Choosing an Electronic Contract Manufacturing Company

Not all electronic contract manufacturing companies are created equal. If you’ve ever received spam emails from quick-turn overseas fabrication houses, you’re familiar with the ways these companies try to differentiate themselves. Different companies have different capabilities levels, certifications, quality programs, and testing capabilities, and it can be difficult to parse through all the available information when making purchasing decisions. Design teams might give in to the temptation to buy on price alone, but there is much more to consider when choosing an electronics contract manufacturing company.

VSE is an experienced electronics contract manufacturer with a rigorous quality assurance program and documented experience manufacturing for various industries. We provide additional services to help ensure maximum yield, qualify your product, and get it to market quickly. We understand that tasks like testing, design review, engineering services, and box builds are necessary to build high-quality products, and we have the staff, equipment, and processes in place to deliver the level of quality you expect in your PCB.

End-to-End Manufacturing Management

As an experienced contract manufacturer, we can manage all aspects of your next circuit board build, ranging from front-end engineering and review to automated assembly, testing, and inspection. Along the way, we provide additional services to help keep your project on track, including engineering, design, and procurement, among others.

DFM Review

Before your design can transform from a CAD drawing to a finished PCB, it needs to be manufacturable at the required scale with standard processing and automated assembly. As part of our commitment to quality, each design receives a comprehensive DFM review to ensure it can be fabricated and assembled successfully. Our engineering team has the experience to identify manufacturability problems and propose innovative solutions with minimal impact on cost and design intent.

BOM Optimization and Procurement

In times of supply chain volatility and semiconductor shortages, VSE has the experience to navigate the electronics supply chain and implement a sourcing strategy for your design. Whenever non-stocked, out-of-stock, or obsolete components are identified, we propose alternatives ranging from drop-in replacements to upgrades requiring minimal design changes. When extensive changes are needed to swap components, our design team can implement modifications and help you stay aligned with your production schedule.

Fabrication and Assembly

Once your design has passed review and we’ve developed a strategy to procure your components, we’ll shop your board through our network of PCB fabrication partners. As your board proceeds through fabrication, we’ll plan for automated assembly and place your boards through our process as soon as they are received. Our goal is to streamline the entire process and ensure you stay on schedule and under budget.

Engineering and Testing Services

Throughout the process, you might find that you need engineering and testing services to help get your board through production. VSE’s team can help with your electrical or mechanical design, determine manual and automated testing requirements, create box builds, and implement an inspection plan. We’re committed to quality, and we’ll develop a plan that meets your design and production needs.

Matching Fabrication Capabilities and Design

Anyone who wants to transfer their design to manufacturing needs to match their fabricator’s capabilities with design requirements and allowed tolerances to ensure quality and yield. Your CM partner should have the capabilities to accommodate a range of modern designs, ranging from simple two-layer boards to complex HDI PCBs with small features and tight tolerances. Sometimes, it can be challenging to match up the required capabilities of a fabricator with a new design without compromising on price and budget.

At VSE, you can let the experts do that work for you. We work with multiple PCB fabrication partners that provide numerous services. When you engage with VSE for your next board build, we analyze your design and place it into production with one of our partners. This process lets us provide flexible service options to customers and work within your lead time, budget, and fabrication requirements. Once your bare boards are fabricated, they come back in-house for assembly, full inspection, and product-specific testing.

Assembly, Inspection, and Testing

During assembly, your boards undergo advanced inspection to identify any defects and rework. We also implement automated and manual testing, including in-circuit and functional testing, to ensure the design. Our assembly and quality control process involves multiple stages:

  • 2 SMT lines for reflow soldering
  • Wave soldering and selective soldering for through-hole components
  • Automated optical inspection (AOI) and X-ray inspection after assembly
  • Functional testing services
  • Electrical tests, including flying probe, high voltage/power, HIPOT, Cablescan, and in-circuit testing
  • Customer-supplied and LabVIEW-based test fixtures

Choose VSE as Your Electronics Contract Manufacturing Company

At VSE, we have decades of experience building printed circuit board assemblies and provide additional services to help ensure your success. We can help our customers be successful and get to market quickly with engineering resources, manufacturing excellence, box build services, and deep industry expertise, adding value to your next project. Whether we’re building for a prototyping run or manufacturing at scale, our quality assurance program is designed to keep customers compliant with industry standards and maximize yield.

If you are looking for a CM that prides itself on its care and attention to detail to ensure that each PCB assembly is built to the highest standards, look no further than VSE. Contact us today to learn more about partnering with us for your next project.

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