Contract Electronics Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Blog

Proper Repair Services Will Cut Your Assembly Manufacturing Costs

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Thu, Jan 01, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

electronic manufacturing servicesIf you're not looking to repair defective equipment, and send out replacements instead, you could be throwing away a lot of money along with the circuit boards!

In the past, repair services were difficult to supply and coordinate unless they were already in-house.  As a result, companies that used outsourced assembly manufacturing services tended to use a "fire and forget" approach to warranty claims on defective equipment:  Send out an entirely new circuit board, or potentially an entirely new product, and scrap the defective item.

It's obvious that this is inefficient, but the logistical challenges in supporting a repair operation were too significant.  However, as reshoring continues to grow in popularity, domestic assembly manufacturing firms can make actual repair jobs a reality again.

Four Ways Local Assembly Manufacturing Also Lowers Support Costs

1 - Offsite Call Centers Staffed By Actual Experts

We don't need to go into the litany of reasons that most off-site tech support tends to deliver mediocre performance at best.  The difficulty in finding expert staff is one of the biggest barriers to effective and customer-friendly post-sale support.

Well, who can provide more expert support than the group that designed the circuit or product?

Virtualization technology has made it possible for assembly services to provide their own post-sale support.  They have direct access to the actual component supply lines, schematics, and potentially even the original designer.  Domestic assembly services can now also provide technical support more robust than any third party could offer.

That pays off in lower tech support costs and happier customers.

2 - Certifiable Rework

A great number of common manufacturing flaws in circuity can be fixed quite easily, and often involve something as simple as a connector that needs an extra dab of solder.  The issue with doing this sort of rework is being able to actually guarantee afterward that the product was up-to-spec.  This is another reason companies tended to simply replace products.

However, the original PCB assembly operation would be in exactly the position to make that certification.  You can be sure that repaired units are up to spec.

There's no actual need to replace a $100 component if a $1 capacitor is at fault.  Certifiable repair jobs allow you to realize these cost savings while still being assured the repair will be done correctly the first time.

3 - Ongoing Product Refinementspcb assembly

Few products are truly perfect when they first hit market, and all of the most popular electronics lines in history have gone through multiple revisions over the years. 

By allowing your assembly manufacturer to handle post-sale support, you can vastly cut costs on this process.  The manufacturers and designers will be the first one to hear of potential long-term flaws, customer suggestions, or any other issues that come up during tech support.  The manufacturer will understand what customers want, and they'll also know what's possible to implement.

This makes it much easier to make consumer-focused refinements to future generations of the product. 

4 - Faster Turnarounds

If most of your business is American, then it just makes sense to keep the manufacturing local as well.  The supply lines are shorter, the fuel costs are lower, and -most importantly for customer service- the turnaround times are faster.  Your customers don't have to wait weeks for a product to arrive from China.

When consumers are increasingly demanding faster and more personalized service, a local combined manufacturing and support partner can deliver what they want.

Local Assembly Manufacturing And Support Services Save Money

Don't let your manufacturing costs get out of control due to wasteful post-sale support.  With the right partner by your side, you can offer certified repair jobs that save you money while maximizing consumer satisfaction at the same time.

To learn more, contact Zentech Manufacturing to discuss the potential cost-savings from reshoring.  


Electronic Interconnect Cabling Whitepaper from Zentech

Topics: assembly manufacturing, electronics repair services, electronic design

Electronic Design And Manufacture, What Services Are Involved?

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Could making the decision to contract with an electronic design and manufacture company helpElectronic Design And Manufacture improve your business? Although you may think that you have all of your bases covered, you might be surprised to learn what a third party agency could do for you. Regardless of whether you are in need of complete design and build services, or if you just need a little assistance in fine tuning your processes, you could benefit significantly from a partnership with a contract manufacturer. Here's a quick guide to what you can expect from both the design and manufacture side of working with a third party contractor.

Design Services 

A truly qualified electronic design and manufacture contractor can provide you with numerous solutions throughout the design process, such as:

  • Prototyping - If you have an idea for a device, it can be created - as long as you have the right resources at your fingertips. The design services provided by your contract manufacturer can help to bring your prototype to life, quickly and efficiently. The fast-turnaround will enable you to familiarize yourself with your device, so that you can explain and present it to your prospect clients for future orders. And careful, detailed planning ensures that your product will operate without a hitch.

  • Review - Your business may employ a skilled set of designers and engineers, but that doesn't mean that you couldn't benefit from the insight of a professional electronic design and manufacture service. These individuals have years of industry experience, enabling them to quickly spot any flaws in your design schematics, or areas that could be improved. Ultimately, this could result in more compact, affordable boards, and a faster, more efficient device.

  • Reworking - In some cases, your team may be stuck on a problem with one of your boards. For whatever reason, the device is not functioning as well as it should, or is faulting. Whether your engineers are unable to determine the source of the glitch, or are simply struggling to come up with a solution to the problem, third party designers can provide a fresh set of eyes to examine the underlying issue from another angle. With this input, you can rework your designs much faster. 

Manufacturing Services

It's very important to look for a contract manufacturer who can turn your designs into a reality with skill, speed, and precision. Your contract manufacture should be able to offer:

  • Skillful assembly production - A reliable electronic design and manufacture company will have a comprehensive understanding of the demands of systems assembly. Your contract manufacturer should have the ability to provide you with a customized solution that may include services like configure/build to order, assembly at the chassis, cage, or rack level, custom cabling, documentation, etc. All of this should be handled in direct compliance with industry standards. Electronic Design

  • Advanced machinery - Choose a manufacturer who makes use of the latest technologies throughout the systems assembly process. For complex yet very compact devices, the use of robotic arms may be necessary. 

  • Thorough product testing - In order to avoid losses and damage to your business's reputation, your contract manufacturer should take care to provide ICT and functional testing services for absolutely everything that it constructs for you. This will alert your manufacturing partner to any problems, early on, preventing the issue or error from being mass produced. This also ensures that your customers will only receive the highest quality products from you.

  • Troubleshoot and repair - Beyond manufacturing, your third party contractor should stand behind its electronic design and manufacture services to the point where it offers troubleshooting and repair for the devices that it produces. By taking the time to systematically seek out the underlying issue at its source, your partner company can help you to repair your boards without being forced to replace the unit entirely. This helps your business to save significantly on time and money.

Which electronic design and manufacture services could your business use? 

Selecting an Electronics  Manufacturing Services Provider? Ask the RIGHT Questions>>

Topics: electronic design and manufacture, electronic design, design and manufacture services

What's The Importance Of EMS Electronics?

Posted by Laura Austin on Thu, Jun 06, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services) generally refers to companies that design, test, manufacture and sell electronic gadgets while offering a return/repair services or assembly of original electronic equipment. While this might sound as an easy task, it is a hard to achieve investment that once up and running will deliver quality assurance to a wide variety of customers and a go.

EMS electronics have a number of advantages, both to the provider and the consumer that make it a worth investment especially in areas with a heavy tech-savvy population. By acknowledging some of the ways in which such a service makes life easier, you might be in a
position to appreciate what they do and make good use of them.

  1. The service provider widens up his customer catchment area

    • A typical EMS will do a wide variety of tasks at a go. This allows the firm to address the problems of a wide range of clients meaning that the company will almost ever have work on their hands. This is a sure way of ensuring that the firm is ever generating revenue regardless of the market trends.

  2. Customers can have all their electronic needs taken care of from one spot

    • Many consumers do not like the idea of wandering about with their precious electronics from one point to another in search of different services. For instance, EMS electronics will assemble a complex piece of electronic for you other than sent you with a package to a third party to do the job for you. Such enterprises therefore make the work of citizens easier.

  3. Employs a variety of expert personnel hence improving on economy

    • With people crying of unemployment, investment in an EMS electronic firm might be what the society need to take the qualified but unemployed out of our streets.
      An EMS firm will employ a variety of experts ranging from designers to high precision machine operators without looking down upon the simple technicians needed to use electronics repair services or assemble electronic systems.

  4. With so much expertise at hand, consultation is easy and fast

    • The good thing in the employment of such a wide variety of experts at the same firm means that the company can reap the benefits of internal consultation and
      ems-electronics task referrals. For instance, when a mechanic needs extra information about a gadget he/she is repairing, they do not have to travel to another firm since the EMS they work for might have a designer who knows the answer to the problem at hand. The mutual coexistence between different experts in the same field gives EMS firms their power to survive this modern day competitive world.

  5. Mostly, customers will get benefits for loyalty

Like most companies, EMS electronics always give their customers a chance to benefit if they stay loyal and meet all their electronic needs on premise. For instance, a firm might offer to repair your gadget at a discount if you purchased it from them whilst giving you loyalty points for each interaction you make with them. This comes in handy in saving those extra bucks you need to purchase you next dream gadget or make that grand investment you have always been dreaming of.

Clearly, the benefits that EMS electronics have to offer are many. It is never a bad idea to make your purchase at such a store since it will come with other irresistible incentives that will ultimately add up to more cash in your savings account. From the investor’s side, it is an example of what you can invest in and never fear of dry business spells.

Topics: electronics manufacturing, ems electronics, electronic design

Perfecting Electronic Design And Manufacture

Posted by Laura Austin on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

In the creation of systems that accomplish achieve great levels of performance without compromising their power consumption and size; there is the need to use well-designed electronic components. This pushes electronic component designers to come up with ways of designing and manufacturing new and more efficient components.

The quest to perfecting on electronic design and manufacture starts with the creation of innovation that will not only open new frontiers to the designers but also develop better andelectronic design more efficient ways to implement designs.

In the making of electronic components, the whole task starts with the mere designing of the proposed component layout. While this can be created as an imagination of the designer's mind the physically implemented, designers no longer, do this. There are systems to simulate designs and test them to ensure that they do exactly what you intent them to do in the most efficient way possible.

Different experts use different systems to simulate designs specific to their field. The precision of the tool used will vary depending on the precision of the design at hand. For instance, coming up with a simple design that uses High Scale Integration techniques would not need very high precision tools since the scale of integration sort of give some room for error.

However, designers charge with the task of coming up with very large scale integration designs have no option but to look for elaborate design systems that take care of each and every small detail that can lead to poor performance in a chip.

The theory of miniaturization deals only with reduced cost per electronic component and ignores the number of details designers have to take into consideration during electronic design and manufacture of such components. For instance, thinner conducting wires lead to higher resistivity, which should be eliminated during design phase. This cannot be achieved if you as the designer lack means of modeling a detailed design during your trial phase.

Apart from having the best design tool at you help, you also need to have the knowledge and the general knack as a designer to make it big in the field. Design software and other intelligent systems used in electronic design and manufacture are just like tools. They cannot bail you out of design trouble if you do not know how and when to use them

After the design phase is complete, the other thing that you should do to complete the whole
idea of perfect design and manufacture is through proper implementation of designs. It is one thing to design a system and virtually test it and another to create a real life replica of the same.

Hurdles to implementing designs arise from lack of the elite raw material and components that the designer had in mind because you feel that you do not have enough money for the
electronic design and manufacturejob. In addition to this, the lack of a skilled task force might hinder the implementation of designs since some details of the job might not be observed to the latter.

Thanks to technology, electronic design and manufacture can also draw from existing artificial intelligence constructs to come up with ways of achieving precision that human beings cannot sustain while producing components to meet the market demand. Such tools can be used to make the manufacture task easier, faster and more precise but will never replace the natural skill of the manufacture’s human task force.

If you want to perfect on electronic design and manufacture, you have to ensure that both your machines and workers are of top quality and remain in shape. In addition to keeping a state of the art task force, it is the work of the manager to ensure that a conducive working environment is set to allow delivery of designs and components without breaching terms and conditions of a contract or draining employees in order to satisfy client demands.

Topics: electronic design and manufacture, electronic manufacturing, electronic design

Surface Mounted Technology Makes Manufacturing Processes Smooth

Posted by Laura Austin on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

One thing that often surprises newcomers to the contract electronics industry is that its backbone is a manufacturing process that was developed back in the 1980s. Surface mounted technology revolutionized electronics manufacturing, and it did such a good job that some thirty years later, we're still using it.

Sure, the technologies involved have improved radically in the intervening decades, but the underlying processes are the same. So what is it about surface mounted technology that SMTmade it such an effective process? Let's take a look.

Electronics Manufacturing Before Surface Mounted Technology

Automation first came to electronics manufacturing in the 1950s. Before then, electronics had to be assembled by hand using point-to-point construction, making them both costly and difficult to create. Advanced electronics and computers could really only be afforded by governments.

Then, the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) was invented. Circuit boards could be pre-designed and then mass-produced, creating a stable platform onto which the rest of the components were inserted. The standardized design also allowed automation to be introduced, with assembly lines inserting components rapidly into the pre-made PCBs.

At this time, manufacturing was dominated by "Through-Hole" technology. Holes were drilled through the PCBs, with each individual component using a small "peg and hole" arrangement to stay in place before being secured on the opposite side.

While a huge step forward from previous hand-crafted solutions, this still had significant problems. The drilling made the process more expensive and difficult than it could be, and lowered the strength of the boards. As technology advanced and miniaturized, space on PCBs was at a premium.

A new solution was needed, one which would allow electronics manufacturing to be a swift,SMT production smooth process of sticking parts together with a minimum of other activity.

Surface Mounted Technology Smooths The Electronics Manufacturing Process

Surface mounted technology (SMT) took the basic concept of through-hole manufacturing and streamlined it. PCBs no longer had to have holes drilled through them. Instead, components could be applied using a solder paste that doubled as glue.

This simplified the process to the point that electronics could be produced nearly as fast as they could be envisioned, leading to the consumer electronics boom of the late 80s and 90s. While SMT-mounted components lacked some of the inherent strength of a through-hole mount, being able to place far more of them onto smaller spaces more than outweighed this minor disadvantage.

Contract electronics manufacturing flourished as a result.

Surface Mounted Technology: A Five Step Process

Modern SMT production is a remarkably streamlined process that, once set up, requires little intervention. It boils down to five main stages:

  1. The PCB itself is produced, with circuitry and solder points already laid out for solder paste to the solder points on each PCB.

  2. Silk-Screen -like printers precision deposit solder onto the pads that will join the components to the board.

  3. Pick-and-Place machines precisely apply components to the prepared solder points.

  4. Reflow soldering ovens then bake the combined PCBs at exact temperatures to harden the solder into its final state without damaging the surrounding components.surface mount technology

  5. Finally, the finished assemblies are visually and automatically inspected via automated optical inspection (AOI), with defective boards sent back for rework to fix improperly-bonded components.

From there, the finished board can be shipped off to its final assembly into the completed product.

The Tried and True Solution

Undoubtedly, one day someone will find something better than SMT electronics manufacturing, but that day is likely still many years ahead of us. It's hard to imagine a more streamlined process for electronics creation without a significant change in how we create circuitry.

Until that day, the technology will continue to be refined, placing more components into smaller spaces, to keep providing gadgets to meet the demands of consumers.

Although, it does leave one to wonder: what will come after surface mounted technology? What might the circuits of the future look like?

Topics: electronics manufacturing, electronic manufacturing company, electronic design and manufacture, PCB, printed circuit board, contract electronics industry, Electronics Contract Manufacturer, through hole technology, electronic design, surface mounted technology, electronics design

Integrating Design and Electronics Manufacturing to Reduce Cost

Posted by Laura Austin on Wed, Sep 05, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

Integrating Engineering Design and Electronics Manufacturing to Reduce Cost

Ask any electronic design and manufacture expert on the best a solution to meet your high reliability manufacturing and engineering requirements for your business at an affordable cost, and probably the first answer you will get is contract Manufacturing and Engineering Services from zentech.

Zentech offers broad supply chain solutions to markets with both high complexity and reliability manufacturing requirements. As well, design engineering teams offer a complete range of embedded software and hardware services such as product design, support, compliance engineering and testing of life sustaining engineering at an affordable cost.

Zentech provides customized and flexible solutions for all stages of your product life cycle aselectronic-design-manufacturer well as direct repair and customer ship and return depot. The skilled technicians can quickly help you troubleshoot problems eliminating the need for costly warranty replacements. Additionally your manufactured products will be supported to offer an inclusive integrated solution.

Zentech’s electronic design and manufacture provides you with Functional Test and ICT Services for everything you want; some of these services include testing and troubleshooting complex analog, RF and digital products. Additionally, in order to offer customized testing solutions by partnering with local test houses to help you take advantage of existing tooling or set test plans inexpensively.

The electronic design and manufacture team at Zentech has the capability to develop a test plan and strategy for your product in addition to helping you build fixtures to your requirements. The distinguishing feature about Zentech solutions is that all defects identified by technicians during the process of testing are recorded in a database for trend analysis and reporting. In other words, you be helped to customize your program reporting format without increasing your cost.

Zentech provides a wide array of design services incorporating the whole product life cycle such as:

•         System Design

•         Product Requirements Review

•         Circuit Design

•         Algorithm Development

•         Embedded Software (Firmware)

•         Test Strategy

•         Documentation Creation and Management

•         Mechanical Design

•         RoHs Compliance

•         Sustaining Engineering

Making use of dedicated in-house resources for hardware engineering, embedded softwaredesign-system development and mechanical engineering, Zentech customize solutions to meet the requirements of your program.  

Engineers at Zentech have created thousands of products and have a wide range of technology and industry experience. This depth and level of experience helps to make sure that your technical resources are maximally used as intended and that your program has been delivered on time and within set budget.

Zentech as well offers a wide array of manufacturing services specializing in high-reliability and high-complexity program requirements. The services include:

•         Prototype and Volume Production

•         Design for Manufacturability

•         PC Board Assembly

•         Chassis and Box Build

•         Lot Control and Traceability

•         System Integration

•         Test Services

•         Field Service Repair and Return

Zentech employs controls and equipment to capitalize on the latest test and assembly technology that will keep on the edge in your industry. In addition, systems, processes and equipments are maximally utilized for flexibility in the development of complex products that have high-mix or medium-volume requirements.

Zentech has re-engineered many customer designs on top of designing for manufacturing on its in-house engineering projects. All-inclusive set of design guidelines employed at the company reduces costs and improve the quality of products through:

•         Component selection for process enhancement

•         Component reduction

•         Construction analysis and PCB layout

reduce-costIn fact, for one who is willing to contract electronic design and manufacture form Zentech is that, its key strength is its capacity to engineer and manufacture/produce electronics components or parts for a wide variety of customers, comprising medical diagnostics makers, telecommunications companies and defense contractors at reduced costs.

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Topics: electronics manufacturing, contract manufacturing, manufacturing services, electronic design and manufacture, contract electronics manufacturing, electronics industry, SMT Assembly, Zentech technologies, electronic parts, design review, electronic design, manufacturing, engineering design