If you're looking to enter the electronics market, it's actually a great time! There are more options in manufacturing both at home and abroad than ever before, and there are a lot of great companies out there waiting to build your product.
The problem, of course, is telling the good ones from all the rest. In a boom industry, there are a lot of recent upstarts that lack the experience or the equipment needed to properly fill orders. When you pick a PCB assembly service as a partner, you need to know they'll be someone you can rely on.
So, we've got a few tips to help weed out the top businesses from everyone else.
Signs You've Got A Great PCB Assembly Partner
1 - Solid Certifications
The electronics industry has a robust and highly reliable set of internal certification standards, covering every possible element of manufacturing. These standards groups go carefully over a company's manufacturing facilities and help guarantee they can truly deliver the products they claim to.
Many of these are specific to industries such as military or aerospace, which can be another guarantee of quality. If that company's products are being put onto battleships - or sent into space - they clearly know what they're doing.
2 - Tight Supply Line Oversight
The risks associated with letting counterfeit parts slip into your supply lines really cannot be overstated, and this is one area where the right manufacturing partner can really make a difference. They should be implementing per-component tracking and working closely with their own partners to guarantee compliance.
Counterfeit components can reduce product quality, lead to recalls, or potentially even harm end-users. They make servicing costs impossible to correctly estimate, as well as derailing your engineers' best efforts.
Your PCB assembly partner needs to be doing everything possible to keep the supply line clean, with the hard data to prove it.
3 - Real Experience
The electronics manufacturing industry is hugely complex, and startups will not be prepared to offer the same services as companies which have been in business for years or decades. It's not just a matter of engineering expertise - there's also the "human factor" of making contacts and developing their own network of trusted vendors.
It takes years for an electronics assembler to have the robust ecosystem in place necessary to take on real challenges in manufacturing. Hiring a newcomer is taking a big risk, and it's probably not warranted, even if their prices are low.
4 - Anti-Espionage Measures
Speaking of trusted partners, another major problem in manufacturing today is that of IP theft and other corporate espionage. Once a company has schematics, plans, or other high-level documentation, it's often all too easy for them to sell or copy the designs. This is an especially big problem with overseas manufacturers, such as in China, where IP laws are weak and barely enforced.
With companies losing millions or billions due to IP theft, this is a serious issue. Worse, knockoffs can even potentially lower your own brand's value!
Ask your manufacturing partner how they're guaranteeing your IP protections. Make sure you like the answers you get.
Pick The Best In Electronics Assembly
If you're looking for a manufacturing partner that is domestic, fully-certified, and backing years of real experience, give Zentech a call. Our state-of-the-art facilities can produce excellent products for consumers or for aerospace, and they're staffed with true electronics experts.