Are you an electronics innovator who needs to get a new product prototyped and introduced quickly, efficiently, and at the highest level of quality? If so, then you may find these seven benefits of using a local PCB contract manufacturer very relevant:
- Their location
- Component resources
- Engineering capabilities
- Manufacturing flexibility
- Rapid prototyping
- Mechanical engineering
- Box builds
Electronics innovators like you need a PCB CM who can help you to develop and manufacture your designs. These seven benefits are critical in producing a high-quality product quickly and efficiently in order to meet your schedule requirements. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits of local manufacturing, and how they are going to help you to achieve your business goals.
A Local Contract Manufacturing Promotes Efficiency
One of the biggest concerns about using offshore manufacturing for new product introduction is the geographical distance between the design team and the manufacturer. Not only are there increased taxes, tariffs, insurance, and shipping costs to deal with, but communication will suffer as well due to the differences in time zones. Working with a local manufacturer however solves all of these problems, and provides some additional perks as well.
The successful introduction of a new product requires a lot of interaction between the design team and the contract manufacturer while the initial prototypes are being built. With a local CM, the designers can have daily contact and status updates in real-time, which will enable them to quickly make iterative changes as needed. In addition, working with a local CM allows for on-site visits which also helps speed the new product through its introduction cycle. This level of interaction between design and manufacturing is essential in increasing the overall efficiency of the project being developed.
Extended Component Networking Resources
One of the most important steps in designing a circuit board is in choosing the correct components to use. Usually, these decisions are made based on the functional needs of the circuitry, but it is also important to consider price, availability, and many other factors as well. While this level of research may be difficult for product development teams, the local CM will have an entire department of engineers and purchasing agents who specialize in finding the best parts. This help that the CM’s procurement staff can offer will make a huge difference in the final cost, buildability, and lifetime of the circuit board.
On-Site Engineering Expertise
Another area that electronic innovators often need help with is with engineering resources. Although the circuit creation work has been done, there may still be many details in the design that need to be completed or refined. It is not at all unusual for tasks such as schematic capture, documentation creation, or even PCB layout to have errors in them and not get the attention they deserve. Fortunately, the engineering staff at the local CM can step in and help with all of these jobs. This way the tedious details of the project are taken off of your plate, which allows you to focus more on design creation.
Low-Volume High-Mix Manufacturing Flexibility
Another big advantage of a local CM is that their low-volume high-mix production business model will have given them a wide variety of PCB assembly types and technologies to develop their skills from. No matter what type of design it is that needs to be built, the local CM will already have experience with similar design technologies. This flexibility positions the CM very well to help both new and established companies in building or refining their processes and procedures, or to fast-track a brand new PCB product.
For those companies that are developing a new product for introduction, the local CM is the best choice that can be made for a manufacturing partner. As we have talked about, their flexibility will have already given them the experience needed for quickly building various prototype technologies. Local CMs typically have dedicated processes and procedures just for prototypes to make sure that they are built quickly and with the highest levels of quality. With the goal of preparing an NPI project for reliable and inexpensive long-term production, the local CM has the capabilities to get you there.
Mechanical Design and Engineering
For companies that are bringing their design through new product introduction, there is often more to the project than just building a circuit board. Wiring harnesses, cable assemblies, and system enclosures will all have to be designed to fit perfectly together along with the circuit board. This can be a difficult process to coordinate however when working with multiple vendors on the project, but thankfully this is another area where a local CM can be of great help. By applying their mechanical design expertise to the project, the local CM can often handle the entire system design themselves saving you the time, expense, and headache.
Box Build Capabilities
Once the different components of the product have been designed, they still will need to be assembled, and here again, the local CM can help with its box building services. Not only will this free you up of more project management duties, but by having everything built under one roof you can be assured that it will be built to fit together and work correctly the first time.
At VSE, we showcase all seven of these benefits in the services we provide to our customers. We have helped numerous customers that we partner with to bring their projects fully through NPI by ironing out their manufacturing concerns and preparing the board for long-term production. Our low-volume high-mix processes have given us a unique amount of skill and experience in building thousands of different PCB types and technologies.