Contract Electronics Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Blog

Curtiss-Wright Selects Zentech in an Effort to Expand Secure Manufacturing

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Fri, Mar 17, 2017 @ 11:18 AM

Curtiss-Wright Selects Zentech and Expands Secure Manufacturing Capabilities for Sensitive U.S. DoD Aerospace & Defense Programs

Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions Division today announced that it has expanded its secure manufacturing capabilities for sensitive U.S. DoD aerospace and defense programs by contracting with Zentech Manufacturing, a premier electronics contract manufacturing company. The addition of Zentech to Defense Solutions’ existing breadth of captive manufacturing capabilities and roster of U.S.-based contract manufacturers further strengthens Curtiss-Wright’s ability to address sensitive program requirements and U.S. Government programmatics. Curtiss-Wright’s TrustedCOTS™ capabilities satisfy the most demanding U.S. DoD Information Assurance requirements with the latest technologies supporting cybersecurity, critical program data, and intellectual property protection for critical deployed applications.


“We’ve heard the military systems user community and embedded system integrators communicate loudly and clearly that they want cost-effective open architecture electronic solutions,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Defense Solutions division. “As the premier and largest supplier of rugged COTS electronic solutions to the U.S. DoD, Curtiss-Wright supports and endorses the aerospace and defense market’s strong push towards the use of truly open standards for both hardware and software. To that end, we are currently making very strategic investments with our customers to address the growing inventory of DoD programs and MoD programs around the world.” 

american-based-electronics.jpg“We are very pleased to have been selected by Curtiss-Wright to support them in their strategic USA Eyes Only manufacturing following their very comprehensive evaluation of our capabilities, processes and personnel,” remarked Matt Turpin, CEO and President of Zentech Manufacturing. “As one of the very few U.S. electronics contract manufacturers that is IPC Validation Certified as a Class 3 Trusted Source, and with a long legacy of high-performance in the military C5ISR sector, we are confident that Zentech will meet the technological and manufacturing challenges of Curtiss-Wright’s advanced product architecture.”

 

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Tips For Cutting Costs On PCB Assemblage

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Fri, Mar 10, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

 

pc board assemblyIt really doesn't matter what type of business you're in - money is a common stressor for all of us. The majority of American industries are constantly looking for ways to scale back their costs and improve profit margins without sacrificing the quality or integrity of their work. Still, this is often much easier said than done. Finding areas where you can safely and effectively reduce spending while still keeping your customers happy with excellent products and services isn't as simple as it may seem, and it can be especially problematic in the electronics sector.

The issue that many electronics companies have in cutting expenses is that technology never remains the same for very long. The consumer marketplace refuses to be satisfied with the status quo, and, as a result, our electronic devices continue to evolve into increasingly complex products. Technological companies, then, must evolve along with these devices, finding new processes for developing the products that end-users are demanding. Despite this, though, there's one thing that continues to remain a constant in the world of electronics: PC boards. These remarkable boards are essential to our world's technology. Shouldn't it naturally go to follow that by cutting costs to PC boards, electronics companies could start saving more money?

Although this may be the case, businesses like your own must be careful and smart about any changes made to the assemblage of PCBs. Finding savvy ways to make boards more price-efficient and cut costs is a far cry from "cutting corners". Still, it can be done. In an effort to help you start raising your profit margins and enjoying a higher level of success, we've put together the following tips for saving money without sacrificing the quality of PCB assemblage.

#1: Smart Design

The design and planning that goes into assembling PCBs is one of the smartest and most effective ways to scale back spending. The strategic engineering of these boards can result in the need to utilize fewer parts and components which will immediately begin to lower the cost per PCB. In the long run, this can begin to add up to significant savings.

#2: Develop Relationships

Developing a strong and ongoing relationship with one or two parts suppliers is much more cost-efficient than spreading your business out amongst a wider range of businesses. When you develop a rapport with your parts supplier, you'll often be given the opportunity to enjoy better deals and savings, and you may also be entitled to discounts for prompt payments, amongst other things. 

#3: Avoid Fines - Stay Americanpcb assemblage

Thinking about taking your PCB assemblage offshore? You might want to re-consider. Overseas contract manufacturers often appeal to smaller businesses because of their cheap services, but if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many times, these companies make use of counterfeit parts that don't comply with American industry standards. The use of these parts in your boards could result in your being fined, or being dragged into a lawsuit should the part(s) cause serious problems or malfunctions. 

#4: Repair vs. Replace

If something goes wrong with one of your boards, it can be tempting to offer a customer a warranty replacement rather than taking the time to troubleshoot for the problem and repair it. In reality, though, the latter is the much more affordable and cost-efficient option.

#5: Consider Hiring a Contract Manufacturer

Although hiring a contract manufacturer may initially seem more expensive, a partnership can give you access to a team of experts without having to pay their salary, and to advanced equipment without having to purchase or maintain it.

Saving money on PCB assemblage doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice the quality of your product to your end users. By following these tips, you can cut your own costs while keeping your customers happy with your boards and services.

 

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Topics: pcb assemblage

Highly Certified Matters

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Wed, Mar 08, 2017 @ 10:09 AM

Certs.jpgMost electronics contract manufacturers are highly certified in their fields. 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.

 


Zentech Certifiations:

- AS9100:2009C  (Aerospace Specification)

- IPC 610 Class 3 Mission Critical Trusted Source (Qualified Manufacturers Listed) – one of six CM’s certified

- IPC 620 Certified (Wire Harness and Cable Assemblies)

- IPC J-STD-001 with Space Certification – one of two CM’s certified

- ITAR registered

- Joint Certification Program (DD2345) for access to militarily sensitive Technical Data Packages

- ISO 9001:2008

- ISO 13485:2003

- FDA Certified Device Manufacturing Facility

- AS5553 Counterfeit Mitigation Compliant

- J-STD-004 Compliant (Solder Paste Technology) + Inline 3D SPI (Solder Paste Inspection)

- AOI Systems (Automated Optical Inspection)

- 3D Automated X-Ray Inspection – AXI

 - Seica Pilot 4D V8 Flying Probe Testing

 


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4 Types Of Electronics Contract Manufacturers To Hire

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Mon, Mar 06, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

Have you been thinking about hiring a third party manufacturing company to assist you with the design or assembly of your electronics? If so, it is very important that you understand what to look for in a quality and long-lasting business partnership. But with so many options, how can you even know where to begin? In order to help you narrow down your options and make the best decision for your operation, here's a look at the four types of electronic contract manufacturers that you should be looking to hire. pcb assembly

1. PCB Assembly Manufacturers 

Technology is continuously evolving, and as it does, it is shrinking. Consumers today are demanding electronic devices that, while more complex and functional, are also extremely lightweight and compact. In order for these systems to operate properly and efficiently, printed circuit boards (PCBs) must also become smaller, while being able to support increasingly complicated electrical connections and components. Designing and assembling these tiny PCBs can be challenging, time-consuming, and very costly to electronics operations with finite resources. In order for you to fulfill customer orders, stay competitive, and grow your business, you may want to consider working with professional electronic contract manufacturers. Skilled and capable outsource partners can hep you to overcome and obstacles that your team is meeting and can provide high-tech machinery that will ensure faster, more precise PCB assembly.

2. Systems Assembly Manufacturers

If your business is struggling with systems assembly, electronic contract manufacturers may be able to help. By choosing an experienced business partner that is familiar with all of the demands of system assembly, you can be the recipient of customized solutions that will help to manage your supply chain requirements. Regardless of what level of assistance you require, you can find relief and higher levels of success with the right contract manufacturer. Truly reputable third party companies will be capable of helping you with configure/build to order design schematics, assembly at the chassis, cage, or rack levels, custom cabling, board and system testing, and documentation management so that you can operate more efficiently.

3. Design and Build Manufacturers

There are many electronic contract manufacturers that only offer assembly services. Although this can help you to improve the speed of actually producing a fully designed product, it will not help you to improve the efficiency of your electronics. A design and build service may be able to pinpoint areas of your basic schematics that could be improved, thus saving you money on parts, or enabling you to create products that are easier for end-users to manipulate or that function more smoothly. Throughout the assembly and manufacturing process, your partner will be testing your products for operability and for problem areas that could be fixed. In this way, your business and your products will always be getting better.

4. American Based Manufacturerselectronic contract manufacturer

At first glance, the electronic contract manufacturers that work offshore may seem like the more economical choice for a business partnership, but you should keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Although many foreign companies offer cheaper services, they also tend to cut corners and use bootlegged parts and system components during product assembly. And because cheap, unskilled labor is utilized throughout production, your devices may end up falling short of the expectations of yourself and your customers. To avoid these problems, it is in your best interest to work with American based companies that follow national manufacturing and assembly standards, and that utilize only high quality parts.


The right electronic contract manufacturers can be a tremendous asset to your business. By looking for these four types of manufacturers, you will enjoy more efficient daily operations, and will be able to provide better products to your customers. 

Are you ready to get started?

 

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Topics: pcb assembly, Electronic Contract Manufacturers, contract manufactuerers

7 Reasons Contract Manufacturers Help You Stand Out

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Wed, Mar 01, 2017 @ 04:34 PM

Contract Manufacturing

From time to time, we all need a little bit of help. As a business owner, though, you may tend to pride yourself on your independence, and have a strong desire to keep all of your processes in-house. But what if soliciting design, assembly, testing, and fulfillment services could actually help you to grow your company an enable to you bring in more cash? That would probably grab your interest, and it has, indeed, peaked the curiosity of other small to midsize electronics businesses. A growing number of companies are turning to contract manufacturing services as a means of improving their own existing business models. Could this be a viable solution for your needs? If you're on the fence, take a look at 6 of the many ways in which a contract manufacturer could help to improve the development of your electronics.

1. Knowledge & Experience

Who wouldn't love to be able to take advantage of talented industry professionals with a great deal of knowledge and experience without actually having to pay their salary? That's exactly what you get when you make the decision to work with a contract manufacturer. You'll be able to obtain design and manufacturing input from a team of experts who have been working in PCB engineering, assembly, and repair for years. This will help your own staff to learn and grow, while also enabling you to offer a superior product to your buyers.

2. Design Efficiency

One of the primary reasons that board production can get expensive is inefficient design schematics. Although your engineers may be very good at what they do, there's always room for improvement, and it's always a good idea to consider someone else's opinion as a means of looking at things from a new point of view. By taking advantage of a contract manufacturer's electronics engineering design team, you can work together to determine how to improve your design efficiency, reducing the size of boards and the number of costly components required.

3. Careful Testing

There's nothing worse than throwing away thousands upon thousands of dollars in time, labor, and parts because a design wasn't properly tested through simulations processes, or because a large batch order was assembled without first testing a prototype. Although circuit board testing can be time-consuming, it's an extremely important part of the production process. By working with a contract manufacturing company, someone else can shoulder the burden of testing for you, so that you can focus on other tasks.

4. Superior Technologies

Wouldn't it be great if you could take advantage of the same design, assembly, and production technologies as your largest competitors? While it may be easy for the "big guys" to spend money on the latest and greatest equipment, it's not always a possibility for you. When you partner with a contract manufacturing service, though, you are able to tap into these valuable resources without being required to invest in the technology, house it, or maintain it. Suddenly, you're much more competitive in the consumer marketplace!

5. Cut Material Costselectronic board design

In addition to helping you improve design efficiency and reduce your spending on expensive manufacturing equipment, an experienced contract manufacturer can actually help you to scale back the cost of components and parts. Through developing long-term relationships with reliable suppliers, a contract manufacturer can get the best deals on parts, which translates to less spending for you, as well.

6. Excellent Fulfillment Services 

Just because you offer a warranty on your boards and products doesn't mean that you should throw away money on replacement units when something goes wrong. When you have a contract manufacturing company on your team, you can address problems in a more cost-efficient manner. Through careful troubleshooting, your contract manufacturer can pinpoint the problem. Often, it can be traced to a single failing component which can then be replaced for a fraction of the cost to replace. 

7. Highly Certified

Most electronics contract manufacturers are highly certified in their fields. 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.

How could a contract manufacturer help you?

 

 

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Topics: assembly manufacturing, electronics contract manufacturing, assembly manufacturing firm

How One Business Brought Back Manufacturing Jobs

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 @ 10:08 AM

contract_electronic_assembly.jpgZentech was recently featured in an article on marketplace.org regarding bringing more manufacturing jobs to the US. See the full article below.


If you want to find out how to bring manufacturing jobs back from Asia, one route might be to start with someone who’s done it. Matt Turpin is CEO of Zentech, an electronics manufacturer in Baltimore, Maryland. His company manufactures goods or components for other companies.

“We’ve brought back probably four projects in the past two years,” he said. There are “probably 30 people associated with those projects.”

How’d he do it? First, “the level of automation has increased dramatically," Turpin said. "What used to take two to three hours to build now can be built in under 10 minutes.

So if products don’t require much labor, then cheap Chinese labor isn’t that important.

Second, labor in China isn’t so cheap anymore.

Those two factors mean the number of manufacturing jobs leaving the United States now equals the number of jobs coming back, roughly, and it’s been holding constant for the past year or so.

In fact, despite political rhetoric, U.S. manufacturing is not in crisis.

“The absence of strong  growth in manufacturing employment doesn’t mean that U.S. manufacturing is doing poorly,” said Gordon Hanson, professor of economics at UC San Diego.

Manufacturing may be employing fewer people because of automation, but it’s still churning out products and plenty of them. 

“U.S. manufacturing production has held its own, it’s been a stable share of the U.S. economy over time” when measured in GDP, said Hanson.

Given all that, if you ask academics and business people what to increase U.S. manufacturing employment, there are a couple of things that come up frequently. One is regulation.

“Business creation in the U.S. has been on a long run declining trend,” said Nick Bloom, professor of economics at Stanford. “So the rates of new business creation in 2012 are about half what they were 30 years ago. A lot of that decline is being put down to increasing spread of regulation — occupational licensing, health care regulation, health and safety regulation. All of it is very well intentioned, but that massive red tape is stifling new businesses.”

The second: the United States needs “a focus on STEM education,” said Zentech’s Matt Turpin. Science, technology, engineering, math.

“I’m already seeing it," he said. "There’s so many people in the workforce retiring and we’re starting to see a shortage of the people that need to come in and take those jobs. If we don’t have a skilled workforce, we’re not gonna be able to meet the needs of industry and they're gonna go overseas.”

Translation: The future’s here. Train for it.

 

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How To Improve Your RF Product Performance

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 @ 02:43 PM

White Paper: Reliability Issues with RF Circuits Influenced by Design and Manufacturing Processes


pcb-board.jpgThe surge of technologies that utilize RF design, ranging from mobile phones, to wireless Internet connections and communications using Bluetooth devices, requires a comprehensive understanding of RF design, manufacturing and test.  When you also include RF applications like RF Backhaul Video, GPS, GSM and CDMA communications protocols, radar, broadband communications, WiFi, Zigbee and RF transmitters and receivers, the need for your contract manufacturer (CM) to not only comprehend the issues and challenges, but to have a deep understanding of the failure mechanisms that can cause defects that fail long before completing their intended life expectancy is critical. 

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Zentech, a Premier Electronics Contract Manufacturing Company

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 @ 09:39 AM

circuit-boards.jpgZentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a premier electronics contract manufacturing company offering PCB (Printed Circuit Board) Assembly, PCB Testing, and PCB design services since 1998.

Zentech's 42,000 sq.ft. facility is highly certified, including ISO 9001 and houses equipment and controls to handle the latest printed circuit board (PCB) assembly technology. Our equipment, systems and processes are optimized for flexibility in building complex products that have medium volume and high mix requirements. 

Zentech offers high speed, precision assembly of printed circuit boards. We provide a full range of PCB Design, Assembly and Testing Services.

 

 

 

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Zentech Manufacturing Adds Advanced Clean Room Capability

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Wed, Feb 08, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

ductless-lf-laminar-flow-series-80_M.jpgZentech Manufacturing, Inc., in support of a major customer engagement in the Homeland Security market segment, is pleased to announce the addition of a sub-Class 5 Clean Room operating environment.

This facility addition, located in Zentech’s Baltimore location, will be utilized for final assembly processes of precision optics to support leading-edge biometric technologies for a wide range of government and commercial applications, as well as for mainstream Physical Identity Access Management (PIAM) applications.

The clean room features Air Science Purair LF Hoods that are ISO 3, Federal Class 1 rated. ISO cleanroom classifications are rated by the amount of airborne particulate matter existing per cubic meter. Air Science Purair Laminar Flow Cabinets are a series of high efficiency products designed to protect equipment and other contents of the work zone from particulates.  At the heart of the cabinet product line is the specialized filtration technology that creates a clean work environment over a wide range of applications.

Zentech is a premier electronics contract manufacturing company offering PCB (Printed Circuit Board) Design, SMT Assembly, and PCBA Testing Services.

 

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Zentech Expands its Engineering Design Services Portfolio

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Tue, Feb 07, 2017 @ 11:38 AM

Electronic-Manufacturing-Solutions3.jpgZentech Manufacturing has recently acquired Interconnect Design Solutions, LLC. (IDS). The addition of IDS and their experienced design engineering team to the Zentech portfolio adds significantly to Zentech’s already comprehensive Design Engineering Services capabilities, which now includes: OrCAD, Autocad, PADS, Altium, Cadence Allegro and Mentor Expedition for PCB layout; Pro Engineer, Solid Works, Rhinoceros and 3D Scan for mechanical engineering; Signal Integrity, Thermal Analysis and complete DfX capabilities. Related to the transaction, Mike Brown joins the Zentech team as Vice President of Engineering Services. Prior to the formation of IDS, Mike managed all ECAD printed circuit board related design activity at Ciena Corporation for twelve years in the Baltimore market and is widely recognized in the Mid-Atlantic as one of the top designers for high technology circuit board layout requirements.

“The acquisition of IDS (Charleston, SC), coupled with the May 2015 acquisition of Colonial Assembly and Design, LLC. (Fredericksburg, Va.) and Zentech’s robust capabilities in Baltimore, Md. provides outstanding Engineering Services capability, with multiple Zentech Design Centers now strategically located throughout Zentech’s primary Eastern Seaboard market”, commented Matt Turpin (CEO
and President of Zentech).

Mike Brown stated, “the IDS team has supported design related activity for Zentech and their customers for many years and we are absolutely thrilled to be acquired by Zentech. The future at Zentech is very bright and I am excited to lead the Engineering Services portion of the business.”

 

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