Contract Electronics Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Blog

Issues To Avoid In PC Board Assembly

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Tue, Jan 27, 2015 @ 07:00 PM

 PC Board AssemblyWith so many options in electronics partners and printed circuit board assembly, there are also so many ways the process can go wrong.  Simply having a great idea and a market to match isn't enough to guarantee success in the electronics business:  The wrong PCB assembler could still undo all your other work.

Many of these issues can be prevented early on, but it's a "forewarned is forearmed" situation.  The more deeply-set these problems are in an PC board assembly service, the more likely it is to affect your end product.

Choosing The Best PCB Assembly Service For Your Needs

1 - Communication Issues

Electronics manufacturing should not be treated as a "fire and forget" solution.  A good product requires a consistent flow of information back and forth between the assembler and the company ordering it.   This includes plenty of prototyping and testing, with feedback to match.

This can be difficult to achieve with domestic assemblers, and it's far more difficult when dealing with overseas operations.  If you're looking offshore for assembly, we strongly recommend you hire a translator you can trust (ie, not local to the assembler) and keep them stationed on-site.

If you're relying on your manufacturer to provide translation/communication, you will simply never know whether they're being honest or not.

2 - Long Supply Lines

When choosing an assembly service, their logistics become your logistics.  If they're sourcing parts from halfway around the world, with a 4-6 month lead time, this can be hugely detrimental to your operations.

Besides the obvious costs in fuel and transportation, it also limits your flexibility.  Today's market is more reactive and faster-changing than any other market in history.  Six months can see a product go from fad to has-been.  

If you lack the ability to quickly respond to new market forces, and give customers what they want when they ask for it, you're probably going to lose business to other, more flexible companies.

3 - Robust Manufacturing Facilities

You should always have a very good idea of the facilities a manufacturer has on-site.  Don't take anything on faith and, especially, don't deal with PC board assemblers who won't discuss their own equipment.  This virtually always means it's antiquated or, worse, they're secretly outsourcing the work themselves to a company you wouldn't know about.

american pcb assemblyTo be able to produce a full range of products -especially ones with multiple variations- you need an assembler who has invested in a full range of manufacturing facilities including support for both surface-mount and through-hole production, hot and cold and clean rooms, and computer-aided testing facilities.

Pay attention to standards compliance as well, especially those issued through IEEE.  A facility with high-level IEEE certifications will be much more likely to produce high-quality goods.

4 - Computerized Components Tracking

Counterfeit parts are one of THE biggest challenges in electronics assembly today.  Even the US Air Force discovered frauds in their own supply lines a few years ago.  

The one and only way to counteract this is to work with a manufacturer who uses tracking services to guarantee each and every part comes directly from a legitimate supplier, and is never 'swapped' anywhere in the process.  When parts are tracked via QR Codes, RFID, or other computerized services, their provenance can be demonstrated with a far greater degree of certainty than is ever possible using hand-done surveys.

After all, at the end of the day, all it takes is one corrupt manager somewhere in the process to jinx your supply line.  Human fallibility must be removed from the process as much as possible.

There's A World Of Electronics Manufacturing.  Choose Wisely.

Finding good PC board assembly services requires patience and a willingness to do research.  Companies that simply choose the cheapest vendor usually come to regret it due to ongoing and unpredicted problems.

An assembly service with robust manufacturing abilities will virtually always pay off in higher ROIs, better products, and happier customers.


Electronic Interconnect Cabling Whitepaper from Zentech


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Topics: assembly manufacturer, pc board assembly, assembly manufacturing companies

How to Employ The Best Assembly Electronic Engineering Company

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Tue, Dec 09, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

Electronic Engineering CompanyThere are countless Electronic engineering, manufacturing companies out there and this makes it difficult to find a reputable company that can provide you with a satiating job of electronic assembly services. Going through all the companies to find the one that will deliver the results that you want can be time consuming, and not to mention, depleting your budget slowly.

Rather than sticking with a company and hope for a satisfying result (which may end up being very disappointing), you should consider searching for the results beforehand instead, and then, make your final decision thereafter. If you carry out proper research, you can achieve that within a short period.

All electronic manufacturing companies depend highly on their clients’ needs, as they can bring in huge orders for manufacturing projects that hinge on the utmost quality of electronic assembly and components. For companies to stay on top of their game, they need to produce quality results. Those results, of course, have to be compliant with all the safety standards as well. Searching for a company as mentioned before will take time, and that normally comes with digging around for solutions and outcomes that fit your requirements.

Display of Results

One of the signs of optimum results is the manufacturing company boasting their capabilities. You need to find out if their results can be found on the Internet and offline. If you find that they boast their handiwork in some manner, then you can usually be confident that the company will be a good choice.

However, keep in mind that electronic assembly companies that do not show off their work are often not worth pursuing. It depends on your trust in the company and their ability to conduct the business. It is simply a positive sign if a company has its portfolio online and offline and it indicates that it is safe to work with them.

Obtain Prototype TestingElectronic Engineering

Almost all electronic assembly companies have a small batch of prototypes of your choice. This is the time to test out the various companies to see how long it will take them to complete your particular project, what budget will be required, to confirm consumer experience, and to observe how good their results are according to your blueprints and designs.

If the prototype testing is not of good quality or up to your expectations, then you can easily look for a different potential company and not waste all your time, energy, and money on the primary engineering manufacturing company. Nevertheless, if your chosen company does not include prototype service (based on their website or leaflet), it is recommended to ask them if they can still provide it, perhaps at a minimum fee.

Find an Electronic Engineering Manufacturing Company Successfully

You can find this type of company on the Internet, in the Yellow Pages, or even in the local newspapers under the classifieds section. It is important to record the contact details of various companies and to find out as much as you can about them. Thereafter, narrow down your choices to two or three companies, and call them individually.

Ensure that you prepare a list of questions to ask them and make your final choice based on the answers given by those companies. It is highly recommended that you choose a company that meets all your requirements, particularly if it provides electronic assembly services that is within your allocated budget.



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Topics: assembly electronics, assembly electronics solution, assembly manufacturing companies

Assembly Manufacturing In Today’s Electronic World

Posted by Laura Austin on Sat, May 25, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

As the rest of the world continues to rely on electronics and technology, in turn the technology becomes even better and a convenience to society. So, how is the assembly of such electronics and components affected from this rapid change and upgrading? Business is certainly booming, and there are all sorts of updates that have been made in order to offer the best quality and prices to clients who regularly use assembly manufacturing for their own projects.assembly-manufacturing

It might seem like an old, obsolete industry but electronics manufacturing has kept up with all of the best practices in business in order to offer the best service. What kind of advancements have been made in particular?

3D Printing, CNC Machines & More

There has been huge investments and popularity in new types of manufacturing, especially when it comes to CNC and other types of programmable building. In fact, there has been such a focus on new types of machinery that most manufacturers have switched over completely in order to stay in competition and offer the best type of assembly to their clients. One of the most popular forms is, of course, CNC since it has become easier to program and make the high precision that electronics components require.

Clunky machines that are prone to make inaccuracies have become part of the past, making assembly manufacturing an interesting landscape of new methods to create great products. Now, it also has become a niche for these engineering manufacturing companies that are start-ups and are beginning to crop up and add even more of an edge to manufacturing.

High Quality Sourced Parts

In the past, it was near impossible to know where your parts were coming from unless asking the manufacturer directly. While you can still run into this, most manufacturing businesses have followed the trend of becoming even more transparent with their business dealings. Also, parts can be tracked and sourced from reputable and high quality places, which lessens the risk of dealing with counterfeit or faulty parts exponentially.electronics-assembly

Technology allows for us to know the "history" of all of the parts going into electronics, so why not take advantage of that and know where exactly they are coming from and only get the best of the best for the money you're spending?

Better Communications

Gone are the days of contacting an assembly manufacturing company and then suddenly everything going quiet on their end. There are several ways you can keep in contact with your manufacturer, including even video conferences, mobile communications, email and so much more. Business communications have become much more reliant and easier to access, so you can have a two-way street and know confidently how your order is doing and know when exactly it will be ready to be shipped out.

Apps & Software

Even assembly manufacturing businesses are hopping on the trend of developing mobile apps and other kinds of consumer software to become even easier to access by their customers. There are apps to help with quoting, to better understand the world of manufacturing services, and even software to help with the consultation and design phase of product assembly.

With all of this technology, it simply has become easier to work with assembly manufacturing and get high quality and unforgettable results that will last for years to come in your electronics. Why should you stay stuck in the Stone Age when everybody else is doing business in the 21st Century?

Topics: electronics manufacturing, assembly manufacturing, assembly manufacturing companies, PCB manufacturing, precision manufacturing

Making Things Efficiently With Quality Product Assembly

Posted by Laura Austin on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

It goes without saying that virtually all gadgets that use electrical power must have an electronic component in them and this means, therefore, that electronic manufacturers have to strive to produce the highest quality products in the market for efficiency. Defects and flaws in product assembly will not only lead to poor efficiency but might have consequences as dire as fires or electrocution of users. As a buyer of the electronic products, you shouldquality product assembly have standards for asserting that the quality product assembly will work for you. Here are some considerations to make before settling on an assembled product.

Before buying the electronics you first need to have some quality assurance from the Manufacture and Assembly Company or Assembly Company if you are getting your products directly from them. Assembly is obviously a technical job that requires hands-on skills and for that reason manufacturers tend to be sloppy about getting the rightly trained employees for the job. As a buyer you have a right to getting the best quality and this can only come from well-trained individuals, and for this reason you need to do a background check on the company to find out whether they use trained and qualified individual’s for the job or not. Qualified individuals assure you of quality product assembly.

The next factor to consider before buying any product from an assembly company is their scope of work and experience, and this is quite multi-faceted because there are many things to look at. First you have to know the kind of assemblies they do i.e. low to high volume assembly, sub assembly, RoHs and Non RoHs assemblies among others. A company that works on several products is more likely to produce worthwhile assembled products because as you know electronics are quite diverse despite the basic idea of driving electrons in a particular direction to produce the desired effect. You might also be looking for a unique product that would only work when assembled perfectly and the only sure way to make it happen would be to go for a company that deals with all sorts of electronics.

In terms of experience, this should be quite obvious because the only way quality comes is through practice. A pundit in the electronic manufacturing and assembly industry will always have the necessary experience to produce flawless assembled products that will work
efficiently for you. You need to check the number of years of existence, proof of experience displayed by present products as well as client testimonials if possible. Quality product
product assemblyassembly is always evidenced by any of the above and especially tested and proven to work electronics.

You also need to check on trends in the product assembly industry because as with any other technology, electronic assembly also advances by the day in order to make easier to use products or even when downgrading sizes of electronics, a common thing in this new era. As an engineer you often create new electronic products with different components and more often than not you need them packaged in the smallest and most expedient way. In a situation like this you will need to go for a company that knows the trending ways to assemble new and old products and you will probably find your gadget on high demand because of the good product assembly you have obtained for it. Whether it’s a printer or a new cooler you are making the assembly has to be perfect for consumers to like it.

The general idea behind seeking quality product assembly is to ensure there are no flaws in the gadgets you have produced as an engineer or the gadgets you are looking for as a buyer. It is therefore imperative for you to test every last products after assembly as well as ask your assembler intelligent questions before taking your electronics home.

Topics: assembly manufacturing, product assembly, assembly manufacturing companies

Assembly Manufacturing Requires Utmost Precision

Posted by Laura Austin on Sat, Mar 02, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Most people don't realize, but manufacturing services require some of the most careful and best results because of the components that are handled daily. It also requires very high pcb-assembly-manufacturersprecision in all of the aspects of a PCB and other electronic parts because the parts all need to be in working order and even having something be just a little off on the board can cause a major problem. All of this precision and perfection, however, doesn't mean that you as the buyer need to over spend for that quality.

Finding precision with an affordable price is very much doable, especially with assembly manufacturing. All that is required is to look for the signs that the manufacturing company in question is utilizing the utmost precision without trying to go around corners for cost. Here are some of the most major signs to look for and tactics to use yourself.

Final Designs

One way you can test the precision and quality of a manufacturers final design that will be sent out to your own customers is through prototypes. Nearly all assembly manufacturing companies offer such a service and will allow you to do small batch orders or even a single product can be shipped out to you once it is completed. This can be a measure of precision on the board and components up to your spec.

The best way to go about this is doing a smaller batch order of prototypes or drafted designs and measuring each of their quality and precision. If they aren't giving the care needed for assembly-manufacturingever single product, then you know you can look elsewhere for your bigger project. 

Most assembly manufacturing companies are using robots and automated machinery to do most of the assembly processes, but the finer components are normally done by skilled engineers and assemblers. However, some manufacturers will try to make the entire assembly process and have their staff do the testing. This, too, can make very precise components and help the company pass on savings and inexpensive prices to you.

Interview The Manufacturer

Don't be afraid to ask questions and understand the day to day assembly and work life of the company. This is an age of transparency in nearly all businesses, and this even includes the assembly companies you are working with on your own orders and designs. 

When you go ahead to speak with a manufacturing company, the obvious questions are going to be present, of course. Budgeting and time are always a big focus, but, be able to inquire about how everything is assembled, the testing processes, and the daily work schedule in order to get an idea of the attention to detail and precision that is going into your order.

Talking with the assembly manufacturing company and gauging their services is the perfectpcb assembly time where you can interview them, understand them, and create a open communication between you and the company--and we all know open communication like that is very important among businesses.

Research Online

Google is right there to help you and practically everyone has a professional website these days. Also, almost anyone can be researched online and the work they do, which is prime time to check out an assembler's "portfolio" and decide if their precision is something you think is up to snuff for your own work.

If online research is hard to come by, there is always word-of-mouth and asking around about a certain company. After all, this is your budget and time that they will be spending and you need to be able to find the best precision with the best prices. Build up a "profile" of each manufacturing servicescompany you are interested in working with, make a short list, and get to work!

Topics: assembly manufacturing, PCB Assembling, pc board assembly, assembly manufacturing companies, PCB Assembly Manufacturers