Contract Electronics Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Blog

Results Stand Out Among Electronic Contract Manufacturing Companies

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

One of the best ways to know which engineering manufacturing companies provide the best in the industry is through results, but having to go through the entire processes to get those results can be time consuming and slowly eat away at your budget. Instead of sticking with a manufacturing company and hoping for the best results and possibly getting set up for disappointment, look for the results first and then make your decision second. How can youElectronic-Contract-Manufacturing-Companies achieve that? It's simple enough, all you need to do is some research.

All electronic contract manufacturing companies depend on the needs of their clients, which will provide them huge batch orders of manufacturing jobs that depend on the highest quality components and assembly. In order to stay in business, they need to have the greatest results possible--which also need to be compliant with safety standards, too. Finding such a company on your end normally means taking the time to find the perfect match, and that means digging around for the solutions and results that fit your needs.

Showcase of Results

One of the first indicators of great results is, of course, the manufacturing company showing off! Can their results be found online or offline? Do they show off their handiwork in some fashion? If so, then you know you're in good hands and all of your needs will be taken care of. 

However, this doesn't always mean that manufacturing companies who don't show off a majority of their work are bad or inferior quality--it entirely depends on the trust you place on them and their transparency of doing business. It's just a good indicator that if they do have an open portfolio of their manufacturing work, that it is safe to say they're a high quality company.

Prototype Testing

Most, if not all, electronic contract manufacturing companies have the ability to create a small batch order or a single order of a prototype of your choice. This is a perfect opportunity to test the waters with the manufacturing company to see how long they take, the budgeting required, customer experience, and of course how well their results are with
your own design and blueprints. If it looks like a shabby or rushed job, then you didn't have to waste all of your budgeting dollars or crucial time and can look elsewhere.

If prototype testing isn't an included service that you can see on their website or elsewhere, it doesn't hurt to ask if they still do provide such a service. Electronic contract manufacturing companies are normally more than happy to help you out to have you as a long-lasting client.

US-based ManufacturingPCB-manufacturing

While for many decades it has been easier and cost efficient to ship out all of your electronic manufacturing needs overseas to countries like India or China, it is actually becoming cheaper and more convenient to keep everything on shore and in the United States with US-based electronic contract manufacturing companies.

You are running at a much lower risk of faulty or counterfeit parts, which have become highly prevalent in off shore manufacturing companies, when you decide to work with a US-based electronic manufacturer. You will also have the benefit of having direct communication with both management and the assembly factory because they're both managed by the same company and people. Not only that, but you'll be helping out the economy by keeping jobs in the United States!

Electronic manufacturing, and electromechanical assembly, is a results driven industry, and you need the best kind of results for your projects. Take the extra time to really find a fit for your manufacturing needs that can provide those results without forcing over budget or deadline, and remember to keep these tips in mind when looking for that winning manufacturing company!

Topics: electronic manufacturing company, electronic manufacturing services industry, electronics assembly manufacturers, electronic contract manufacturing companies

Electronic Manufacturing Services Industry A Stealth Success

Posted by Laura Austin on Sat, Feb 23, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

When you read about the electronic manufacturing services industry, virtually all you hear about are companies located in Asia, India and, occasionally, Africa. The “offshoring” boom of the 90s and 00s is still continuing in full-force... but there's more to the story than that.

There's a rapidly growing “stealth” success in the electronic manufacturing services industry as well: US-manufactured electronics. From the 50s through the 80s, America was known as the home to all the greatest electronics firms in the world, and even though much of thePCB manufacturing itself has moved overseas, the “Made In America” label still has a lot of cachet. Further, there are still plenty of cutting-edge manufacturing firms still located here at home.

So, what's changed? And why is electronics manufacturing suddenly making the move back to America? It lies in the Reshoring movement, which is rapidly gaining steam.

What's Wrong With Offshoring?

Obviously, offshoring in the electronic manufacturing services industry would not have become so widespread if there weren't good reasons to try it. The idea itself did make a certain amount of sense at the time: After all, manufacturing was so less expensive overseas that the cost savings could still offset any other problems that came up, like additional shipping and oversight costs.

However, the offshoring movement has become a victim of its own success. The cost of living in China has gone up so drastically in the tech centers that manufacturing there is only marginally less expensive than in the West.

Further, those costs that were being offset by the lowered manufacturing services prices have turned out to be more costly than many initially assumed. Cheap foreign manufacturing and assembly has become closely associated with low-quality devices that may not even be made from genuine components. Counterfeit parts are becoming rife in foreign-produced goods.

electronics-servicesThese quality issues mean significant post-sale expenditures on support and replacement, as well as being damaging to a company's reputation.

The distance factor weighs heavily as well. Having your manufacturing center so far from your R&D group makes change come slowly. Long supply pipelines often make impossible to alter orders – even if the market changes. Imagine having a hit product, and being literally unable to ramp up production to meet the demand!

Due to these issues, among others, increasing numbers of companies are rediscovering how easy it is to get quality electronics work done in the United States.

Who's Reshoring?

One might expect, in the face of this, that it would be mostly smaller, more nimble firms who
are bringing their work back to America, and they were the trailblazers. However, a surprising number of major firms have become to come back as well.

  • General Electric: Good ol' GE recently spent a billion dollars moving production of many of its “smart” appliances back to the United States.

  • Sleek Audio: This up-and-coming high-end headphone manufacturer was nearly ruined when a botched job cost them millions, but a move back to the US has put them back in place as a major player in the headphone biz. 
    electronics-manufacturing-services-industry

  • Google/Samsung: Google made headlines earlier this year when they announced they were moving production of the Nexus smart device line to America. They also sold more than three times as many as they initially expected.

  • Apple! To everyone's surprise, Apple recently announced they too are moving the production of part of their Mac line back to the United States. As Apple is perhaps the highest-profile user of offshore manufacturing, this indicates just how serious reshoring has become.

Reshoring as a solution to today's manufacturing needs simply makes sense. While the initial production costs are somewhat higher than in China (roughly 25% at the moment), you get a better product from a more flexible manufacturer, as well as helping to create jobs for people to buy your products.

It's a win-win scenario for American businesses, and for the electronic manufacturing services industry as a whole.

Topics: electronic manufacturing company, electronic manufacturing services industry, electronics assembly manufacturers

PCB Assembly Manufacturers: Big Tasks With Small Devices

Posted by Laura Austin on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

PCBIt's really easy for a consumer to pick up a new iPhone or Nexus handheld and just take it for granted. Electronics these days are incredibly small and compact, and most people don't even think about just how much work goes into bringing a piece of modern electronics to market.

In some ways, PCB assembly manufacturers are the unsung heroes of the modern electronics revolution. We wouldn't be able to have all these multifunctional (and fun!) devices in our pockets if not for a lot of manufacturers putting a lot of work into the back end to ensure the product that's brought to market is safe, affordable, and working to specifications.

However, not all electronics assembly manufacturers are created equal. Some, including most of the outsourced firms you hear about in Asia and India, are very “hands off” in their approach. You hand them a design, they produce it, and that's it. However, it's also entirely possible to find a manufacturer who works with you as a partner, guiding you through the process and helping you create the best product possible.

PCB Assembly Manufacturers Help You Through The Big Job Of Making Small Devices

Before Manufacturing

Any electronic device begins life as a set of schematics that form the blueprint for the design. Chances are, if you're looking to introduce a new product, you have a team doing just that. However, every design can be refined and improved upon.

PCB assembly manufacturers who offers prototyping and design services can get you off onPCB-assembly-manufacturers the right track before you even start thinking about the manufacturing itself. By creating a few prototypes, testing them, and revising the underlying design, you'll be able to create a much more solid product.

Further, by going through this process early on, you may be able to streamline the manufacturing process itself. Designs can often be simplified to use fewer components, making them cheaper and more reliable. Alternate sourcing for parts can often provide great cost benefits, although often at the expense of time, but those are tradeoffs an experienced manufacturer can talk you through.

The Manufacturing Process

The real fun begins when the design is locked and it's time to manufacture. However, there are still plenty of issues to concern yourself with:

  • How many variations on the design do you need? Can your assembly manufacturers provide all the different product lines you want to bring to market?

  • Will you only need the components assembled, or do you need full systems assembly?

  • How reliable is their supply chain management? Can they guarantee 100% authentic components?

  • Are they testing the finished products as they come off the line to ensure compliance?PCB-manufacturing

  • How familiar are they with your core market segment?

While you certainly can take a hands-off approach, these are all matters that are best dealt with in partnership with your manufacturing services. They can keep you in the loop throughout the production process and ensure you always have control over what's happening with your product.

You can't get that from just every firm.

Post-Sale Support

Often - especially if you use a US-based manufacturer - you can even receive post-sale fulfillment services at part of the bargain. Rather than having to live with whatever your offshore manufacturer comes up with, a quality electronics assembly firm will take responsibility for their own work. From documentation, to technical support, to direct repairs and shipping, the right electronics manufacturer can take a lot of the weight off your shoulders.

Large Plans For Small Gizmos

It's a big job, making small devices, but with the right partner, you can be ready to bring your next product to market as smoothly as possible. When searching for PCB assembly manufacturers, consider carefully how much involvement they'll have and how you can ensure you bring the best possible product to store shelves.

Topics: pcb assembly, manufacturing services, PCB Assembly Manufacturers, electronics assembly manufacturers