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New Product Introduction: Contract Manufacturing is a Partnership

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Fri, Feb 09, 2018 @ 10:23 AM

circuit-boards.jpgIn order to make your new product a success, you need a contract manufacturer that is partnering with you to ensure reliability and optimum functionality of your final product.

Some contract manufacturers may just take your data and immediately fabricate the product with no careful study of the data, materials or process. This results in faulty products and leaves you with unhappy customers. A contract manufacturing partner, however, realizes they are only as successful as you are and design a process to ensure success; this is called the New Product Introduction. Make sure your EMS company has established these procedures:

  • NPI Kick-off Meeting A superior contract manufacturer knows that input from all departments is key to successfully building your product. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss your product requirements with Manufacturing Engineering, Quality, Configuration Control, and Purchasing teams. Open communication and teamwork between departments is essential.
  • Technical Data Package (TDP) Review  This is a careful step by step process to ensure your product is built right the first time. The Manufacturing Engineer (ME) will review the Technical Data Package (TDP) and hold a meeting with Quality Assurance, Configuration Management and all other associated team members to review all the contractual requirements using a Product Requirements Checklist and your TDP.

    The assigned Manufacturing Engineer begins designing the Assembly Instruction (AI). The ME should review the CAD data, Gerber files & drawings, required tooling & fixtures and delivery dates & calculated release date, submitting any questions or concerns to the PM for resolution. The ME will generate an initial router using the labor quote sheet for the NPI, update the material distribution list on the BOM, and generate an initial AI. The ME will also use the initial standard router until the assemblies have been processed at each work center. After each work center, the job router and the AI will be updated and approved. After all of the processes have been defined and the steps have been time studied, the standard router shall be updated with actual router steps and time studied labor.
  • NPI Lot Build Scheduled product quantities greater than five shall be held at each work center until the NPI quantity (5 or fewer) is complete through that work center and instructions for that work center are incorporated into the Assembly Instruction. The ME is responsible to move the product through the factory, defining necessary processes, including photos when required, for the development of the AI by work center. He or she is also responsible for the quality of the NPI assembly and works closely with Quality Assurance personnel to inspect and verify compliance to customer requirements and workmanship standards.
  • Assembly Instruction (AI) Release The ME will review the Assembly Instruction for completeness, compliance to the AI standard format, and approves the AI. After updating the routers, the distribution list in cold fusion, and the AI, the ME is responsible for holding a training meeting with the assembly leads for acceptance of the documentation.

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies.The company has facilities in Baltimore, MD (headquarters) and Fredericksburg, Va. and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

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