There are countless examples throughout human history of how using the wrong tool for the job can create a lot of problems. Since most of us have tried to use a slotted screwdriver in a Phillips head at one time or another, we are all probably pretty well familiar with how this works. This universal law extends way beyond using hand tools, however; it can also be applied to building printed circuit boards. By using a PCB contract manufacturer to build your electronics, you will be working with the right tools that will give you these seven benefits:
- Additional engineering resources
- Keep your own staff focused on priorities
- Access to unique skills and resources
- Reduce or eliminate assembly overhead
- Extensive PCB manufacturing skills and experience
- Prototype and new product introduction expertise
- Total system design and manufacturing
Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits, and how you can realize greater success by outsourcing electronics manufacturing.
The Seven Benefits of Outsourcing Electronics Manufacturing
Although there are a lot of reasons and benefits for using third party manufacturing to build your printed circuit board assemblies, we’ve gathered the top seven here for your consideration:
1. Additional Engineering Resources
Whether your company has a large or small engineering department, there are always times when you have more work than your staff is able to handle. These times often coincide with the development of a printed circuit board, which means that your local printed circuit board contract manufacturer is in a perfect position to serve as a great engineering resource for you. PCB CMs usually have a full engineering team on staff that can handle a wide range of design work. From schematic capture to full PCB layout, your PCB CM can handle the extra work that you need to have done.
2. Frees up Internal Staff to Focus on Engineering
Another problem that electronic design groups run into is having to use their dedicated engineering staff for support roles. Tasks like documentation creation and project management have to be done in order to successfully launch a new product, but those duties take up valuable engineering resources and time. With the help of a local PCB CM, however, those tasks can be managed along with the manufacturing of the circuit board. This will free up your design team to focus on pure engineering.
3. Access to Specific Skills Associated with Manufacturing
There are some design tasks associated with the manufacturing of a circuit board that requires a unique skill set that your company may not have. For instance, the acquisition of components for a circuit board can be a complex and time-consuming process. The component teams at a local PCB CM have years of experience doing this, however, and they will quickly analyze your BOM and recommend any needed component or circuitry changes. They are able to do this by leveraging their large network of component vendors, distributors, and brokers in order to get the highest quality parts as inexpensively and as quickly as possible.
4. Eliminate Manufacturing Equipment and Processing Expenses
PCB assembly equipment can be very expensive to purchase and maintain, plus it has to be operated by trained personnel. This is usually too much overhead for most corporations to absorb, whereas the assembly services of a local PCB CM is a much more cost-effective solution.
5. Manufacturing Expertise in Multiple PCB Types and Technologies
Local PCB manufacturers have been building circuit boards for a long time, and they are well acquainted with the requirements of different PCB types and technologies. Their equipment and processes are fine-tuned to produce the highest quality product so that you can be assured that the board will operate as you intended it to. In addition, they also have an engineering staff ready to assist you with technical questions while you are still in design in order to ensure that it smoothly transitions to manufacturing.
6. Prototyping and New Product Introduction (NPI) Expertise
With the number of changes that accompany a prototype build, you need a PCB CM that is experienced with the entire NPI process. You will need the flexibility of a CM that will work with you to get the prototype built quickly, while at the same time incorporating the necessary design modifications needed for long-term production. Here is where developing a good relationship with a local PCB CM that understands your needs will end up saving you a great amount of development time and cost in the long run.
7. Box build, Cable, and Wire Harness Assembly
New products often involve more than just the circuit board, and design teams often find themselves trying to coordinate the production of their systems between multiple vendors. Not only is that a giant management task but with so many pieces being built by different manufacturers, it is not uncommon for miss-communication to result in parts that don’t fit with each other. Working with a PCB CM that can build all aspects of your system, however, will save you a lot in time and expense. In addition, because all of the different system components are built under the same roof, you can be assured that the final product assembly will go smoothly.
The Right PCB Contract Manufacturer Will be the Right Tool for the Job
At VSE, we have all seven of these areas covered to ensure that your product will be built quickly, efficiently, and at the highest levels of quality. Our engineering department is ready to review your design and provide you with any level of engineering assistance that you need, while our component teams will see to it that your parts are ready when needed. At the same time, our manufacturing floor is equipped with the latest equipment and processes and is ready to build all aspects of your product, including box builds, cables, and wiring harnesses.