Sure, there are a lot of cut-rate vendors in the world who will take electronic schematics and produce exactly what's on-paper... but that's rarely the best way to design and launch a new product. To create a successful piece of electronics today, you need an electronics assembler who can give you more for your money.
Electronic board design isn't a "one and done" challenge, or at least it shouldn't be. The best products are thoroughly tested, revised, and re-thought to ensure they truly meet a market need and will be able to fulfill it. You can't get that sort of guarantee from the low-cost manufacturers.
Custom electronic board design will help ensure your product is a success, while minimizing your ongoing costs throughout the process.
What You Need In Custom Electronics Design
1 - Modern Manufacturing Equipment
Electronics is a rapidly-advancing field, and that goes for electronics manufacturing as well. Every year brings new innovations for making products smaller, lighter, and more affordable. If your manufacturer is using processes that are years -or decades- old, your product is going to be handicapped from the start.
Even seemingly-minor elements such as the size of their drills can ultimately have a huge impact on the overall reliability of the final product. Older assembly lines simply cannot compete with modern processes.
2 - Official Industry Certifications
Electronics are becoming ever-more tightly regulated by the modern countries, and staying within those regulations is an absolute necessity for doing business. This can be difficult to guarantee from the low-cost shops, who often lack the facilities for truly modern production.
When you deal with a manufacturer who has a list of official certifications from groups like the IEEE, it's much easier to feel secure about their equipment and processes. If their materials are rated to be sent on NASA missions, their stuff is going to be trustworthy for more mundane applications as well.
3 - On-Site Engineers
It's much harder to create effective "generic" electronic designs today because so much of the manufacturing hardware is highly specialized. When your electronic board design partner has its own engineers who are familiar with the on-site equipment, they'll virtually always be able to suggest refinements that fit their own processes.
This allows you to truly get the most out of the assembly lines you're hiring, and leverage the latest innovations to further improve your designs. However, you just can't get this from a vendor who simply produces designs to your spec without any other thought.
4 - Robust Prototyping And Testing
Product recalls are highly embarrassing and, if they happen too often, can quickly sink a company's reputation. Even a single high-profile flop can sometimes be enough to ruin a company.
The only way to avoid this is to prevent it from ever happening, via pre-release testing. You need an electronics partner with full prototyping and testing facilities so that you can truly ensure the product is reliable and safe to use. This is a case where a little extra expense early on is immediately justified by the later problems it avoids.
Otherwise, releasing electronics without rigorous testing is like a chef serving dishes without tasting the sauce first. It's a needless gamble.
5 - Computerized Supply Chain Management
There are two big reasons you want an electronic board design partner with a central computerized supply chain tracking system:
It greatly reduces counterfeit parts slipping into the line, and
It allows tightly optimized component procurement.
Failure rates on many components are a known quantity if you have reliable parts suppliers. You can make intelligent predictions regarding costs due to repair\warranty issues, pre-buying the parts and saving money in the process.
Some amount of post-sale support is unavoidable. Proper supply chain management minimizes the cost to your bottom line.
Want to learn more? ZenTech is one of America's premiere electronics partners, with decades of experience in design and production. Contact us today for a consultation.
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