Contract Electronics Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Blog

Now That's a Fine PC Board Design

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Thu, Sep 04, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

pc board design services

Every high-tech electronic device began with a solid design. Not only does the design process allow engineers to flesh out their many options, but the completed schematic acts as the blueprint for the manufacture of a device, and provides valuable insight for those who must troubleshoot or repair a unit down the road. Because of this, it's extremely important that your board designs are thorough and easy for others in the electronic engineering field to understand and make sense of - especially in cases where you plan to outsource the assembly and manufacture process. To ensure that your project goes off without a hitch, we've written this post to explore the importance of proper electronics board design and how to guarantee that the job is done right. 

The Value of Excellence in Board Design

As an electronics company, your primary goal is to have your boards manufactured to your client's exact specifications. Regardless of whether you're creating the schematics in-house or subbing the work out to a third-party service, you need to have a solid grasp of what superior board design looks like. Those drawing up their own plans will need to ensure that the designs are easy for a contract manufacturer to assess for possible improvements and efficiently assemble each board. Those relying on contracted partners to create schematics will need to be able to evaluate plans to ensure that they live up to project expectations.

5 Easy Tips for Electronics Board Design

By following these five simple tips, you can successfully convey the objectives of your design and develop sophisticated electronics that meet client demands.

Tip #1 - Begin With a Block Diagram

You should always begin the design process with a block diagram that shows the hardware design. Think of this process as similar to putting an outline together for a term paper. This provides a 'bare essentials' overview of your architecture. Not only is the beneficial to you as you move forward with the design process, but it also provides your readers with a reference. The best block diagrams will also include page numbers linking certain parts with specific schematic sections.

Tip #2 - Name Each Net

Some designers might tell you that naming your board's nets isn't necessary, but this isn't the case. Time consuming as it may be, naming the nets and stating their purposes will actually simplify the process of debugging your program and allowing for simulation runs.

Tip #3 - Maintain a Sense of Flowpc board design

One of the biggest problems that designers make is in overlooking the fact that people besides themselves will need to be able to interpret their schematics. As you go about the process, take a step back and look at your work from an outsider's point-of-view. Does everything make logical sense? Does it flow? Creating user-friendly schematics means avoiding shortcuts and shorthands that are difficult for others to follow, and carefully showing how the design is laid out and organized.

Tip #4 - Clear Connectors

Connectors should stand out and be clear to readers. The easier that these connectors are to identify, the easier that they are to follow. One of the best ways to emphasize these points is by ordering pins at these points and clearly identifying each so that, when referenced, readers know exactly which one you are looking for.

Tip #5 - Keep Thorough Notes

Never throw out your notes when designing an electronics board. As readers review your plans down the line, you'll need to be able to provide them with information related to your thoughts as you created your design. As an example, they might need insights about why you included a certain component, or why another was excluded. Without thorough notes, you might not be able to answer these questions which could slow down the manufacture of your boards.

 Don't let an inadequate board design hold up your project. Care and precision will pay off in the long-run.

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Topics: engineering design services, design services, designing processes

When To Employ A PCB Design And Manufacture Company

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Tue, Sep 03, 2013 @ 07:00 AM


Although your electronics business has been doing well, you may be feeling that it's time to take things to the next level and start growing. Unfortunately, trying to grow too quickly, without the necessary assistance and resources, can create serious problems. It is because of this that many small and medium sized companies choose to contract with PCB design and manufacture services for help in achieving their objectives. But is working with an outsource operation right for you? Here are six examples of instances in which you should think about hiring a contract manufacturer.pcb-design-and-manufacture.jpg

1. You need to streamline your products

Are your current products as efficient as they could be? Your in-house engineers may be knowledgeable, but if no outsiders have taken a look at your plans in the recent past, they may be overlooking factors that could make your devices even better than they are right now. If you feel that your business could benefit from cutting down the parts and materials necessary to manufacture your electronics, you may want to contract with a reliable PCB design and manufacture company for some assistance. Upon reviewing your schematics and existing PC boards, your partner company may be able to point out ways in which you could improve your product's functionality while streamlining its basic design, thereby saving you time and money.

2. You are struggling with design flaws

From time to time, we all get stuck on a problem. If you and your team are struggling to either pinpoint the root of a fault, or are unable to come up with a workable solution, it's time to seek help. By recruiting industry experts, you'll have the privilege of viewing the issue from a whole new perspective so that you can resolve them faster and get your perfected products out to your clients.

3. Your business is lacking in resources

Smaller electronics companies may be at a bit of a disadvantage as compared to their large scale competitors. Because the "little guys" have fewer financial and labor resources, it can be difficult to keep up with the ever-changing market and advancements to technology. If your company isn't able to employ the manpower necessary to create and produce PC boards, or if you don't have the ability to maintain expensive assembly equipment, you could benefit from hiring a PCB design and manufacture service. By contracting with a third party, you can take advantage of their resources without committing to permanent laborers or equipment.engineering-design-services.jpg

4. You need to quickly produce a prototype

In many cases, our brains work faster than we can keep up with them. If you've got great ideas for a new product and need to demonstrate its abilities to your clients quickly, you may need a professional PCB design and manufacture agency to help you get your prototype developed and functioning properly. Through careful planning and testing, you can rest assured that your prototype will impress your audience so that you can generate future business. 

5. Your production orders have increased

Has your business bitten off a bit more than it could actually chew? If you're struggling to keep up with the demands of your customers, a contract manufacturer can help you to automate the assembly process so that you can produce your PC boards and other devices faster, without sacrificing quality or precision.

6. You would like to reduce warranty replacement costs

How do you handle defective or faulty products? If your current solution is to simply ship off a replacement unit to your customers, you could be losing a lot of money. A PCB design and manufacture company that offers a customer repair and return depot will be able to scale back these expenses by taking the time to troubleshoot the device, correct the issue, and get it back to the client in no time.


Could you benefit from working with a PCB design and manufacture service?

 

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Topics: engineering design services, PCB Design And Manufacture, PCB Repair Services

3 New Engineering Design Services You Haven't Heard Of

Posted by Laura Austin on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Engineering design is one the many aspects of engineering that can be really stressful and hard to implement without the intervention of expert services from other players in the field.
engineering-design To ensure success in the designing and testing of the designs, there are different engineering design services that you will be in dire need of irrespective of your prowess in the field.

As the world of technology grows, more and more innovations offering better ways to tackle a given problem arise. This opens up the opportunities to creating of new services to meet possible needs that engineering designers might have at either the time being or in the current future. This means that there might be new services out there that you have never heard of and taking a tour through three of them will highly enlighten you.

Assisted planning and scheduling services

At any time of the week, any engineering design company will be faced with a deadline to meet of the need to free up some of its personnel to go handle some other project. Under such circumstances, it is important that you do some important tradeoffs, hiring, and purchases to ensure that you achieve the target you have in mind.

This can be a difficult task bearing in mind that in an engineering firm, the probability of having such specialists on board is next to zero. FDI engineering design services will lead your through your conceptual tradeoffs between performance, cost, time to market and practicality of designs hence giving you concrete Intel that you can base your strategic decisions on without incurring any overhead.

communication and data storage services

Like any other firms that base their operations on research and creation of products from new ideas, there is the need for storing and handling large volumes of data. To ensure that this goes on smoothly without compromising the integrity of stored information or limiting employee access to the data, it is important that you partner with the right network and storage provider.

If you firm encourage mobile working, you might consider looking for a cloud storage plan.
Such a build, coupled with an effective Local Area Network will ensure that data and ideas move freely between you research unit and designers and that no time is wasted between the coming up of a query and the actual feedback from the expert whose advice is to be sought before the design procedure goes on.

Product testing and engineering design services overview

This is a service that aims at giving designers electronic design and manufacturer services that might come in handy in a project in an all under one roof provision. The system caters for design, engineering-design-servicesdevelopment, testing and project managing, all of which are core in the creation of effective designs that will actually work effectively in the real world scenario.

By subscribing to such a service, your firm has the opportunity to not only deploy a product to the market within record time but also give your employees a chance to learn new tricks from the experts. In addition to this, you product gets to steal some of the glory our company has amassed in its expert service delivery


Though your firm might be a guru in engineering manufacturing companies focused on design, there are some engineering design services that you will definitely need if you are to maintain your prowess and meet your deadlines. Even though you have the power to integrate such services into your company hence creating a self-contained institute, it might not be as economical as it would be if you outsourced the services from other experienced players in the market; it is all about tradeoffs.

Topics: engineering design services, manufacturing engineering solutions, designing processes

Engineering Design Services Create Precise Performance

Posted by Laura Austin on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

When you use engineering design services, you ensure that you are creating a quality product.  By utilizing the skills and abilities of a design company, your final product has a reputation that can be trusted. However, not all engineering design services have the same level of technical capability and it is essential that you find one that will provide the best performance.

Enjoy the Benefits of the Service

Working with a qualified design service provides you with several benefits.  One of the biggest advantages is the lower cost.  Rather than maintaining engineering staff in yourengineering design services company, you only pay for the actual work done by the engineers.  Because they must do quality work in order to keep the contract, they will have higher performance goals at a reduced cost.  You can also often get discounts with bulk orders.

Engineering design services can work with any size project to provide you with more precise results.  Their staff is knowledgeable and can improve your efficiency.

You will also discover that they have the most updated equipment and technology and follow the highest standards in the industry.  This saves you from spending money to get set up and provides a better product.

Specialization

When you outsource your engineering design services to a qualified company, you get the benefit of being able to utilize specialized skills that would not be cost efficient to maintain on your own staff.  They may be specially trained in one type of project such as healthcare.  They may also be more knowledgeable about a specific type of software or technology.  They may also be more informed about the laws and regulations that govern a particular area.

You may not always need the same level of service, especially if your business is seasonal.  By using outside companies to create your products, you do not have to maintain an ever-changing staff.  Engineering design services are equipped to handle changes in demand more efficiently while maintaining the performance level their customers expect.

For you to handle the same seasonal change, it would require an investment in more space, new management systems to handle the larger output, and an overall increase in cost as your processes slow down while changes are made.

Hiring an engineering design services frees up the design team to allow them to focus on marketing the product and controlling the financial aspect of the project. You reduce the risksdesign services involved and improve quality by reducing errors.  The service can also create new software or implement new procedures to provide more innovation and precision in the product.

Changing with the Market

Because today’s technology advances at a rapid pace, it can be difficult to keep up.  With an engineering design services company, you can expand and develop your current products quickly.  It is much easier to alter the existing product and add new features or design to enhance its performance or improve its appearance.  A design service has the capability to make adjustments quickly, allowing you to stay on the forefront of your industry.

Using a qualified design service can enhance your productivity and reduce your cost to allow your company to provide more precise performance in the development of your products.  This improves your bottom line and your reputation to your customers.  It is important to choose an engineering design service that can meet your needs and provide the service you require.

Topics: engineering design services, manufacturing engineering solutions, designing processes, engineering simulation, equipment engineering, product designing, product variants, software product sales

Engineering Design Services Tailored For Complex Systems

Posted by Laura Austin on Sat, Apr 06, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

The complexity of a certain project always determines just how much design, building, implementation, and testing that product will get. Obviously if you have a product that is highly complex and needs more layers or components than the normal electronic device, then you're going to want to have a specialty engineering design services that can make sure everything is in working order and still of the highest quality. Because while technology might seem like it's getting much simpler on the user side of things, the internals are continuing to becoming complex in order for everything run smoothly.engineering-design-services

Why does it matter if you go to a engineering design service that specializes in complex systems, rather than just using any other design service to get your work done? Well, you're in luck: here's a detailed explanation why you need to care right now.

Actually Worth The Money

There are tons of services out there that are going to cost your business money, some of them more expensive than others. What differentiates their services and their price? What is being offered to you in terms of service. When the service is something smaller, it is going to be cheaper. But a service that is going to be a bit more extensive is going to have a bit more value to it. However, when it comes to those pricier services, there is also the concern if it's actually worth the money. For a lot of things, it might not seem like it.

All of those engineering design services need their own budget when it comes to your finances, and that doesn't mean they're going to be a huge waste of money for you. In fact, that is going to be money well spent. This part of the budget and designing matter because:

  • You don't want to anything to fail during the initials tests when they could have been easy fixes or changes, especially if you're already pressed for time and money. Designing services will always look back on their work to make sure that the blueprints are exactly how they need to be.

  • Complex systems mean complex components and parts that need to work with one another for the entire product to work. Instead of giving a complex system the same treatment as a simple assembly job, take the time to utilize those specialty design services overseen by certified engineers.

  • Speaking of the engineers, these are highly experienced and well-versed professionals offering these engineering and electronics design services to you. This isn't your technician with only one or two years experience--these are the engineers who have earned manydesign-services certifications and have several years under their belt to back up their value.

Design Is Integral

You simply can't just start building something without drawing it out and planning everything, especially when it comes to complex electronic components that could harm someone if they aren't designed properly. The liability is just too great for you to neglect engineering design services offered by assembly companies, a liability that could potentially cost you thousands (or millions) of dollars on top of wasting months of hard work.

Step one always needs to be the design process and figuring out what can and cannot work. That way, everything else will go very smoothly and you will have a high quality product that can do its job for many years to come. Don't you want to always have a great product? Of course! That's why design is so integral and a must during the entire process, and engineering design services can be highly tailored to work with all of your complex systems to make sure all of it just works.

Topics: engineering design services, manufacturing engineering solutions, designing processes

Engineering Manufacturing Companies Create Smooth, Precise Processes

Posted by Laura Austin on Tue, Apr 02, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Have you ever stopped to consider just how many choices consumers have in the market today?

The overseas production boom of the last decades made the manufacturing market boom, with engineering manufacturing companies springing up globally and massively bumping up worldwide production rates. However, along with this the Internet played a huge part. Now, engineering-manufacturing-companiesanyone anywhere in the world can order just about anything from anywhere else in the world and have it delivered to their door within a day or two.

This creates a problem for buyers. On one hand, this booming market means that there is plenty of opportunity out there for anyone who wants to try their hand at the electronics biz. On the other, that means there's also even more competition out there as well. Your market base just expanded to include the world, and so did your competition base.

With information on products also flowing freely around the Internet, with people instantly telling each other if a hot new product has big problems, you get egg on your face within mere days of a product's launch, rather than only after weeks or months. You can't even necessarily trust on a big initial sales boom, if word of a product design problems get out fast enough.

It is, in short, no longer sufficient to provide a cheap, mediocre product unless “customer
satisfaction” is towards the bottom of your list of priorities. You might be able to carve out a niche by specifically making low build quality and resulting low prices part of the sales pitch (See: IKEA), but generally speaking, if you want a hit product, it needs to be a good product.

And for a good product, you need to look for engineering manufacturing companies who can provide it.

Good Production Processes Put Good Products on Shelves

There are a lot of ways you can go wrong through the wrong engineering manufacturing companies. A lot of them, especially foreign outfits, have manufacturing plants that aren't up to current standards. Electronics manufacturing is a constantly-evolving field, and from time to time, a company needs to invest in new equipment to ensure they can continue to produce products which are up to current market standards.

Supply chain management is another of the most important elements in quality engineering manufacturing companies, and it's something many people don't even consider. However, counterfeit components are increasingly slipping into the supply chain. Without a manufacturer who has a strong grasp on supply chain management, like contaminants
engineering-manufacturing sneaking into a batch of medicines, a counterfeit batch of components can ruin an entire production run. (Or, worse, not get noticed until your product gets released and starts mysteriously failing a week later.)

You need this level of quality and precision for a smooth product introduction. The first days to market are the most important, of course, when you're likely to move the most products and hope word of mouth picks up. You want that word of mouth to be good word of mouth!

However, post-sale support is also part of the sales cycle, and good customer interactions can also lead to good word of mouth.

So, consider also engineering manufacturing companies that offer post-sale support with fulfillment services as well. After all, what better place for your customers to call for their tech support than the very same facility that put their product together in the first place? It's putting your post-sale into the hands of the people who can do it the most accurately and efficiently and that also smooths the release process. Plus, you better serve your customers' needs at the same time by making any post-sale problems (and they areinevitable) as hassle-free as you can.

In short, the best way to release a hit product today is to release a good product. Finding the right partner company to manufacture your devices is the best way to ensure the quality work you need.

Topics: engineering design services, contract electronics manufacturing, contract electronics industry, manufactured electronics, electronic contract manufacturing

Electronic Contract Manufacturer Bolsters Your Work

Posted by Laura Austin on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Electronics Contract ManufacturerThe days that you can get away with shipping low-quality electronics are quickly ending. The mass-produced electronics boom of the 80s and 90s lasted surprisingly long, but now, quality in production is of increasing concern. With more and more Internet-empowered consumers sharing their experiences online, word on poorly-produced products gets out faster than ever.

Choosing the right electronic contract manufacturer is one of the surest guarantees you can get for quality in your electronics builds. A modern facility using state of the art manufacturing processes along with robust supply chain management and testing procedures can help you create a product that's better than your engineers ever imagined.

If you want an electronic contract manufacturer who will be a partner in bringing the best products possible to market, rather than a plant that just churns out products with little regard for quality, here are some traits you should look for.

Getting The Best Products From Your Electronic Contract Manufacturer

  1. Look for references. There will be no better testament to the quality of the outsourced manufacturer you're considering than good old-fashioned references and cases studies from happy past clients. Even raw data doesn't tell as full a story as seeing a detailed look at how they responded to specific challenges and what came of it.

  2. Find a manufacturer with certifications. In virtually every area of electronicselectronic-manufacturer manufacturing, from aviation to medicine, there are specialty certifications that establish competency among manufacturers. Looking for a factory with credentials which match your industry will go a long way towards guaranteeing a high-quality product.

  3. Engineering design servicesTop-tier electronic contract manufacturers don't simply produce widgets based on your specifications. They have a team of engineers to look over your designs, fine-tune them, and optimize them. Very often, a good outsourced production facility can find ways of improving quality while decreasing component use.

  4. Testing services. You don't want to bring a product to market in this environment without significant testing. Look for a manufacturer with robust testing facilities who can test your product before, during, and after production to ensure the least waste and the least after-sales support.

  5. Financial stability. Try to do a little homework on your outsourced facility and find out if it looks like they can keep paying the bills. Contract electronics manufacturing requires a lot of liquid capital, as jobs often aren't paid for until they are delivered. Having your production run halt midway through the process because your factory ran out of cash would be disastrous to a product launch.

  6. Flexible supply chains. One of the biggest issues with going offshore for your manufacturing are the long supply pipelines involved, which make it difficult to quickly
    electronic-design change strategies in the face of a market shift. With products waxing and waning in popularity over a matter of weeks, you need to be able to respond quickly to changes in demand. Don't pick a manufacturer who will require months to be able to change their procedures or ramp up production to meet your needs.

  7. Guaranteed parts sourcing. Don't allow your new product to get filled with questionable components from unsavory sources. The use of counterfeit, bootleg, or simply substandard parts is one of the biggest problems in consumer electronics today. Your manufacturing facility should have supply chain solutions in place that allow them to guarantee only authentic, tested parts in your production run.

When you're outsourcing production, your product is only going to be as good as the facility you hire to manufacture it. Don't simply follow the crowd and go with the cheapest factory you can find; the hidden costs involved will add up more quickly than you would expect.

An electronic contract manufacturer who values high-quality production and stands by their finished products is your best bet for making headway in the current electronics market.

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Topics: electronic contract manufacturer, engineering design services, supply chain management, testing facilities

Engineering Design Services Provide Unmatched Precision

Posted by Laura Austin on Tue, Jan 08, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

The Increasing Popularity of Engineering Design Services

Engineers require a plan to build any new product intended to fulfill a certain goal or task. Formulating such plans is referred as engineering design process. The process is a multi step one and sometimes when undertaking this, some parts may need several repetitions to get the final product as anticipated. Today engineers and companies are increasingly using such engineering design services to enjoy efficiency and precision in the work and plan of action. This service is now being used in many enterprises, including off-highway, automotive, aerospace, consumer & healthcare, industrial equipment and others. Most suchengineering-design-services service providers offer services tied with excellence to help clients get their business goals fulfilled more easily and precisely.

The Fields Where Such Services Find Ample Use Include:

  • In product designing

  • In manufacturing engineering solutions

  • In engineering simulation

  • In software product sales

  • In engineering change management

  • In equipment engineering

  • In electrical and instrumentation engineering

  • In civil and structural engineering

  • CAD design services in 2D and 3D models

  • Concept to Manufacturing (C2M) solutions

  • End-of-life maintenance and support services

Finding Service Providers is Easy

Today you can easily find companies that offer engineering design services adorned withengineering-services utmost precision. Experts here offer assistance throughout the development cycle of any product. This can help you in focusing on other core requisites of your business while giving the responsibility of developing components or products to the service provider. From defining the plan to researching for technology and developing product requirements, you can also identify the system architecture, construct development plan and thus give them the entire accountability. This will ensure the technology risks get reduced considerably while offering precision that is unmatched, when compared to undertaking all this by self or in-house.

The Development Capabilities Get Widened With Engineering Design Services

You may require assistance of a service provider who deals with precision proof engineering design service. When designing a high speed interface for one of your existing products or systems or developing a new system in order to address the emerging market opportunities, the support of such companies will seem essential. Most such companies can help in developing projects that can easily meet with the existing challenges and are empowered to deal with those that may emerge in the future.

The Benefits Are Many

The engineering design services offer many advantages. After every stage gets completed you can get a design review that ensures that the development process is in sync with the expectations. Also, it is easier to monitor the project progress and statuses, thus helping you enjoy precision that is unmatched. Also, the launch time and cost of product assembly and development gets reduced with simultaneous increase in the performance of the product.

Engineering Design Services Maximize Returns And Mitigate Risks

This is a proactive approach that is accomplished in many steps. When outsourcing this to an experienced service provider

  • You can free the designing team while giving them time to focus on marketing and
    finance.

  • You can optimize the designing process by using the ongoing standards and practices in the industry.

  • Creating product variants would seem more efficient and quick with accurate outcomes.
    design-services

  • The downstream errors will get reduced considerably and quality will be assured.

  • Freedom to develop custom software to reap maximum benefits.

  • Implementing procedures like reverse engineering to acquire competitive benchmarking and innovation would seem achievable.

  • The productivity will increase and precision would be more easily doable

  • The cost effectiveness will increase and you will get better results in lesser expenditure

Get Engineering Design Services With Zentech

As a leading contract manufacturing and engineering service company in USA, Zentech Manufacturing is one name that you can rely on when seeking to accomplish any engineering design related needs.

Topics: engineering design services, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering solutions, designing processes

Top 5 Engineering Design Service Tips That Will Exceed Expectations

Posted by Laura Austin on Thu, Dec 06, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

In the world of contract electronics design, you can't rest on your laurels for much longer.  For years, consumers were happy enough getting extremely inexpensive electronics that were, by and large, manufactured and often designed overseas at low rates. 

Unfortunately, such electronics have developed a reputation among customers for being unreliable and having poor build quality.  Further, thanks to revolutions in how the Internet has empowered consumers, when a piece of kit ships, people know within days - if not hours - if the product is a lemon.  These days, Facebook and Twitter are full of unhappy eulogies for products which failed to meet their buyers' demands.

engineering-PCBsIt's often not even enough to simply meet expectations.  Expectations for consumer electronics are pretty low right now, except for a few of the highest-end companies such as Apple - who are under plenty of scrutiny themselves.  To move electronics and build your brand, you need to be exceeding expectations, constantly.

Choosing the right engineering design services will help you guarantee this.  Let's look at a few ways to get the most from the design service you choose!

Exceeding Expectations With Great Engineering Design Services

•  Look for great lab services.  Product testing is a vital part of electronics design, but far too many companies skimp on it, trading long-term revenues for short-term budget cuts.  One of the surest ways you can put great electronics in front of consumers is to ensure they are properly and fully tested, both at a system and at a component level.  If you don't have a product you can rely on, your business is built on a very shaky foundation.

•  Optimize without skimping.  If you've done your own in-house designs first, don't simply take them off to get manufactured!  Top-tier engineering design services know their own machinery and its capabilities, which are often greater than you think.  By allowing your engineering service to review the design first, they're often able to reduce needed components or better-optimize your PCB layout, without compromising quality.

•  Experiment before committing.  Look for engineering design services that specialize in test development if you don't quite know what you need yet.  A quality design service can create test platforms built to your specifications, before committing to any larger orders.  This is the perfect chance to test out your ideas and prototype them before moving to larger production, almost always ensuring a better end product.

•  Go green!  If you want to exceed consumer expectations, voluntarily making yourself more eco-friendly is a good way to go about it.  With so many companies still staunchlyengineering-design-services denying environmental problems, having a green product makes for great PR and - often - can save you money in the process.  Eliminating hazardous chemicals and ensuring Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliance is a win-win idea all around.

•  Make in America.  For decades, America was one of the world's manufacturing powerhouses.  Even though we've let that slip away in recent years, America's reputation for quality lives on.  More and more companies, like Google, are moving their design and manufacturing back to the states.  The trend is called reshoring, and it's being driven by people who have come to realize that low wage, low quality overseas products just cannot compete with those manufactured here in one of the greatest economies in the world.

Times are tough in most industries.  The global economy is improving, slowly, but you still need to be able to stand out if you're going to get a foothold into the consumer electronics market.  Avoid the "penny wise, dollar dumb" approach of using the cheapest engineering design services you can find.

Pick the right engineering firm, backed by American manufacturing quality, and you'll be truly impressing your customers.

Has a comment on Facebook or Twitter ever caused you to rethink your own design decisions?  What came of it?

Topics: engineering design services, contract electronics manufacturing, electronics design, contract electronics design

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