Contract Electronics Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Blog

Quality Begins With Contract Electronics Manufacturer

Posted by Laura Austin on Thu, May 23, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Just like with all of your products that are assembled and shipped off to your clients, you want every single piece of component and part of your designs to be associated with quality. Who doesn't want to have the best of the best when it comes to their manufactured parts? Your clients trust that you're providing the best service to them, so why not expect the same kind of service and top notch quality in parts when it comes to your contract electronics manufacturer?

It doesn't matter if the parts are going to be sold commercially, to factories, to other businesses, or wherever they're going, everyone wants to be assured that the electronicscontract-electronics-manufacturing they're using are only the greatest quality that money can buy. That is why so much testing, designing, research and development goes into electronics, because the expectations are so high. Unfortunately, businesses who contract out to manufacturers can run the risk of working with lesser quality manufacturing that can be a big risk--including losing out on thousands of dollars and all of those man hours to create your product.

So, how do you spot the best quality contract electronics manufacturers? Easy, just check out these following signs.

Sourced In The USA

A majority of contract electronics manufacturer companies that started out in the United States eventually took most of their operations overseas, mostly to cut down on costs and provide a better deal for their clients. While this worked for several years, things have changed recently and manufacturing services overseas isn't the same anymore. There are much higher risks of dealing with faulty and counterfeit parts in your electronics assembly if it is outsourced to other countries, such as arcing or short circuiting--or something even worse.

One way to avoid such problems is relying on a manufacturer that sources most, if not all of their parts from the United States. Not only that, but another great sign of excellence is if they also keep a large chunk of their workforce in the U.S. as well.

Great Consultation

When you start working with a contract electronics manufacturer, are they keeping in contact with you throughout the different processes? If you've experienced manufacturers that suddenly lose contact and never speak to you throughout the design, pc board assembly and testing overseas-manufacturingphases, then you may want to find someone who does care about keeping open communication with you.

You should confidently know where your parts are coming from, on top of how they're being created and treated. Also, should anything go wrong during the assembly process, you should know immediately when it comes instead of much later on and have to deal with potentially bad electronics. Communication between you and the manufacturer must be a two-way street.

Beautifully Manufactured Products

It's not often you hear an assembled electronic component is "beautiful" or "impeccable," but shouldn't that be expected of your own products when they're manufactured by a electronics contract manufacturer? While it may seem like too lofty of a goal, you should always expect excellent--and get those sort of results--when it comes to your project. You've already put in a lot of time to design the particular piece, on top of marketing it and building up a client base. Now, the manufacturer needs to reflect that same hard work in their own assembly.

This doesn't mean that all manufacturers are going to produce a low quality product no matter what. Quite the opposite, in fact. Contract electronics manufacturers are in the business of making your products the best quality there is, which means providing all of things mentioned above and more. Don't settle for anything less and you will always have the best quality there is.

Topics: contract electronics manufacturer, contract manufacturing, contract electronic manufacturing services, contract electronics design

Contract Electronics Manufacturer: Credentials Ensure Quality

Posted by Laura Austin on Thu, Apr 04, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Partnering with the right Contract Electronics Manufacturer is crucial to maximize the benefits of a great design. Structuring the prototype or coming up with a winning design is just the beginning of a long journey.electronics-contract-manufacturing

The manufacturing of your design requires commitment. A poorly manufactured product can be the downfall of a potentially powerful design.  The contract electronics manufacturer you choose more or less decides the fate of your design and your product. It is essential that you make this choice with care.

You will find multiples of contract electronics manufacturer eager to offer their services to you. Be careful not to sign up with the first manufacturer who gives you the most cost effective deal. For your design to taste success in the competitive markets, you need more than just a service provider. You need a partner who understands the intricacies of your design and knows how to deliver your design most reliably. A good contract electronics manufacturer should also be able to provide you with advice and guidance as and when required.

Points To Remember While Hiring A Contract Electronics Manufacturer

Before engaging the services of a contract electronics manufacturer always check their credentials. What the past clients of a particular manufacturer have to say about their services and deliverables can help you take the right decision. Take advantage of other’s experiences.

The Number Of Engineers - Check the number of individuals that a manufacturer has beencontract electronics manufacturer dedicated to in prior projects. Good credentials from past customers should be able to give you a fair idea of how big the manufacturing unit is. You can always question your contract manufacturing company about the kind of resources he is willing to dedicate to your product

The Track Record - Check the track record of the contract electronics manufacturer you are interested in.  Make a study of the number of new launches they have done and compare it with the time they have taken to churn out the launches.  A manufacturer who has a good track record of launching new products is bound to have credentials to verify their service.

Efficient Services - 
A good contract electronics manufacturer is well equipped with efficient new product introduction services, procurement facilities and configuration management. Check for client complaints against manufacturers for deficiencies in their services.  An efficient manufacturer keeps his services updated and is ready to provide good services.

Volume Manufacturing - 
Depending on the demands of your design, do a pre-check on whether or not the contract electronics manufacturer can handle the manufacturing of higher volumes. 

Software Designing Capabilities - 
The manufacturer you wish to partner with should have electronics-manufacturergood credentials to verify the software capabilities. They should have the necessary equipment to test design fixtures and introduce successful products into the market. 

Counsel - 
Credentials of past clients should be able to help you decide whether the particular contract electronics manufacturer can provide guidance to direct your design towards becoming a successful product.  They should have a sound design qualification which will assist you in making immediate and necessary changes in your design as and when the situation demands.

Approvals and Certifications - 
A contract electronics manufacturer should be able to partner with you and your design through the entire life cycle.  Check for credentials which tell you whether or not the manufacturer you are interested in can obtain relevant approvals and certifications for your product

A little caution and some background check can go a long way in ensuring that the design you have come up with sees the light of the launch it deserves.

Topics: contract electronics manufacturer, electronic design and manufacture, contract electronics design, consumer electronics industry

Electronics Design Services Improve Manufacturing Processes Quality

Posted by Laura Austin on Sat, Dec 29, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

It’s easier than ever for an inventor or a company with a great new idea in consumer electronics to find a manufacturing facility to create it.  The rise in the last thirty years of dedicated outsourced electronics manufacturing has filled the globe with facilities ready to pump out products at nearly any price point imaginable.

This wealth of manufacturing options is great for a company looking for options, but it introduces a number of new questions.  How do you ensure quality at someone else’selectronic-design facilities?  How do you guarantee your product will stand up to use?  How do you know that all the components being used are legitimate

In short, how do you outsource your manufacturing with the assurance that you’ll receive a final product you’re proud to put your brand on?

The answer is to look for a manufacturing facility that includes electronics design services as well as manufacturing.

Why You Need Electronics Design Services

At this point, you might be saying: “But I’ve got my own engineers.  Why do I need to hire more?”  The answer is simply because doing so will ultimately save you money in the long run and help you produce a better product.

A dedicated manufacturing facility that offers electronic design and manufacture services is going to know, with a great level of precision, exactly what their assembly line is capable of.  A facility utilizing advanced modern techniques is often going to be able to refine your design into something simpler, easier to produce, or that requires fewer components.

Furthermore, proper testing procedures are vital.  Poor-quality components or unseen design flaws could lead to huge costs later on.  A bit more time spent testing ahead of time is a piece of insurance that’s worth it.  When these tests are done by a manufacturer which is serious about supply chain management and sourcing legitimate components, you’ll have a product you know is reliable.   

A superior electronics manufacturing center can even ease some of your bureaucraticelectronics-design-services hurdles.  You can receive full documentation for all your products, as well as all the information you need to show RoHS compliance.   

Go A Step Further: Get American Electronics Design Services

The prospect of getting into contracted manufacturing can often be a bit imposing to a lot of businesses.  The common wisdom is that you have to go overseas to do it, and that introduces a world of new problems.  Everything from finding the proper facilities to obtaining the needed government approvals can be a hassle.

However, people around the world still recognize the value of goods which are “made in America” and we still have some of the some of the best scientific minds in the world.  American engineers are rightfully held in high regard, and consumers from Boston to Bangkok know that a US-made product is likely going to be better than something coming out of a Foxconn facility

You can cut out the hassle and end up with a better product simply by keeping your electronics design and manufacturing services right here in the USA. 

By choosing US-based electronics design services, you’ll:

  • Have a much closer link between your R&D and manufacturing centers.

  • Enjoy a short pipeline that can quickly adjust to new market shifts.

  • Give jobs to Americans, boosting the local economy and creating disposable income.

  • Receive assurances of quality components, rather than bootleg sources.PCB-services

  • Be in a much better PR position when talking about your products.

  • Join the ranks of some of the most influential companies in the world.

However, whether you contract your electronics at home or abroad, hiring some electronics design services beforehand still makes sense.  Anything which simplifies the production of your product will be money saved in the long run, and professional design services specialize in such optimization.

Don’t risk your good name.  Spend a little extra time and effort to ensure you have a great product to put on the market.

Topics: contract electronics manufacturer, Contract Electronics Assembly, electronics design services, contract electronics design

Top 5 Engineering Design Service Tips That Will Exceed Expectations

Posted by Laura Austin on Thu, Dec 06, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

In the world of contract electronics design, you can't rest on your laurels for much longer.  For years, consumers were happy enough getting extremely inexpensive electronics that were, by and large, manufactured and often designed overseas at low rates. 

Unfortunately, such electronics have developed a reputation among customers for being unreliable and having poor build quality.  Further, thanks to revolutions in how the Internet has empowered consumers, when a piece of kit ships, people know within days - if not hours - if the product is a lemon.  These days, Facebook and Twitter are full of unhappy eulogies for products which failed to meet their buyers' demands.

engineering-PCBsIt's often not even enough to simply meet expectations.  Expectations for consumer electronics are pretty low right now, except for a few of the highest-end companies such as Apple - who are under plenty of scrutiny themselves.  To move electronics and build your brand, you need to be exceeding expectations, constantly.

Choosing the right engineering design services will help you guarantee this.  Let's look at a few ways to get the most from the design service you choose!

Exceeding Expectations With Great Engineering Design Services

•  Look for great lab services.  Product testing is a vital part of electronics design, but far too many companies skimp on it, trading long-term revenues for short-term budget cuts.  One of the surest ways you can put great electronics in front of consumers is to ensure they are properly and fully tested, both at a system and at a component level.  If you don't have a product you can rely on, your business is built on a very shaky foundation.

•  Optimize without skimping.  If you've done your own in-house designs first, don't simply take them off to get manufactured!  Top-tier engineering design services know their own machinery and its capabilities, which are often greater than you think.  By allowing your engineering service to review the design first, they're often able to reduce needed components or better-optimize your PCB layout, without compromising quality.

•  Experiment before committing.  Look for engineering design services that specialize in test development if you don't quite know what you need yet.  A quality design service can create test platforms built to your specifications, before committing to any larger orders.  This is the perfect chance to test out your ideas and prototype them before moving to larger production, almost always ensuring a better end product.

•  Go green!  If you want to exceed consumer expectations, voluntarily making yourself more eco-friendly is a good way to go about it.  With so many companies still staunchlyengineering-design-services denying environmental problems, having a green product makes for great PR and - often - can save you money in the process.  Eliminating hazardous chemicals and ensuring Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliance is a win-win idea all around.

•  Make in America.  For decades, America was one of the world's manufacturing powerhouses.  Even though we've let that slip away in recent years, America's reputation for quality lives on.  More and more companies, like Google, are moving their design and manufacturing back to the states.  The trend is called reshoring, and it's being driven by people who have come to realize that low wage, low quality overseas products just cannot compete with those manufactured here in one of the greatest economies in the world.

Times are tough in most industries.  The global economy is improving, slowly, but you still need to be able to stand out if you're going to get a foothold into the consumer electronics market.  Avoid the "penny wise, dollar dumb" approach of using the cheapest engineering design services you can find.

Pick the right engineering firm, backed by American manufacturing quality, and you'll be truly impressing your customers.

Has a comment on Facebook or Twitter ever caused you to rethink your own design decisions?  What came of it?

Topics: engineering design services, contract electronics manufacturing, electronics design, contract electronics design