Contract Electronics Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Blog

The Best Engineering Design Services Look Forward

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 @ 06:00 AM

contact_electronics_manufacturingIf you're still working with an electronics design and assembly service that treats designs as "fire and forget," you're missing out on many of the biggest advantages to modern electronics design partners.  The top electronics partners today do far more than simply churn out products based on schematics.

Sure, a decade or two ago it was good enough to fire off designs to a manufacturer in China and wait for them to start shipping product.  Today, with the market so competitive, you need every possible edge to make a product that's popular and profitable.

The best electronics design services now have a dedicated future focus to their work, looking to save you money throughout the product's life cycle while improving its overall reliability.  They can pre-plan for many contingencies, as well as preparing you for challenges to come.

Four Ways Electronics Engineering Services Provide Long-Term Value

1 - Predictive Testing

Beyond simply stress-testing devices, the testing services provided by modern electronics partners can be used to pre-plan for much of your post-sale support.  The likely failure rates on each component or part can be calculated, allowing you to pre-produce sufficient replacements in the same run as the device itself.

This greatly reduces costs associated with post-sale support, and especially helps prevent the need to fire up the lines again to produce spare parts.

2 - Integrated Software Design And Support

Few electronics manufacturers offer integrated software services, but those who do know that it can vastly improve the quality of the final device.  Software can be built to match the exact components and PCBs being produced, without the need to outsource software design to a third party that's unfamiliar with the hardware.

In most end-user devices, good software is at least as important as good hardware.  Integrated software services ensure every device functions at peak capacity, as well as making patches and upgrades easier as time goes on.

3 - Employment Planning and SchedulingContract_Electronics_Assembly

The workforce involved in an electronics project will ebb and flow as the project continues, especially when post-sale support is factored in.  A good electronics manufacturer will know the process well enough to plan ahead for who you will need, and when, to ensure there are no manpower-related delays.

Likewise, with proper planning, there's also no need to keep workers waiting around "just in case."  Reducing your payables turns straight into greater profits on the electronics produced.

4 - Informed Customer Support

Many don't realize this, but an increasing number of manufacturers are now providing end-user support directly via virtualized call services.  After all, who would be in a better position to put together great documentation on the device than the people who designed and manufactured it?

Your product can be backed up with post-sale staff who are fully informed and ready to assist customers with great service.

Additionally, thanks to the parts pre-production, actual repair services are an option.  Far too many businesses -especially those with overseas production- waste far too much money sending out entire devices as replacement.  You can save significantly on warranty support by only paying to replace components rather than complete units.

Get More From Your Engineering Design Partner

Going with a "fire and forget" electronics manufacturer might save a little money in the short term, but you're likely to find a lot of long-term hurdles you hadn't expected.  Partnering with a high-quality domestic manufacturer will bring far greater value and ROI across the lifespan of your product, as well as improving your customer satisfaction rates.

Contact ZenTech today to learn more about how modern domestic manufacturing makes better products.

Electronic Interconnect Cabling Whitepaper from Zentech

Topics: design and manufacture services, design manufacturing

What To Look For In Engineering Manufacturing Companies

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

electronics designIf you're looking to jump into consumer electronics -or any electronics field- you've got more options than ever before in manufacturing partners.  When there's an entire globe of electronics factories to choose between, how do you find the engineering manufacturing companies who fit your needs?

The answer from the past couple decades - looking to China or other developing nations - may not be the best answer any more.  Their disconnected nature, language barriers, growing cost-of-living, and lengthy supply lines all tend to create as many problems as they solve.

Don't simply look for a low-cost electronics assembler.  Look for engineering manufacturing companies that can deliver far more value for your money.

Services You Need From A Modern Electronics Manufacturer

1.  Guaranteed Parts Supply

Parts quality is something that's often low on a company's priority list, and that can be a big mistake.  If you cannot guarantee the components that go into your product are legitimate and trustworthy, in turn, the final product cannot be guaranteed as trustworthy.  

A manufacturer with fully tracked parts shipping is the only one who'll be able to guarantee the provenance of its components.  With counterfeit parts being a major issue in electronics today, you need that guarantee.

2.  Testing Services

More consumer electronics on the market mean more consumers finding creative ways to break them.  For an electronics company to be taken seriously, they need to put out products that can stand up to the abuse they'll take from day to day.

The amount of testing needed will likely also depend on the target market for the group.  Regulations on children's products, for example, are far more strict than those on adult products.  You need a partner who can fully stress-test your products AND make recommendations on improving them, if faults are found.

3.  On-Site Engineers

A lot of the lower-cost electronics assembly services tend to operate on a "What You See Is What You Get" basis.  You hand them schematics, and they produce exactly what's there - for better or worse.

The problem is, how can your engineers know what equipment they have, or what resources they have on-site?

On the other hand, if you partner with a manufacturing company with its own dedicated engineers, they can work with you to improve the design.  Often, they can suggest revisions specifically suited to the equipment they're using, to lower your costs or increase reliability. 

4.  Specializationmanufacturing services

While not applicable to most general consumer electronics, most sub-niches of electronics design have very specific regulations and certifications they have to meet.  Markets such as aerospace or medical require a facility that can give the specialized attention needed to ensure these products are fully in compliance with regulations.

This isn't a service you can get from most low-cost offshore vendors.

Also, there's further peace-of-mind involved here.  If your manufacturing partner is certified to send products into space, you can trust their electronics are good enough for Earthly usage too.

5.  Post-Sale Services

Does your electronics manufacturer offer customer support?  After all, this makes a lot of sense from a costs perspective.  No one is going to be better-suited to provide tech support on a product than the people manufacturing it.  There are also far fewer training costs involved.

Additionally, such a full-featured service will also be able to handle parts procurement, repairs, and shipments out for far less than it would cost you to do it.  This method truly cuts out the middlemen and any needless costs in between you and your post-sale support.

Considering what a money sink support can be, this is a highly valuable service!

Get More For Your Manufacturing Investment

ZenTech is one of America's premiere electronics assembly firms, with a full range of services to suit electronics ventures in any field.  From aerospace to outer space to everyday gadgets, we can reduce your costs across the board.

Contact us today for a free consultation


Electronic Interconnect Cabling Whitepaper from Zentech

Topics: pcb assembly, engineering manufacturing companies, design manufacturing