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.  

 

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Topics: assembly manufacturing, electronics repair services, electronic design

Things To Look For In Electronics Manufacturing Services

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

Electronics Manufacturing

These days, it's not uncommon for small to mid-size electronics businesses to seek out the help of third-party manufacturing services in order to design and/or assemble their printed circuit boards (PCBs). In fact, a quick web search would enable you to connect with any number of contract manufacturing companies who would be more than happy to obtain your business. Still, how can you be sure of which company will do the best job? After all, the assembly of your PCBs is the most significant factor behind your product's performance. Choosing the right contract manufacturer could actually make or break your business. Unless you know what to look for, you could be feeling confused and overwhelmed by your options. Fortunately, there's a formula for finding the best of the best. Here's a quick breakdown of what you should be looking for from your manufacturing services. 

Experienced Staff

One of the main things that you should be looking for in your third-party manufacturing service is experience - not only from an owner/operator standpoint, but you must also inquire about the experience of the staff employed by the company. Don't hesitate to ask about hiring standards, qualification levels, industry experience, etc. This will let you know whether or not you can place your full confidence in the business.  

Design Capabilities

It's always in your best interest to look for a contract manufacturing service that not only offers assistance with the assembly and production process, but that can also assist you with board design. Even if you employ knowledgable and skilled engineers, they are still only human and can overlook common errors. Introducing a fresh set of eyes can help you to pinpoint problem areas that might reduce product efficiency or cost you extra money.  

Advanced Equipment

Many smaller businesses struggle with the aspect of purchasing, housing, and maintaining assembly and manufacture equipment. As a result, they tend to feel overwhelmed by the competition, and struggle to keep up. If you can partner with a manufacturing service that maintains the latest and greatest in design and manufacture technologies, though, you can take advantage of this equipment without spending a dime.  

Testing Services

The last thing you want is to have a large batch of boards produced only to find that there's a flaw or issue that inhibits it from performing the way that it was expected to. It's important that you find a design and manufacturing service that will test out concepts before production, and that will test post-assembled boards before introducing them to your clientele. 

Supplier RelationshipsElectronics Manufacturing Services

You should always look for a  manufacturing service that has been in the business for quite some time and who has been able to develop positive relationships with suppliers. This will ensure that the manufacturer is able to get the best prices on board components, thus lowering the overall cost to you. In addition, a relationship with a supplier will ensure that the supplier will have an interest in learning your needs and requirements for the long-run, making things easier and less time-consuming for everyone.  

All-American

It can be tempting to give your business to an offshore company due to low prices, but remember that if the cost seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many overseas companies don't comply with the same industry standards for product safety and labor rights. It's smarter to work with an American-based company that will take care of your needs in a way that's safe and legal.  

Fulfillment Services

Stop wasting money on warranty replacements. When you find a company that's willing to troubleshoot board problems, make repairs, and ship back to customers, you know they're a winner.      

There's no reason for you to settle, or select a manufacturing service that you're not completely confident with. When you know what you should be expecting from a reliable, established contract manufacturer, you'll find your perfect partner with confidence and ease.

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Topics: electronics repair services, assembly process, electronic contract manufacturer

Electronic Contract Manufacturers: Separating the Best From The Rest

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Tue, Jul 01, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

custom electronic designDo you know how to find a superior electronics contract manufacturing company? Too many small to mid-sized electronics businesses make the mistake of basing their partnership decisions on little more than the lowest bid offered. This, however, can be a fatal mistake. In all cases, you'll get what you pay for in terms of quality of components, parts, production value, and services. As a result, it's important that you have a concrete set of criteria that will help you to pinpoint a "zero" from a "hero" and ensure that you make the best possible decision when hiring a contract manufacturing service. This list of characteristics and qualifications will help to get you on your way to a successful partnership.

History & Experience

For obvious reasons, it's in your best interest to look for a business that is well established. A contract manufacturer that has been able to hold its own throughout the years has done so by proving itself again and again as a reliable service that produces high quality designs and PC board assembly serves. Be sure to investigate how many years the manufacturer has been in operation, and feel free to inquire about their level of industry expertise. 

Age & Type of Equipment

You want a contract manufacturing company that is able to quickly and efficiently design and assemble your PC boards, and making use of advanced technologies is one of the best means of accomplishing this goal in the most cost-effective manner possible. Feel free to ask your prospects about the types of machinery and equipment that they utilize, and take a look at what type of condition the units are in. Are they well maintained? This is a good sign that the business is reputable.

Operator Certifications

The company's employees who will be working on your boards should be either certified on the latest industry standards, or else working towards their certifications. This indicates a level of knowledge and expertise, and also portrays the worker's passion and interest in providing solid work and superior boards.

Training

How much does the contract manufacturing company value training and education for its employees? How does it measure and monitor the training and growth of its staff? These are important questions to ask, as a good company will care about enhancing it's employee's industry knowledge and skills.

Quality Standards

ISO:9001:2008 should be the minimum industry standard that the contract manufacturer has established. It's important to find out whether or not the company has reached these and other important standards for quality and safety throughout the board design and production process. 

Order Fulfillment Track Record

Electronic Contract Manufacturers

One of the best ways to get a solid idea about how reliable your prospective contract manufacturer will be is to ask for order fulfillment statistics and customer ref

erences. It's important to learn the company's track record for fulfilling design requests and batch orders within the proposed schedule, as you'll need a business who can meet all of your deadlines in order to keep your clients happy. A reputable contract manufacturing service won't have any problem providing you with this information, or with connecting you with satisfied customers for their glowing references.

Product Repairs

Should something go wrong with a board, will the contract manufacturer be there to help you out with fulfillment services? In order to save yourself from a lot of stress and monetary losses, it's wise to seek out a company that will take the time to troubleshoot and repair problems so that you don't have to shell out the money on warranty replacements.

All American

In order to ensure that quality and labor standards are met, and that safe components are being utilized, you should always plan to work with an American company.

Unless your electronics contract manufacturer meets all of these criteria, it's in your best interested to move on with your search so as to find the best fit for the job.

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Topics: electronics repair services, Electronic Contract Manufacturers

Realizing The Value Of Working With A Contract Manufacturer

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Thu, Jun 26, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

Contract Manufacturer

As an electronics business, your goal is to provide your customers with superior devices, powered by efficient and highly-functional PC boards. You want to keep buyers happy with boards that will continue to support your products for many years.  But despite your best efforts, there's always the chance that something will go wrong with one of your devices. How do you handle it when there's trouble with one of your units? Do you simply cut your losses and ship a warranty replacement unit?

For many small to mid-sized companies, this may seem like the simplest solution, but is it really worth it? In many cases, the problems associated with a faulty device can be traced right back to the PC board. Through troubleshooting, you might find that the issue really boils down to one or two components that may need to be replaced, or another quick fix. Ultimately, taking the time to make these adjustments can save you a significant amount of money.

The problem is that unless you're a large business, you may not have the time or resources available to make repairs to your electronics. Fortunately, you don't have to go it alone. A growing number of companies are realizing the value of working with a contract manufacturer as a means of offering improved fulfillment services on devices and boards. By partnering up, you can provide your customers with a direct repair and return depot where PC boards can be troubleshooted and evaluated, and repairs can be made to the units. 

Lower Your Costs

From a business owner's standpoint, hiring a contract manufacturing company to handle your electronics repair services is an excellent investment. When you choose to simply replace a device under warranty, you're really just throwing money away. If, for example, your vehicle's fan belt were to blow out, would you simply decide to go out and purchase a new car or truck? Of course not. A mechanic would be able to make the necessary repairs in order to restore your vehicle to full operation for a much lower cost. In the same way, a contract manufacturer has the ability to pinpoint exactly what is going wrong with a unit's PC board and make a much more economical repair. In the long run, choosing to repair electronics rather than replace them could save your business tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the volume of repairs required and the nature of your devices.

Lower Your Customer's CostsContract Manufacturers

From the standpoint of one of your clients, electronics repair services are also beneficial. Although your buyers are not actually paying for their warranty replacement items up front, the expenses associated with continuing to replace devices could actually affect consumers over the long haul. When your business expenses become higher, you are eventually forced to raise the customer cost to purchase new products. Not only will this be frustrating to your clients, but it could actually make your devices less competitive and cause you to lose valuable business. By choosing to work with a contract manufacturer in order to troubleshoot minor issues and make repairs, you're making it possible to keep your products affordable, improving consumer morale and allowing buyers to continue to have faith in your business model.

Operate a More Eco-Friendly Business

From an environmental standpoint, electronics repair services allow your business to "go green". When electronics are simply replaced through warranty agreements, the faulty devices are often scrapped, promoting waste in our landfills and requiring more of our valuable resources to be tapped into as a means of creating new units. Making the decision to repair instead of replacing electronics is much more environmentally responsible. Not only will this help your company to do your part to help the environment, but your greener practices will appeal to the masses, helping to you to get more business and allowing buyers to feel happier about purchasing eco-friendly products.

 

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Topics: electronics repair services, assembly process, electronic contract manufacturer

Don't Throw It Away, Use Electronics Repair Services Instead

Posted by Laura Austin on Sat, Jun 22, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Although it's unfortunate, we live in a very wasteful society. If something stops working, very few people take the time to fix it - the item is simply discarded and replaced. In the world of electronics manufacturing, however, this isn't always a possibility. After spending a great deal of time in the engineering design services phase and spending the money to manufacture a prototype or product, simply "junking" a malfunctioning device could result in the loss of thousands or electronics-repair-serviceseven tens of thousands of dollars - and that doesn't include the amount of money lost on the potential sales of the product, had it been successful. 

So what should you do if your electronic device prototype or product isn't functioning as it should? Instead of trashing the idea and starting over, your best bet is to work with an electronics repair services. These professional operations are well-versed in creating, manufacturing, and fixing electronics that aren't working properly. Whether you need to fix an ailing component, rework your design strategy, or make modifications to your device, professional electronics repair services can help you to get the job done without losing money. Here's a quick guide to knowing when you need the help of electronics repair services, and how to tell if the repair service will be reliable.

Three Times When You Need an Electronics Repair Service

Not sure if hiring electronics repair services will be able to help fix your problem, or if you can handle the job in-house? Here are three scenarios where you would definitely benefit from working with a repair service:

  • #1 - You're not sure why a part failed - You know that a component within your device isn't working, yet after troubleshooting, you can't figure out why it's malfunctioning. An electronics repair expert will be able to analyze the original design schematics as well as the PCB in order to unveil the underlying cause. In most cases, the problem is simple enough to be fixed in a way that is far cheaper than re-building the board.

  • #2 - Your design plans aren't working - Perhaps your original designs call for a specific computer chip that is incompatible with a PCB or a capacitor isn't able to hold the charge that it needs to function properly, but you can't figure out what the issue is or how to fix it. Sometimes a designer is just too close to the plans to be able to find a solution to the problem. Fortunately, electronics repair services, including PCB repair services, are able to review the original specs, compare them to the device, pinpoint the trouble spot, and help you to find suitable replacements that won't detract from the integrity of the original design.

  • #3 - Your device isn't what you hoped it would be - Sometimes you may find that although your PCB functions, it just isn't up to snuff. Maybe the unit isn't meeting a certain requirement, or just isn't as compact or fast as you would like it to be. An electronics repair expert will be able to analyze your design and help you to find areas that could be improved so that your device will operate as you desire. 

Choosing the Best Electronics Repair Services

There are many electronics repair services, but they're not all reliable. Here's what to lookrepair-services for in the best:

  • Honesty - Did your repair service also help you to design or manufacture the product? A reputable company will offer post-fulfillment services like failure testing, troubleshooting and diagnostics, component replacements, and direct customer repair services.

  • Standards & Certifications - The IPC Association regulates standards for electronics work. Companies that are certified to repair and rework electronic devices can provide you with the peace of mind that the job will be done right. 

  • Testimonials - What do other customers have to say? The best electronics repair services will be happy to supply you with referrals from satisfied clients.

Are you ready to stop stressing and start saving through electronics repair services?

Topics: electronics repair services, electronics contractor, repair electronics services

Electronics Repair Services: Fixing, Improving What’s Broken

Posted by Laura Austin on Sat, Feb 02, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Getting electronic devices repaired is an activity that cannot be overlooked

Electronic devices are a must at every home today and our life revolves around these as they add luxury and comfort to our everyday tasks. There are many electronic devices that we have installed at home or office to accomplish many daily chores with ease. The industries that deal with electronic equipment manufacturing is getting costlier everyday and buying a new equipment when something goes wrong with the old one is not possible every time. Just to cover up this cost for consumers, the electronic repair services providers, are now emerging in increasing counts. So, instead of throwing away that damaged or broken down electronic device you can now get it repaired with services that will make it perform withrepair-services efficiency and make it as good as new again.

Electronic repair services can help in fixing or improving broken electronic devices

Today everything around us seems to be running on electricity. An average household has 85% electronic machines and an average person spends 90% time of his day using these machines. No matter how careful you are in using these devices, wear and tear is inevitable, and regular maintenance is needed to fix or repair whatever’s broken. Just to take care of these issues today several vendors offering electronic repair services are mushrooming. They also offer home service, which means you will not need to carry broken devices to their shop, but instead an expert will come to your home or office to fix the same.

There are different vendors that offer different kinds of electronic repair services

  • Consumer electronics repair services: These repair shops specialize in repairing gadgets or appliances that are used mostly at homes or offices. These include the most common devices we use for entertainment, in the kitchen and also the computers and laptops used for work.

  • Specialty repair shops: These are shops that deal with repairing a particular kind of gadget. For example TV repair shops, kitchen appliances repair shops and more like these.

  • Industrial electronic repair services: These vendors specialize in repairing equipments that are used in manufacturing in industries and factories. The work area also includes hospitals, banks, commercial organizations, industries and more where the repair is required in bulk. The repair services include power supplies, circuitry boards, monitors, video recording systems, telecommunication systems and others that are specific to industries.

The many benefits you have access to includeelectronics-repair-services

  • Fair repair which can help you get back the lost functionality of any electronic gadget and device

  • Quality service that is reliable and can help you get the repaired components or devices delivered right till your doorstep in the minimum time frame

  • The services in total are fast, reliable and cost effective loaded with accuracy

Finding vendors who can offer electronic repair services is easy

Today vendors make use of technologically sound equipments and tools while undertaking the repairing task. The process is accomplished with equipments that have the best IC, resistance, frequency, capacitance, voltage that is actually needed. Finding vendors who specialize in repairing or improving all types of devices and gadgets whether broken or at fault, is not very tough. Whether looking for a service provider who can repair, install or improve small printed circuit boards or large industrial devices, you can get it all done. Also, when seeking for someone who can repair electrochemical equipments, you can find vendors who utilize functional test methods that are employed when the manufacturing of the same is being undertaken.

Get the best electronic repair services with Zentech

Zentech Manufacturing Inc. is a leading contract engineering manufacturing company and engineering services provider. The company leads others by offering better services, reliable solutions, cost effective results that are adorned with experts who have high technical competency, which has helped them earn a distinct popularity in the US.

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Topics: consumer electronics, electronics repair services, supply chain management, quality components

Electronics Repair Services: Reliably Improving The Bottom Line

Posted by Laura Austin on Tue, Jan 01, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Does your electronics contractor have your back?

There are plenty of outsource electronics firms in this world who will be happy to produce whatever gadgets you want and can do a competent job at this. However, at this point you are responsible for selling a product that was, fundamentally, created by someone else.

If you're using a lower-cost outsourced electronic contract manufacturer, there are a lot of variables you may
not know about unless you went to the expense of having a full-time on-site minder.  (And even then, you'll never know if you have all the intel.)   Are they actually producing it to spec?  Are they using quality components?  Are they properly testing built units to ensure high QC standards?

And, most importantly: If a defect appears, will they stand by what they made? 
electronics-repair-services

Or will they simply shrug, sheltered by the vagaries of international law, leaving you holding the bag?

Electronics Repair Services Keep Your Contractors Honest

This situation shows yet another reason that using the lowest bidder for your contract electronics manufacturing is rarely a good long-term decision.  Hiring a high-quality US-based manufacturer with a commitment to providing after-sale and other electronics repair services will pay off in the long run.

Many of the best electronics assembly firms also include a number of post-sale fulfillment services including:

•  Failure testing

•  Direct customer repair services

•  Component-level diagnostics and troubleshooting

•  Per-component replacements rather than full unit replacements

If you think about it, it makes sense that a lot of the less-expensive manufacturers don't offer these services.  If they're making their products at a cut rate, they're not going to profit on having to service them after the fact.

Basically, if you hire a firm that doesn't offer fulfillment services and electronics repair services, you're opening yourself up be harmed by their lack of care.

Great Fulfillment Services Need Great Foundations

Not every electronics manufacturing firm can afford to provide these sorts of services.  Beingelectronics-repair able to stand by your product after it's manufactured requires you to honestly believe in all of the processes that led up to its creation.  By hiring a company with great electronics repair service options, you're also getting a company that:

•  Understands proper supply chain management.

•  Guarantees only authentic components are used in their builds.

•  Utilizes rigorous design and pre-production testing protocols.

•  Has the financial stability needed to be trusted with large jobs.

•  Believes in the importance of quality over quantity in electronics production.

•  Employs friendly employees who are able to interact with customers on your behalf.   

In short, finding an electronics contractor who offers robust electronics repair services means you've found one who honestly believes in their services and has an investment in producing the best electronics possible.

Go For The Greatest Reward

Don't allow your electronics manufacturing to be sabotaged by penny-pinching.  Consumers around the world are aware of, and on the watch for, low-quality foreign electronics and they are increasingly rejecting them when other options are available.  Poor customer service experiences and unreliable designs will only add to the after-sale costs of using a cheap manufacturer.

You don't need to go offshore to find manufacturing that suits your needs, and you don't have to pay bottom-dollar to make a profit in the long run.  As always, there is no surer path to business success than to produce a good product that's backed up by quality support and electronics repair service options.

Topics: electronics repair services, supply chain management, quality components, US manufactured products