risk is managed through the risk management log, which identifies the program impact, risk area, response strategy, and contingency plan.

All other “routine” risks to the successful execution of the project and/or products are mitigated by the performance of daily business activities and defined operating procedures. Risks pertaining to fraudulent/counterfeit parts are managed according to the Counterfeit Components Mitigation Procedure. Objective evidence can be found in databases such as, but not limited to, Defect Tracking, Jobs in Jeopardy, Released Production Report, and others. These routine risks are not managed through the risk management log, but as a part of our routine supply chain process.

Assessment of Major Risks

  • Cost: Products with a material cost concentration [% of Cost of Goods Sold] over 70% will have a risk mitigation plan.
  • Process: Projects requiring specialty equipment or compliance with a standard new to your company should have a risk mitigation plan.
  • Schedule: Any program with high visibility or financial penalties due to a component with a long lead time or high visibility due to its dependency on a critical project for the customer should have a risk mitigation plan developed after order receipt and initial communication of long lead components and schedule impact.

Mitigation of Major Risks: The risk will be identified through the risk management log. Response strategies and contingency plans are reviewed and updated throughout the project or until closed. Examples of major risks that should be assessed and mitigated include:

  • Counterfeit mitigation – Develop a robust counterfeit mitigation process that includes the use of only Original Component Manufacturers (OCM) parts or their authorized distributors, and compliance with AS5553. 
  • Bare Printed Circuit Boards – Develop an internal Approved Vendor Listing (AVL) for the manufacturing of printed circuit boards (PCB). This AVL should include an onsite audit process and ongoing systematic performance monitoring of the supply base across all PCB technologies.
  • Component Obsolescence – Your company should closely monitor end-of-life (EOL) notifications at the component level to communicate with your customer base and assist in identifying suitable fit, form, and function replacements for presentation to your customers for engineering consideration. Along with EOL notifications from the supply base of the major authorized distributors for electronic components, it is a good idea to invest in the SiliconExpert toolset. SiliconExpert provides proactive and actionable component obsolescence management and intelligence by forecasting years to end-of-life using advanced lifecycle algorithms. SiliconExpert has created algorithms that accurately forecast obsolescence for millions of electronic components.
  • Quarterly Market Conditions Reports - Your company should also be proactively looking ahead at component lead times by utlizing a Market Conditions Report such as one distributed by Future Electronics. 

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies.The company has facilities in Baltimore, MD (headquarters) and Fredericksburg, Va. and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour 

Zentech Fredericksburg Video Tour

9 Essentials of an Electronics Contract Manufacturer

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Thu, Feb 01, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

2013-06-13_08.02.04.jpgAre you looking for an experienced electronics manufacturing service to partner with in the new year? There are many to choose from, but differentiating between the best manufacturers and those that are sub-par, though, can initially seem tricky. In order to help you make the best and most educated decision possible, we've put together these nine essentials to look for when hiring an electronics manufacturing service.    

 

 

1. Industry experience  

It is always in your best interest to hire a contract manufacturing company that has an extensive history in the electronics industry. Those businesses that are well-established can be counted upon to provide high quality work, and will take pride in each board that they design and produce. Don't hesitate to ask your prospective manufacturer about how long they have been in business, and what their criteria is for hiring employees.  

2. Highly Certified

Certifications such as AS9100, DD2345 and ISO13485 demonstrate the commitment to excellence that a potential contract manufacturer has. Certifications provide a level of (objective) accountability that, first and foremost, protects you the customer. Certifications ensure that the contract manufacturer remains compliant with current industry standards, regulations, and best-practices which directly impact the quality and reliability of the products and services the electronics contract manufacturer builds.

3. Design capabilities  

In addition to providing customers with an electronics manufacturing service, your outsource partner should also have design resources. Whether you need your project designed from scratch, or simply need a fresh set of eyes to review your current specs, the best electronics contract manfacturers have engineering services expertise to make sure your project is properly designed to achieve superier performance.

4. Advanced technologies  

What type of tools, machinery, and equipment does your prospective electronics manufacturing service utilize? It's in your best interest to choose a company that takes advantage of all of the latest technologies to ensure that your products are developed to be highly reliable and effective, giving your company a competitive advantage in the marketplace. 

5. Industry compliance  

Never work with a contract manufacturing company that does not adhere to the most current industry standards. In addition to complying with various industry rules and regulations for design and manufacture, your partner company should be willing to comply with your specific standards for production. Standards like AS5553 for counterfeit parts mitigation and NIST 800-171 demonstrate that an contract manufacturer will handle your project professionally and responsibly.  

6. Environmentally responsible  

The best electronics manufacturing service providers will always take the environment into consideration. Make sure that your prospective manufacturer is Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliant and can help you convert any of your board's specific designs to an RoHS compliant plan. Not only will this protect our earth, but it will also demonstrate your adherence to environmental responsiblity to your customers.  

7. Product testing  

Your contract manufacturing service should never be satisfied with simply producing a batch order of PC boards. Testing should always be performed to ensure that each unit produced is highly functional and performs as expected. Testing the products for any design flaws or issues can help you to analyze trends and catch major production errors without causing you to waste an excessive amount of time or money.  

8. Supply chain management  

Not all supply chain solutions will work for all electronics companies. Because of this, your contract manufacturer should have sourcing agreements for components and commodities from all around the globe, and be willing to meet your needs pertaining to contract requirements, preferred vendors, sourcing restrictions, etc. An EMS also should help your company prepare in advance for any component lead time issues, helping to deliver your product on time. A superior EMS is always aware of market conditions as it relates to your project. 

9. Fulfillment Services  

It's never a good idea to choose an electronics manufacturing service that does not provide excellent customer service post-production. A great company will offer fulfillment services including troubleshooting any faulty PC boards and making the necessary repairs before returning them from their depot. In the end, this will save you a lot of time and money on labor or on warranty replacement units.    

Get the very most out of your electronics manufacturing service in 2018. By insisting on this set of criteria, you can easily pick out the best from the rest.

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies.The company has facilities in Baltimore, MD (headquarters) and Fredericksburg, Va. and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour

Zentech Fredericksburg Video Tour

Topics: assembly manufacturing, American based product assembly, electronics manufacturing service

Zentech's Newest Capability: Overmolded Cable Assemblies 

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Zentech has added overmolded cable assembly manufacturing to its robust resume of capabilities. Overmolded cable assemblies will be manufactured at the Zentech – Fredericksburg location.

Leveraging over thirty-five years of success in support of the U.S. Navy, military primes and the commercial sector, the Zentech - Fredericksburg operation has a long legacy of supporting complex semi-rigid RF cable assemblies, point-to-point wiring and wire harness requirements.

Zentech – Fredericksburg is certified to IPC-A- 610 Class 3 as a QML mission critical trusted source, and is both IPC-WHMA-620 and J-STD 001 QML. In response to our customer’s demands, we are pleased to announce the addition of a 
YUH DAK YH-55 vertical injection mold system to accomplish the over-molding process.

  • Overmolded cable assemblies are ideal for harsh environments because of their impermeable properties.
  • They are equipped to withstand shock, vibration, and continual flexing without the risk of compromise to the termination point.

In further support of this initiative, Zentech-Fredericksburg has also added additional milling capabilities to manufacture the mold cavities in-house.

Design support is available from our talented engineering team.

Do you have an application that requires high reliability and functionality in a harsh environment? We understand harsh environment applications and create products manufactured for high reliability and performance. Contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve success!

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies.The company has facilities in Baltimore, MD (headquarters) and Fredericksburg, Va. and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour 

Zentech Fredericksburg Video Tour

Design, Build, Test: Highly Certified Contract Manufacturing

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Tue, Jan 16, 2018 @ 12:07 PM

At Zentech, designing, building and testing complex mission critical electronics is our business. Learn more about our electronics contract manufacturing solutions on our brand new website. 

 

 

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies.The company has facilities in Baltimore, MD (headquarters) and Fredericksburg, Va. and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour

Zentech Fredericksburg Video Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Build the Tough Circuit Card Assemblies

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 @ 02:00 PM

Enabling success and innovation since 1998, Zentech has specialized in the design and manufacture of highly complex and mission critical electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies. Learn more about our solutions on our brand new website. 

 

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies.The company has facilities in Baltimore, MD (headquarters) and Fredericksburg, Va. and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour

Zentech Fredericksburg Video Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Do EMS Businesses Make the Right Capital Equipment Decisions?  

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Tue, Jan 09, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

matt1_web.jpgIn January's issue of SMT magazine, Matt Turpin, Zentech's President and CEO discusses making the right capital equipment (CAPEX) decisions.

View Full PDF Article


Being in the EMS business for about 35 years now, Turpin has already seen a lot of changes. According to him, in the old days—around 15 years or so back—an EMS firm could buy a set of equipment, and use the same set of equipment 10 years later. “Because technology just did not change that fast,” he says. “Back in the old days, you had a lot more mom-and-pop shops. A lot of Tier 4s and Tier 3s, because it wasn’t as capital intensive back then. It was great for an EMS business, selling from the equipment standpoint. I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘the good old days,’ but there’d be times where you bought the equipment, you could run the equipment, and things didn’t change that much. And then we entered a period where there was a rate of change, and we were like this until relatively recently, where you knew that there was new technology out there, but you could wait for a program, a customer, or an opportunity to come along before you buy. It’s like, ‘Okay, well, yeah I know that there are longer ovens out there. But if I get a 30-core layer board and it’s a big enough program, I’ll bite off and I’ll buy a new oven.”

Over the past five years, Turpin says you just don’t need to wait for a program because there was enough research to figure out what you needed. “You had to become fast with the technology to even know how you’d end up quoting, because you can’t just buy the equipment and start using it the next day. You have to develop a process around it. You’ve got to learn how to do it. You’ve got to hire people. In the EMS world, we are driven more towards having a technology roadmap, where we do need to plot out emerging technologies. Not just on the process side, but on the component side. Component suppliers are coming out with some crazy stuff that influences the equipment you need to process it. It is just creeping more into the EMS side.” As an example, Turpin said you cannot just get an oven only when you get a 34-layer board program. “You can’t just have one oven, you need to have three ovens that can do heavy layer boards and highly integrated BGA technology on those boards. You need more than one rework machine to be able to rework BGAs that are on that. You have to get out in front of that,” Turpin says.

One of the technologies that Zentech started looking at a year ago was cleaning technology. “We spent six months just looking at all the different versions. It used to be you’d see a couple of LGAs, a QFN, on a board. We’ve got some with hundreds of LGAs on a board now, and it forces you to a completely different cleaning paradigm where you can sort of clean it with the old stuff, but not really. So, you really need to look at new technologies all the time. It’s the same thing with 3D AXI. You can’t use a manual X-ray system when you have a Class 3 board with 400 bottom-terminating components. There’s no way any human being is going to accurately look at all those without glazing over. You need automated technology to do the heavy inspection on that type of work. You still have a human to do a sample to make sure you have compliant joints, but there’s no way you can screen all those bottom-terminated joints manually,” says Turpin.

How is automation, or the drive towards it, affecting the decision process in acquiring new equipment? 
“In the EMS world and certainly in the military/aero and the medical side, your raw material expense is going to be around 60–70% of your revenue,” says Turpin. “The number one expense, in our world, is raw materials. From an automation standpoint, you certainly want to be automated in terms of how you buy, plan and process your raw materials.” While direct labor is always important, Turpin says it’s even more important to have a robust process that can make sure you have virtually no scrap. “You’ve got these $25–$40,000-dollarapiece PCBAs running through your facility at relatively low profit, low contribution margin. You really can’t afford to have any scrap. Your shift is focused less on labor to more on quality, reliability, and taking scrap down to zero. And, pretty much, rework down to zero, too, because you can’t afford to hold onto these components for very long. You’re more looking for velocity than you are efficiency on the labor side. Having said that, you’re always concerned about efficiency, but it’s not like it was in the old days because labor, as each year goes by, is increasingly a smaller percentage of your spend. At least, in my world.” 

Advice for Designers 
“Engage with a PCB fabricator. And, at a minimum, understand their pain and their process, and, in general, what they can and can’t do. Because the problem nowadays with PCB design is that the barriers to entry for somebody to call themselves a PCB designer are so low. There are so many people out there as contractors. More and more, even large companies are moving toward a contractor model. There are some bad designers out there that don’t know anything about PCB fabrication, they don’t know anything about what the EMS company has to do, and they come out with some really, really bad layouts that are almost unproducible,” he notes. “And the problem is, with a lot of the ways the contracting worlds work, by the time it comes to Kathy and myself, the design has been bought and paid for, and you’ve got a customer that really doesn’t even know what it is they’re dealing with. Then we’ve got to be the bad guy to tell them that, ‘No, this really isn’t going to work, and you’ve got to do this, this, and this.’ And it slows things down. Or worse off, they just don’t have the time and they just try to build it as is. Or they go to some other bare board supplier that isn’t going to ask the right questions, and just produce something that isn’t manufacturable.”

Communication
Turpin prefers to get involved from the beginning. “Last year we acquired a design service bureau, so we could have the scale and the toolsets to be able to do the layout on pretty much any platform. And that has worked, so the extent that we can get involved in the beginning, do the layout up front, and take care of all those issues and make the bare board fabricator’s life easier, make our life easier, and generally make it up. We’re reliable, cost-effective, with quicker time to market,” says Turpin. “In some cases, the OEM will have their own engineers. And, generally, when they’re doing their own layout—which is probably half the time if we’re not doing the layout—our customer has a dedicated designer who knows what they’re doing, and they will almost always look for input before they release the final package.” “In other words, to do one final look through a DFM and DFA to bring out any things that may have been missed or, particularly with the new package types, we always get calls from designers in our customer base when they are using a new package, in terms of talking about what footprint to put in a design. Because most of them are smart enough not to use the footprint that the manufacturer gives. They’ll use that as a basis, but they’ll always tweak it based on something. But it’s not enough. I wish it was 100% of the time we or somebody else could get involved. I would say 25–30% of the time we just get what we get, and we try to make it work.” 

Conclusion
Don’t buy a piece of capital equipment unless you know what problem you’re trying to solve, whether it’s a technology problem, whether it’s a process problem. Maybe it is an efficiency problem. Know what you’re trying to solve, and then, whether it’s your evaluation requirements with the capex supplier, share those goals with them and how you’re going to evaluate it,” says Turpin. “Certainly, for a project plan, make sure that you’re checking for that, and in your turn-up of the process, that the problems you’re trying to solve are the processes you’re developing, and documenting, and rolling out during the roll out of the new piece of capex. But, that said, from a high level, start with a problem in mind. Don’t just start with, ‘Hey, I need to buy a piece of equipment X, Y, Z.’ Start with, ‘I’ve got a problem, A, B, C. How am I going to solve it?’” Finally, Turpin noted that, inasmuch as they want to be tightly integrated with their customers, he hopes that component manufacturers were as integrated with the automation suppliers. “To make sure that the things they’re doing are integrated with the way of properly placing components, cleaning components, inspecting components, things like that.” 

View article on SMT online flipbook.

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies.The company has facilities in Baltimore, MD (headquarters) and Fredericksburg, Va. and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour

Zentech Fredericksburg Video Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zentech Salutes Our Veterans and Those Actively Serving

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Fri, Nov 10, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

veterans-day-2.jpg

Since 1998, Zentech has been proud to serve our military by building mission critical electronics that provide them the tools to perform their jobs and keep them safe while serving our great country.

On this Veteran's Day, Zentech remembers the great sacrifice our veterans and their families have made to give us the freedoms we enjoy. 

 

 

 

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies. The company is headquartered in its purpose-built facility located in Baltimore, MD. Zentech-Fredericksburg Operations maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.) and IPC J-STD-001 certification. In addition, both Zentech locations are certified IPC Trusted Source suppliers for Class 3 mission-critical electronics. Zentech – Baltimore also is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML and AS9100 certified.