Although it’s not an official city, county, or province, nor does it have any established borders, California’s Silicon Valley is a landmark in the high-technology industry. Extending south from San Francisco through the Bay Area, Silicon Valley encompasses many cities, including Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Menlo Park, and San Jose. Many corporations are within these virtual borders, from thousands of eager startups to technology giants like Apple, Facebook, and Google.
Together, Silicon Valley’s diverse companies provide over 600,000 technology jobs, with many focused on developing new and innovative electronics. The designers in these companies rely on PCB contract manufacturers that can build their circuit boards and related hardware quickly and to their exact specifications for the highest quality. Here we’ll look at the benefits that PCB assembly services in the Bay Area provide and how an experienced PCB contract manufacturer can help develop your next electronics project.
Silicon Valley, the World Leader in Technology Development
In 1933 the Naval Air Base at Sunnyvale housed the airship USS Macon in Hangar One at what would eventually be known as Moffett Field. This base eventually grew into a center of research for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, a precursor of NASA. Many technology firms such as Lockheed established themselves locally to be part of aerospace development.
Throughout the years, the number of these companies has continued to grow. With so many technology innovators working in the same area, ideas leaped off the drawing boards at fantastic rates. To keep up, hardware manufacturing facilities grew in size and capabilities, with many becoming the PCB assembly operations we are familiar with today.
The design, development, and manufacturing of circuit boards is a never-ending cycle as marketing needs continually drive changes and enhancements in creating new electronic products. To keep up with this development, PCB designers need manufacturers that can handle the different aspects of circuit board assembly:
- The rapidly changing requirements of circuit board prototypes
- The flexibility necessary for new product introduction
- The repeatable quality essential for long-term production assembly
While manufacturers worldwide can handle different portions of these needs, providing a responsive service to electronic designers requires a locally operated quality CM. Next, we’ll look at the specific services electronic designers need from their PCB contract manufacturers and why local assembly firms in the Bay Area are so important.
Why PCB Assembly Services in the Bay Area are Essential
There are a lot of circuit board contract manufacturers around the globe, so why are PCB assembly services in the Bay Area so important? Here are four main reasons why Silicon Valley corporations rely on these local CMs.
Many PCB contract manufacturers in San Jose and the surrounding area are known for their agility in servicing various customers, technologies, and orders. These shops specialize in high-mix, medium-volume production, which gives them the ability to pivot to respond to the needs of their customers quickly. These needs could include design changes in prototype boards or enhancements to support a new product introduction. Even long-term production projects benefit from these shops’ flexibility.
One of the reasons for sudden changes in circuit board manufacturing is to accommodate design changes due to performance or component issues. Designers can get bogged down selecting the right part for price, availability, and lead times. In some cases, the circuitry requires modifications for these component changes adding further complications. With the onsite engineering resources at the PCB CM, the parts list and the design will be reviewed for accuracy and manufacturability. If changes are required, the engineering team is already in place and can make the alterations quickly, saving the customer valuable time and expense. Additionally, the experience that the PCB CM’s component engineers and procurement teams have in navigating the component supply chain can save design teams time, expense, and frustration.
Perhaps the most important service of all are the benefits that design teams get with working with local manufacturers:
- Design teams can work directly with a nearby contract manufacturer’s engineering team and even enjoy the luxury of onsite visits to complete design changes and modifications quickly.
- Local manufacturing also means that designers won’t have to deal with a manufacturer in a different time zone or language differences that can hinder productivity.
- A local PCB assembly service greatly enhances data and knowledge exchange between the design team and the manufacturer.
- And finally, delivery of the completed product is much faster, easier, and less expensive with a local manufacturer. Design teams don’t have to worry about shipping fees, delays, and other nightmares and instead can enjoy same-day delivery.
A Trusted Partnership
It is much easier to develop a strong working relationship and trust with a partner that you can meet with face-to-face. Let’s look at an example of how one PCB contract manufacturer in the Bay Area has become a local success story.
A Silicon Valley Success Story in PCB Manufacturing
Valley Services Electronics in San Jose, California, has served electronics designers’ needs in Silicon Valley for over 35 years. VSE has the engineering resources to ensure that your project meets its expected scheduling dates and is fully staffed with component, design, and mechanical engineers. VSE’s trained PCB assembly technicians have the experience you need for your most intricate projects on the manufacturing floor. With the ability to expertly build all printed circuit boards from prototype through full production runs, VSE has proven its ability to service the PCB manufacturing needs of Silicon Valley’s high-technology businesses.