Contract Electronics Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Blog

What To Look For When Hiring An Electronics Manufacturing Company

Posted by Adam Washburn on Tue, Jul 16, 2013 @ 07:00 AM


So you've made the decision to work with an electronics manufacturing company - now what? Although you have realized a need for assistance in the design and development of your products, you may not know where to begin with your search to find a quality partnership with a third party service. In fact, with so many options available, you may be feeling downright overwhelmed. Fortunately, there's no need to panic. By following this simple, five-step guide, you can quickly and confidently find a great manufacturing partner. electronic manufacturing company

Five Steps to Hiring a Qualified Electronics Manufacturing Company

1. Experience with complex electronics

Although seemingly obvious, a strong history in working with electronics should never be overlooked. Don't be shy about asking your prospective electronics manufacturing company for detailed information about their knowledge of the industry, and the specific types of technology that your company works with. Seek out partnerships with businesses that are established and have a proven track record so that you can be sure that you will be able to build a lasting relationship. You may also consider asking what education, training, or experience the manufacturing service requires of each of its employees before hiring. This will give you a good idea about the skill level that your partner team will actually possess. 

2. Positive, ongoing customer relationships

If the electronics manufacturing company that you are considering working with is truly all that it's cracked up to be, they will have a loyal client base to show for it. Take the time to find out what percentage of your potential service's customers actually renew their contracts. When the majority of the company's clients choose to continue doing business with them, you will feel more confident that you are making the right move. Be sure to also ask the manufacturing business for customer references. A solid, reputable service will be more than happy to do so.

3. The ability to assist in multiple areas

The last thing that you want is to hire a one trick pony. As you look to contract with an electronics manufacturing company, you should take care to find one that is able to help you in numerous aspects of your business. Although you initially may only seeking out help in the manufacturing process itself, you may find that down the road you could benefit from other electronic contract manufacturingareas. For example, if your team of engineers experiences difficulty on a particular project, or hits a roadblock, your third party service may be able to step and find answers to the problems that you are having. Additionally, it's wise to work with a manufacturer that also tests, troubleshoots, and repairs electronics.

4. Partnerships with reputable suppliers

The problem with overseas electronics contract manufactureing is that they often use cheap or bootlegged parts in order to cut down production costs. For obvious reasons, this will detract from the value of your devices and may cause serious damage to your company's reputation. Because of this, it's very important that you select a manufacturer that has developed strong partnerships with suppliers who offer them high quality parts at reasonable rates.

5. A true concern for quality control

Always make sure that your electronics manufacturing company is actually passionate about what they do. When a business truly cares about their industry and takes pride in what they do, you will always receive excellent  products that will please your clients and boost your business. 


Bonus tip: Make sure the numbers add up

It may be tempting for you to go with the lowest bidder, but keep in mind that if it seems too good t be true, it probably is. Cheap manufacturing services yield cheap products. On the flip side, however, make sure you aren't being ripped off or overcharged. An honest, reliable partner will not mark-up parts beyond that which is necessary.


Now go out and find a great electronics manufacturing company to partner with!

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Image #1 sourced from (ravenaerostar.com)


Topics: electronics manufacturing, electronics manufacturing company, electronics contract manufactureing

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.
electronics-manufacturing

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

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

PCB Prototype Assembly Creates Unique Boards

Posted by Laura Austin on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

If you want to put a quality product on store shelves, it's usually not a good idea to go with the very first design your engineers come up with, right? New product ideas have to be tested and refined before they start running down the assembly line, or else you may be facing very costly post-sale support problems afterwards.PCB-prototype-assembly

This is an issue that's been a growing concern among those who outsource electronics manufacturing to China. Most (although not all) of these firms only provide manufacturing services, so it's entirely on you to provide specifications for a quality device and to hope they are able to deliver it. If the specs were flawed, or if counterfeit parts sabotage it, there will be little you can do about it.

The alternative, of course, is to use a more robust electronics manufacturer who offers PCB prototype assembly services. A small investment here ahead of time can often save you a lot further down the road.  

The Benefits of PCB Prototype Assembly 

Think of it as an insurance policy: If you spend a bit more money up-front, you'll save yourself a lot of hassle later on. After all, these days, you can't risk your company's reputation on dodgy electronics. Once a firm becomes known for poor products, it can be extremely hard to undo the damage without a full (and costly) rebranding effort.

With PCB prototype assembly services, you get the breathing room you need to thoroughly test your design before committing to a production run.

An experienced electronics manufacturing service firm can often begin by improving your design right from the start. Many initial designs are overly-complex, or fail to take advantage of the latest manufacturing technologies on offer. Allowing the manufacturer to look over your design and suggest changes can very often result in simplified designs that reduce component use, making them both cheaper and more reliable.

You'll want a firm that takes a top-to-bottom view of your product aimed at enhancing its entire life cycle, which looks at everything from the big picture to the underlying circuitry wiring. In some cases, you may even find a manufacturer who is comfortable working with software and algorithm development as well as hardware, allowing you to revise and refine
PCB-prototypeyour products' firmware as you perfect the physical design.

Testing services are another important part of the PCB prototype assembly process. The most robust of these failure-test your prototype both as a whole, as well as on a component level.
Further, putting your prototypes through “stress tests” doesn't simply make for a more reliable product: Such testing makes it safer for use, and helps ensure you meet all regulatory requirements in the countries you do business in.

Finally, if your interest is in having green services, look for a manufacturer who can help you meet RoHs requirements, or even beat them, to produce a sustainable product. Additionally, producing green-friendly electronics makes for an excellent selling point. People are worried about our impact on the environment, and being seen as doing your part will help your outreach.

PCB Prototype Assembly Builds Better Boards

Simply put, prototyping services help you create a better product. You'll be able to put items on shelves which are less expensive, more reliable, safer, and more compliant with health and environmental regulations.

Given that your reputation really is all you have on the Internet, why gamble with untested products? Put a little more money into prototyping, and you'll reap the benefits throughout your products' entire life cycle.

Topics: electronics manufacturing, pcb assembly, design services, PCB prototype, pcb prototype assembly, eco friendly products

Electronics Manufacturing Services Industry: Maintaining Precision

Posted by Laura Austin on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

An electronics manufacturing is a hot ticket industry right now, especially with the recent news from Apple CEO Tim Cook announcing the tech company was bringing back some of its manufacturing jobs from overseas to the United States. Other major technology companies have perked up and are following with the same trend to help boost the American economy. 

In particular, the electronic manufacturing services industry is set to grow even more as people continue to become more technologically advanced and have multiple electronicelectronics-manufacturing-services devices and gadgets in their household or office.

But with this surge in manufacturing and assembly, there is also going to be some change to the landscape of the industry itself. This means that some businesses are going to continue to make and maintain great products and components, while others are just out there for a quick buck. When it comes to your own manufacturing projects, having the confidence that your product is of the highest quality is a must. So, how do you ensure that your final product has the best standards?

Businesses In The United States

Like mentioned earlier, Apple has decided to bring back some of its electronics manufacturing to the United States. Other businesses can already follow the same trend, even if you don't have the same kind of revenue like Apple. The electronic manufacturing services industry is still filled with companies that still operate, assemble, and work all within the United States. No jobs are going overseas, nor are your components being built in China or India.

This provides a safety net for you and your business, mostly through the fact that components coming through a United States-based assembly service company are going to be complaint and not counterfeits, as well as being put together with the best quality control. Saving money on manufacturing can come at different angles, it shouldn't have to mean lowering the quality to work with an overseas company.

Counterfeit Parts Problem

Speaking of counterfeit parts, this is actually a very real problem that can derail an entire project and costs you thousands (or millions) of dollars. When you're working with a well-known and trusted company, the parts are going to be sourced from fellow trusted places and won't be a liability from short-circuiting, arcing, or other hazardous problems.

Most counterfeit parts come from overseas companies which are normally very cheap and difficult to get a hold of when there is a customer service question. Again, this can be avoided entirely by doing some research or finding an entirely U.S.-based electronic manufacturing service.

Precision And Perfection

While nothing can exactly be perfect, the electronic manufacturing services industry certainly tries to achieve perfection for their clients. One of the best ways to make sure that only theelectronics-manufacturing-services best standards are being offered is through the precision of the manufacturing services themselves. Making parts and manufacturing can vary, but, the end result will normally be very telling on its quality and the precision used in making the parts.

Maintaining precision can be a bit tricky for some companies, but, it is entirely possible to make sure each batch order is only the highest quality through testing and being able to comfortably admit that sometimes something needs to be fixed before being sent out. This saves both time and money for both parties and makes sure only the best precision is being put forth.

Manufacturing doesn't have to be a headache of dealing with questionable parts or questionable people--in fact, it can be a very proud and high quality piece of work that continues to keep you on budget, on time, and with all of the components you need for your own projects.

Topics: electronics manufacturing, contract electronic manufacturing, contract electronic manufacturing services, Electronics Manufacturing Services Industry

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

How Assembly Electronic Can Lower Production Cost

Posted by Laura Austin on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

While consumer trends have waxed and waned over the years, and the locations of assembly centers have changed, the basics of electronics manufacturing really haven't changed much since the 1980s: If you want to bring an electronic device to market, you need to use an assembly electronics contractor to make it happen.

A private individual or small business simply does not have the resources to manufacturer their own electronics these days. The trade has become extremely complex, with dozens of international standards that have to be adhered to if you want assurances that yourelectronics-assembly electronics will perform up to global expectations.

However, simply hiring an electronics assembly plant by itself is no guarantee of lower costs or greater sales. With a world full of outsourced manufacturing centers, it's easy to find a cheap center that produces cheap products... but it's hard to find a truly cost-effective manufacturer who provides the best ROI on your manufacturing budget.

Lowering Your Production Costs With Smart Assembly Electronics

When it comes to hiring an outsourced assembly manufacturing electronics firm, what separates the good investments from the bad is in what else you get for your money. Sure, there are plenty of factories that can produce virtually anything you want for pennies on the dollar, but you get what you pay for. Such electronics are often only suitable for dollar stores and similar discount retailers.

If you want a reliable product which you'd be proud to have in any store in the world, here are a few things to look for in your electronics manufacturer:

  • Superior supply chain management: Counterfeit parts are a major concern in modern electronics manufacturing. Many of the inexpensive production plants knowingly use dodgy parts in their electronics, leading to numerous customer service and engineering headaches down the road. Select a manufacturer with the supply chain skills needed to guarantee authentic parts and the reliability that comes with them.

  • All-in-one assembly: There's no need to outsource your electronics production to more than one manufacturer. A complete assembly electronics solution can handle everything from the initial circuit board printing to the final assembly of your product. Supply chain logistics become increasingly challenging the more you outsource, so don't make your life more difficult (and wasteful) than it needs to be.

  • Testing services: A quality electronics plant will stand by its work with robust product testing facilities which can ensure your product is "ready for prime time" before you ramp up full production. A little extra time and care spent in testing early on will save you significantly on post-sale support, and give you a better reputation to boot.assembly-electronic

  • High complexity: In electronics assembly, jobs are often rated by their complexity. That is, how many variations on the same design they can produce in the same production run. A better manufacturer will be able to handle higher levels of complexity, allowing you to give your customers more options and more price points. Discount manufacturers generally cannot support many different builds at once, limiting your marketing options.

  • Local manufacturing: Studies are increasingly showing that outsourcing to foreign countries has a much higher TCO than was generally thought and, of course, that means a lower ROI. While the core manufacturing prices may be higher when employing a domestic manufacturer, you gain it back in reduced support costs, shorter pipelines, and higher reliability. "Made in the USA" still means a great value for the money.

When you look for outsourced electronic assembly solutions, research is the key. Don't simply follow the conventional wisdom and look for the cheapest offshore facility you can find; the hidden costs of this choice will stack up as time goes on, with few good options for mitigating them.

Quality is worth paying a little extra for. Pick an electronics assembler who will give you the best product for your money, not just the cheapest.

Topics: electronics manufacturing, assembly electronics, assembly electronics solution, smart assembly electronics

Benefits of Outsourcing Your Engineering Design Services Onshore

Posted by Laura Austin on Tue, Nov 13, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

For at least twenty years, if you were looking at hiring engineering design services or electronics manufacturing, the conventional wisdom was to go overseas. It was a purely bottom-line decision, and from that point of view, it did make a lot of sense:

  • Overseas labor in developing markets was vastly less expensive.

  • Costs-of-living were also far lower, leading to cheaper infrastructure costs.

  • Fuel and transportation costs were relatively low.

  • A strong US Dollar leveraged the cost savings further.

  • Local governments often bent over backwards to encourage western investment.

Well, notice the past tense in the previous statements. With the possible exception of the last point, none of these ideas are really accurate today.

Overseas Engineering Design Services Losing Their Appealengineering-design

The influx of manufacturing has had the predictable effect on local economies overseas: workers are demanding higher wages, and more disposable income has led to cost-of-living increases as well. Fuel and transportation costs, of course, have become far higher in recent years. Plus, the dollar isn't doing as well as it used to, especially with the Yuan continuing to grow in strength.

Furthermore, having your engineering design services and assembly done overseas has

introduced significant new problems to the mix. These have further eroded whatever financial benefits remain for locating your manufacturing services overseas:

  • A public backlash against working conditions in offshore factories, spurred by Foxconn's ongoing problems.

  • A perception -with some grounding in reality- of cheap foreign products having inferior quality.

  • Increased post-sale support costs on less-reliable products.

  • Long manufacturing and shipping pipelines that cannot respond quickly to spikes in demand.

  • Costly oversight processes which require frequent overseas trips, or else putting trust
    in local overseers who may not warrant it.

  • A significant disconnection between your product development / R&D facilities and your manufacturing processes.

Finally, there's the undeniable impact on the US economy. This spread of jobs overseas has contributed to local US economic woes, resulting in a situation where one of the largest consumer bases in the world is now significantly underperforming due to cash flow problems.

Add all these up, and it quickly starts to look like offshoring may not be viable for much longer. However, there's a new trend which seeks to address all these issues at once, in the
electronics-manufacturingmost obvious way possible: bringing manufacturing jobs back to America

Reshoring: The Alternative For Engineering Design Services

Companies engaging in reshoring are discovering that the initial cost benefits of offshore contracting are ultimately offset by all of the "hidden" costs that go beyond a simple price-based cost/benefit analysis.

It's true that US-based manufacturing and engineering is still more expensive than overseas work, going strictly on a per-unit basis. Companies experimenting with reshoring are reporting a five to ten percent decrease in profit margins, but they are making up the difference by considering the long-term TCO of overseas operations.

Further, being "Made in America" remains a significant selling point, both at home and abroad. Foreign markets still see "Made in America" as an indicator of quality, making it an easy "brand" for any domestic manufacturer to leverage.

In today's economic climate, reshoring begins to make a lot of sense. It made enough sense to Google that they've moved the production of much of their Nexus Android smart device line to California. These same products have been performing far better than anyone expected, making it likely to pay off for Google.

Is It Time...?

Is it time for you to consider moving your manufacturing design services back to the US? We believe so. Besides the substantial long-term cost savings for bringing your work back to America, the benefits to the local economy in the form of direct stimulation are substantial.

It makes sense from a business perspective, and it makes sense for the economy as a whole.

What's your take? Is it too soon to declare the Age of Offshoring at an end?

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Topics: electronics manufacturing, contract manufacturing, manufacturing services, electronic design and manufacture, engineering design services

Why Do I Need a PCB Assembly Service?

Posted by Laura Austin on Sat, Nov 03, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

Here's a question we get asked more often than we might otherwise expect: "Why do I need a PCB assembly service?"

Printed Circuit Board assembly is one of the mainstays of consumer electronics today, although that's only been the case for the last 30-40 years. Thanks to the development of surface mount technology and other advanced production techniques, it's now become more simple for most companies to outsource their jobs to a PCB assembly service than to do it in house.

None the less, it's good to review why things have developed this way. So let's take a look atPCB assembly some of the major reasons a manufacturer should look at using PCB assembly services to aid in their production.

The Advantages of a PCB Assembly Service

1. Doing it in-house requires a lot of expensive investments. It used to be that everyone did their own electronics manufacturing, but that requires a huge capital investment in production lines and equipment, not to mention manpower and expertise. For most companies, there's little foreseeable ROI on an investment like that, even looking years down the line.

2. Economies of scale work. Another primary benefit of outsourcing your PCB assembly is that allows you to leverage the investments other companies have made into production technology. A large, dedicated electronics assembly plant will be able to produce more units, more quickly, and at a lower cost than you could with your own facilities.

3. Design services are often part of the deal. While this isn't true of all PCB services, many offer design services to help you refine your designs. Expert PCB manufacturers can often engineer superior solutions and help you produce better products, and more cheaply.

4. True expertise. Most major electronics assembly companies have years or decades of experience in mass-producing electronics. That's expertise that would be incredibly costly if you went looking to a specialist to oversee your own operations, but comes relatively cheap when you go with an outsourced assembly firm.

5. Guaranteed quality control. Another major issue with self-assembly of electronics components is QC. On top of the production facilities, do you have the resources to also PCB assembly servicecheck and guarantee the quality of the PCBs that you produce? Top electronics manufacturers have extensive QC procedures and can provide top quality components.

And all this adds up to one key point:

If you don't trust the components, you can't trust the final product.

Any electronics company with any regards for its future has to consider its own reputation to be extremely important. People today can use the Internet to instantly research your company as well as all of your competitors. If you become known for putting out low-quality products, it can become a nearly insurmountable problem.

The best way to have reliable final products is to ensure that reliable components go into their manufacture. Besides improving your own products, this will also aid your engineers as well. After all, if something does go wrong, knowing that all your components were created to top-line specs will make it easier for them to find the actual source of the problem.

So, in short, why do you need a PCB assembly service? For the lower price, for the higher quality, and for the peace of mind that comes with putting out a reliable product. There is simply little reason today to do your own manufacturing in-house, and plenty of reason to look outside your company instead.

What convinced you to hire a PCB assembly service for the first time? Was it worth it?

Topics: electronics manufacturing, electronic manufacturing company, pcb assembly service, pcb assembly, printed circuit board, electronic assembly, electronic PCB assembly, Contract Electronics Assembly, design services, assembly electronic, electronics assembly companies, quality control, quality PCB control

How To Find The Best US Contract Electronic Manufacturing Services

Posted by Laura Austin on Thu, Nov 01, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

Times are changing!  If you need contract electronic manufacturing services, you no longer have to look overseas.  The cost of living in China and other popular offshoring countries is rising, and in the meantime, the poor jobs market in the US is lowering manufacturing costs state-side.  Combine that with the greater reliability and oversight you gain from having your manufacturing done in the US, and reshoring your contract electronic manufacturing services starts to make a lot of sense.

While US-based electronics manufacturers have never vanished entirely, the landscape has changed entirely from the days that the US was a leader in domestic electronics.   If you’re looking for a domestic manufacturing partner, you need to find one which will fit your budget and your quality demands.

Here are a few things to look for:

Key Points To Consider When Hiring US-Based Contract Electronic Manufacturing Services

  • Certifications:  Generally speaking, any electronics manufacturer who can meetelectronic-manufacturer multiple international standards and capabilities that guarantee their ability to deliver high-spec electronics to a variety of industries.  Having a number of ISO, governmental, and military certifications usually indicates a high-quality manufacturer.

  • Case studies and testimonials:  Any manufacturer worth their salt should have plenty of case studies, references, and reports on their past projects.  When talking to their representatives, especially ask about challenging situations where they had high goalposts or a short delivery time.  Finding out how they responded to these challenges will tell you a lot about them.

  • A commitment to quality:  US-based electronics manufacturing service is still far from the cheapest in the world.  If you’re going with a manufacturer in the states, quality should be more important to you than simply finding the lowest price.   Don’t simply go with the lowest bidder, or you could be losing most of the benefits of reshoring.

  • High-profile clients:  As reshoring grows in popularity among US businesses, one of the surest signs of the quality of a manufacturer is their client list.  Manufacturers being employed by high-profile American companies are likely ones worth looking into.

  • Design AND manufacturing:   If you want the best value from your contract electronic manufacturing services, don’t use a company that only handles manufacturing.  Acontract-electronic-manufacturer contractor with design experience can potentially spot issues with your designs and suggest corrections before your investment grows more costly.  The extra expertise could make all the difference.

  • Openness and Transparency:  Perhaps they’re emboldened by the lack of transparency in overseas manufacturing, but far too many manufacturers try to hide their processes from you, such as inventory management and quality control.  They should be open about their processes, their success record, and their quality certification procedure.  Beware manufacturers who won’t answer your questions.

  • A commitment to improvement:   You want a manufacturer who’s constantly staying on top of new trends and ideas in the electronics industry, especially in the realm of reliability and quality control.  Watch their blogs and other promotional materials and see if they seem to be staying on top of the game, or just recycling old ideas.   A company that isn’t staying current isn’t going to give you the high-quality electronics you need.

Reshoring is an exciting prospect for American business.  It creates jobs, cuts down on costs from shipping and poor QC, and makes a great advertising point.  Take your time when selecting between US contract electronic manufacturing services and make sure you choose one that’s open, committed to quality, and with a record of excellence.

Topics: electronics manufacturing, electronic manufacturing company, contract electronics manufacturing, Contract Electronics Assembly