Choose an Electronic Manufacturing Partner That Is the Right Fit

In the manufacturing sector, working with manufacturing partners has become a necessity, as every manufacturers and producer in the market are looking for cost-cutting. There has been much written about how Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) should opt for Electronic Manufacturing Services partner probably a lot more has been written about why we still refer to companies as ‘OEMs’ when they no longer manufacture their products. However, it is a completely different story.

For a company looking to outsource for the first time to select an additional EMS partner, or to replace the existing one, can be mesmerising. On the one hand, there are EMS companies offering specialisation in a low volume high mix or high volume low mix sectors, whereas on the other hand, talks of global businesses re-shoring, offshoring, nearshoring, etc. and the roles of so-called tier 1, 2 & 3 EMS players in those ventures. But, what does it all mean? More importantly, when a company is looking to select an EMS partner how can any of this assist the industries in choosing the right partner?


Let’s have a look at the few key considerations to keep in mind when making such decision:

Concentrate on the specific needs of the Company

Looking at the needs of the company, it mostly depends on your individual needs and with whom you work. Questions like what is the lifespan of your product? How much volume do you intend to produce? How quickly does product need to get to market? How much flexibility you need? While there is an asset of information on the internet, be sure to consider your product distribution and geographic location. It is preferred to go through their reference and not only looking at their presentation, as this might help you to understand how they do business. Secondly, take a time out to visit the factory and the facility, survey the condition of the equipments, Processes and spare capacity, Financial Stability instead of relying on the pictures you see online. This will, in turn, assist you to find the right partner for your business.

Is it all about the Right Fit?

Picking the one that best fits your business requires a well thought out approach, as no two EMS companies are the same. In order to filter out the ‘probable’s’ and ‘possibles’, and arrive at a shorter list, the first thing to look for is a good overall fit. Take into consideration the size of the EMS company in relation to your business, the typical volumes they build, the complexity of the products they produce, and then look at their accounts to see how they have been performing.

Trust your instincts

It is easy to simply work with your own engineering staff and hand off the actual manufacturing process to the electronics manufacturing partner. But consider their in-house expertise as an added value. Further, an experienced electronics manufacturing partner is most qualified in layouts and strategizing the use of components to minimize manufacturing costs. They can also provide financial benefits, as they have the advantage of economies of scale.

As a result, given all of the above when selecting the right EMS partner, it is someone who has well-managed material supply chain, such that they have an adequate amount of material to build your products when required to do so and can respond to unexpected peaks and orders; most of all have the agility to work with you and deliver what you want, when you want it, how you want it, with the right equipment, processes and people to build, configure and test your products.

Following your investigation, if you truly trust that they can and will meet all these essential criteria, picking the right Electronic Manufacturing Services partner is pretty straightforward. Using latest equipment and leading edge manufacturing technologies, PCC provide integrated turnkey solutions. PCC’s comprehensive EMS / Contract Manufacturing Services are tailored as per the customer’s unique business needs.


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5 Problems of Electronics Manufacturing & Their Solutions

The best and the most cost-effective way of resolving an issue is what every business looks for. And in this quest, electronics companies face a basic question: Do we really need a professional contract Electronic Manufacturing Service provider? Without the help of a professional, businesses may sometimes find themselves unable to efficiently keep up with consumer demands. The important thing is not to negatively impact your sales just because you are, or you were too late to realize the importance of professional EMS providers. Moreover, there are issues that may seem daunting to you, but a clutter to a professional EMS provider.


Let us look at some basic but threatening issues, and how professionals can resolve it.

1.Design Issues

Problems relating to design schematics and design flaws could end up taking a lot of precious time and effort. Procuring expert designers and engineers would resolve such issues much faster in a time-efficient and cost-effective manner.


2.Demanding Deadlines

Clients’ needs may arise in a flurry. What should you do then? Stress about your ability or inability? Better, hire a professional EMS provider and do not fall behind or miss a deadline.


3.Shortage of Personnel

Shortage of manpower may be due to one or the other reason. Recruiting an expert might not be your cup of tea. Besides, an expert chooses to work for professional companies rather than in-house establishment. Whatever may be the case, a little help from a professional is only going to do you good, and most of the times, best!


4.Shortage of Equipment

You may not have the right machinery, technology or equipment to make the best PCBs. Not a problem. An expert has access to state-of-the-art manufacturing processes with the right technology and equipment. So, forget about the burden of purchasing and maintaining equipment and take the service of a professional.


5.Higher Production Costs

When your production costs are too high, your whole business can begin to struggle. It can be difficult to find ways to lower these costs, too, when then makes it nearly impossible for your company to grow. Contract manufacturers can help you to save money in a multiple way.


Problems are common in every business. They, however, must not stop you, but guide you. And when you entrust your electronic manufacturing needs to a reliable partner, some of the most chronic headaches of electronics domain are easily healed.


With the help of a professional, businesses can efficiently keep up with consumer demands by handing over their EMS concerns to a professional. The important thing is not to negatively impact your sales just because you were too late to realize the importance of professional EMS providers. Moreover, there are issues that may seem daunting to you, but simple to a professional EMS provider.

How to Enhance PCB Design with Reverse Engineering Services?

Designing the printed circuit board (PCB) and then building it based upon the specifications is what engineering PCBs is all about. But sometimes, you go in the reverse order. You may start with the PCB and from there develop the design used to build the PCB. This is the reverse engineering process, in very straight and simple terms.


Reverse engineering is carried out most often when some other company or individual has designed the PCB and you want to make a similar one. Keeping aside the complexity of its legality, reverse engineering can be carried out as long as no patents are involved. You make changes to the PCB design and there is no infringement of trademarks involved, reverse engineering can be extremely beneficial. In this post, we are going to throw some light on how Reverse Engineering Services Companies carry out the reverse engineering process to enhance the PCB design.


Why Reverse Engineer the PCBs?

There can be several reasons for this. Some of them are as follows:

1.You have a PCB which is quite valuable to you. You want to have more of that. However, the supplier has stopped making it or has gone out of business altogether.

2.Your competitor has a PCB which you can sell at a more reasonable price. Once you enter the market they may charge less because in the absence of any competition they had raised the price. Reverse engineering helps you to determine the cost basis.

3.Your competitors’ PCB may or may not work as efficiently as you think. You may want to determine if there exist certain weaknesses in your or your competitors’ design.

These are the 3 main reasons why reverse engineering PCBs is carried out. Apart from the marketing benefits, it can make the PCBs more efficient and effective.


The PCB Reverse Engineering Process

Reverse Engineering is not that simple as it may have been sounding until now. It requires a thorough knowledge and understanding of circuitry. This demands an understanding of engineering sketches and specifications, electronic analysis of the system, obsolescence analysis, material analysis, dimensional analysis, and more.


To begin with you test the PCB and find its limits with respect to temperature, efficiency, and performance. Two factors play a significant role here. One, what the PCB does, and second, what you might think will be useful for the customers.


The next thing to do is to determine the dimension of the PCB. Size often matters in the electronics industry and sometimes can play a significant role.


When you have deconstructed the PCB, you can estimate the labor and bill of materials. That is going to give you an estimation of the manufacturing cost.


At last but not least, trace out the circuit. You can identify the key functional blocks that will help you to determine the method on which the PCB works. Or else you can trace out the entire circuit which is required to copy the design. In some cases, the firmware is also reverse engineered.


What to do with the Reverse Engineered PCB?

Two situations can arise at this point. You can make a copy, if it is legal, and lay out your PCB. You are good to go with it. Second, you may want to produce a competitive part with a differentiated design and specifications. In that case, a different team will do the design rather than the team that did reverse engineering. It is important to note that the types of information that can be exchanged are limited.


Whatever may be the reason to reverse engineer the PCB, at the end of the day, you have a PCB with an enhanced and efficient design.

How Crucial are Cable Assemblies for Medical & Healthcare Sector?

Cable Assemblies are widely used in precision medical device applications in hospitals, clinics, labs, and medical facilities. They connect medical equipment that is widely used for patient monitoring and treatment. Keeping in view the critical aspects associated with the healthcare sector, failure of medical devices due to wire harness and cable assembly manufacturing defect can never be on the list of options.


Regulatory Standards for Cable Assemblies in Medical Devices

Medical facilities are held to high regulatory standards since they are more often than not subjected to high temperatures, tension, and abrasion. When cable assemblies and wire harnesses are manufactured, a primary factor is to have increased wear and tear. Based on the assembly specifications that includes cable type, conductor range, plating, shielding, insulation, and material used, cable and wire harnesses need to withstand high temperatures, tensions, and chemical sterilization procedures to maintain high regulatory standards.


Uses of Cable Assemblies and Wire Harness in Medical Sector

In the medical and healthcare sector, cable assemblies are widely used in medical devices ranging from patient monitoring systems, ultrasound equipment, therapeutic devices, electric catheters, fetal monitors, to lab analysis equipment, heart rate monitors, defibrillators, and ECG machines. Let us take the example of a cardio meter that is hooked up to a heart patient. The patient will be healthy and alive when the patient’s heart rate is within a certain range. Cable assemblies play a significant role in monitoring this range. Moreover, they are connected to the computer device that collects data and reports the patient’s heart beats from which doctors keep a track of the patient’s progress.


Sterilization Techniques of Cable Assemblies for Medical Devices

To eliminate biological agents such as bacteria, viruses, etc. sterilization techniques are employed. The manufacturers of medical cable assemblies can use a few techniques to ensure complete sterilization since this requirement is critical. Some of the important sterilization techniques for medical devices are discussed as follows:


Steam Heat Sterilization

Steam heat is like a pressure cooker in which steam under pressure acts as the sterilization agent. The heat reaches up to temperatures as high as 134 degrees Celsius and last up to 20 minutes depending upon the load necessary.


Dry Heat Sterilization

Dry heat is like a conventional oven and the foremost choice among sterilization techniques. Giant ovens are employed in which heat up to 160 to 170 degrees Celsius for durations of about 1 to 2 hours is subjected to the cable assemblies.


Radiation Sterilization

This method employs either gamma rays or an electron beam to sterilize the application. This sterilization setup is similar to a microwave and it sterilizes all the components of the device at the same time.


Ethylene Oxide Sterilization

This is a chemical sterilization process in which Ethylene Oxide commonly called EO is employed. If the application cannot be exposed to high temperatures and moisture, this method of sterilization comes out to be a better one. It can also penetrate the packaging and products to kill the microorganisms.


Each of these sterilization techniques ensures complete sterilization. The choice of any one of them depends upon the specific limitations and requirements of your medical device application.



Conclusion

Medical and healthcare is one such sector where there is no option for failure as it can threaten someone’s life. Since medical devices widely use cable assemblies, it necessitates the use of best in class cables and wires in the equipment. Manufacturing cable assemblies and wire harnesses must, therefore, be done in an infallible manner with the help of professional electronic manufacturing service providers.

Industrial Electronics from the Perspective of PCB Assembly Services

Change is the only constant. The industrial electronics market is no different from this fact. With the impressive growth of the industrial electronics, the use of advanced circuits and processes has become a necessity. And these advanced circuits make use of advanced PCBs. The requirements associated with industrial electronic applications are diverse and complicated, and so the PCBs are designed by the Printed Circuit Board Assembly Manufacturers keeping these intricacies in mind. Not only these PCBs are designed to withstand extreme environmental conditions, they have anti-corrosion properties as well.


PCB Performance in Extreme Conditions

Industries basically employ high-powered applications. These applications demand PCBs that are robust and have high performance. There are several key components that make up these PCBs. They facilitate controlling and operating various mechanisms utilized in manufacturing units and factories. Every industrial process is characterized with long working hours, additional stress, and adverse environmental conditions. The components of the PCBs must be capable of handling these unfriendly conditions. If we take a closer look, every industry has one or the other type of conditions that can be a test for the PCB and its components. Chemical industries pose the threat of exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, manufacturing industries might give rise to conditions such as rough handling, or machinery in which there is a lot of vibration, etc.


Applications of PCB Assemblies in Industrial Electronics

The rapidly changing industrial environment has challenging implications for PCB assembly and manufacturing. Keeping this in mind, companies use PCBs that are suitable for high current applications, for instance thick copper PCBs.

In power control devices, PCBs are used in devices such as DC to AC power inverters used in the solar energy sector. Apart from this, PCBs also find their use in measuring equipment that measure and control several variables like temperature, pressure, etc. Manufacturing industries also make heavy use of PCBs for drilling and presses.

The list of industrial electronics applications that employ PCBs is almost unending. From power monitoring, visual signaling devices, thermostats and transformers to digital meters, fuses, LED lighting and oscilloscopes, high performance PCBs form a key component to meet the demands expected from these applications in their respective industries.


Professional PCB Assembly and Manufacturing Services for Industrial Electronics

To procure PCB assemblies for industrial electronics, it is always advisable to source PCB assemblies from an expert. A professional partner with extensive experience in designing and building PCB assemblies for several industrial electronics applications will make your investment worthwhile.

Apart from that, the right PCB assembly partner guarantees compliance with supply line oversight. Implementing per component tracking, your PCB assembly partner will work closely to do everything possible to keep the supply line clean, and with data to support it.

As already mentioned, the industrial electronics sector has complexities of its own, and it is quite a natural fact that newbies can never provide the same quality of service that companies with years and decades of experience can. Most of the times, it is not just about the engineering, manufacturing or assembling skills, it’s about showcasing human qualities to make contracts and develop networks with trusted vendors. And that comes only with experience.

How To Get The Maximum Out Of Your Box Build Assembly Outsourcing?

Box builds come in several dimensions. They may be a Printed Circuit Board Assembly in a small compartment, or a large enclosure full of wires or a mammoth electro-mechanical system comprising complicated and fully-integrated sophisticated electronics. Taking a generalized route, what can be the basic ways or methodologies that you must keep in mind for getting the precise quote from your electronics manufacturing services partner for your box build manufacturing needs?


Bill of Materials (BOM)


The BOM is the first and foremost thing required by the EMS provider. The scope of BOM must include all the main components and the smaller items. Also, which components will be sourced by the EMS partner and which ones will be provided by you. It must always be kept in mind that no matter how small or insignificant components may seem, they still have cost and need to be purchased. The proper definition of all these components along with the clearly defined costs can prevent unexpected charges later.


3D CAD Model


If the final product can be visualized with ease, EMS providers will be enabled to convert drawings into build instructions. 3D CAD packages can provide a better visual model of the finished product. In addition to providing helpful build instructions, layout drawings with these 3D CAD systems depict key components that can furnish important information.


Test Specimens


Specimens or more appropriately, the sample units can play a significant role in the box build assembly process. They facilitate pro-active planning and creation of models in the form of component drawings that can guarantee reliable products with effective build models. There might be cases where due to one or the other reason They are an important source of data for unfinished drawings.


Magnitude and Proportions


As already mentioned, a box build can incorporate a PCBA in a small encasement, or a large enclosure of wires or a huge electro-mechanical system comprising complex circuitry. When the information about the length, breadth, height and weight of the required component is clearly mentioned, it can ease the work of the assembly provider. This will also facilitate easy handling, storage, shipping, packaging and transportation of the system.


Evaluation and Scrutiny


From visual inspection to functional and factory acceptance testing, it is imperative to define the basic electrical safety for your box build and consequently for your electronic device. The skills and experience of the service provider can facilitate prompt and precise suggestion regarding what would work best for you.

Based on your design requirements, a simple or a more complex box build assembly can be devised. To get the maximum out of your box build assembly, it is desirable to consider these 5 aspects discussed in the preceding sections along with the relevant data in hand. This will not only give your EMS service provider the required information necessary, but also the clarity of what is needed and how to go about it.

How Reverse Engineering Can Resolve Some of the Complex Woes of EMS?

The process of Reverse Engineering entails identifying and thoroughly analyzing the parts and components of a system and their interrelationship with one another to duplicate or upgrade the system. This system can be a final product, a subassembly, or an existing component.

In the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) sector, reverse engineering is done without utilizing drawings, computer model, or documentation. So naturally, it requires skills, experience, and a sound knowledge of circuitry. When a finished product is deconstructed, a lot can be determined about how several parts fit together and work in unison. This can help in guiding reverse engineering services company to facilitate analysis, design, development, testing and maintenance of the system.


Machine Maintenance with Reverse Engineering?

The working of individual components and how they fit in together facilitates ease of machine maintenance. By analyzing the segregated components, a conclusive evidence to replace or update a system’s design architecture or chip technology can be achieved easily. Also, the need for designing additional programs or fine-tuning the existing ones can be decided upon in a hassle-free manner. Disassembling and reassembling the components at their minimum makes it quite simple to determine which components require maintenance and which do not. This is both time-efficient and cost-effective.


Reverse Engineering facilitates more periodic attention towards machine maintenance. This is because with reverse engineering, one can formulate a maintenance plan targeting only specific components saving time and resources for the overall maintenance of the whole system.


Repair and Rework with Reverse Engineering

Highly expensive machines can go down simply because of one component. What if the OEM goes out of business despite the machine being still in its initial days? When a highly expensive machine system is left with no support or repair, reverse engineering can come to the rescue.


Decision Making with Reverse Engineering

Reverse engineering not only facilitates machine maintenance but also helps a lot to promote analysis, design and development. This leads to an efficient decision, saving time and money. If only a few parts or components require change in design or maintenance, with reverse engineering one can make the decision to formulate a plan only for specific parts and deploy them.


Summing it up

The process of Reverse Engineering demands time, dedication and skill. Mastering the entire process takes years of experience especially for complicated boards and circuits with obsolete components. It requires studying thoroughly how circuits are designed and why such a design was carried out. With Reverse Engineering, several complex issues associated with EMS can be resolved by efficient decision making with respect to analysis, design, development, maintenance, repair and rework.

PCB Manufacturing in Congruence with IoT Technology

Technological advancements have influenced every aspect of our existence. The electronics industry is no exception to this phenomenon. The Internet has become a rage since decades now and continues to impact every industry. It has been quite some time now that internet has crept into electronics domain since electronic devices connected to the Internet have become requisite. These devices with the help of Internet are collecting large amounts of data, are becoming responsive, and facilitating real-time decision-making. The technology that is making these amazing advancements in every industry, including electronics, is the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is the interconnection through the Internet of computing devices that are embedded in everyday objects. This interconnection enables the devices to send and receive data.


The Right PCB Manufacturer is Proficient with IoT


Finding the right PCB manufacturer serving as an effective partner is as mandatory as your business itself. Minimizing turnaround time without affecting quality, and working as an asset incorporating the IoT technology are some of the features mandatorily required from this partner. The key factor in PCB manufacturing and assembly process is to find such a manufacturing partner that can offer quick-turn services keeping Iot into the picture.

For businesses focusing solely on the Internet of Things, flexible PCBs matter the most. Because it is the flexible PCB that combines the size, flexibility, and resilience that can prove to be invaluable in the IoT market. The size of electronic devices is shrinking, and their functionalities are surging like never before. An interesting factor that plays its significance in the electronics industry nowadays is the fact that most of these devices are becoming difficult to repair or replace. So the important thing while incorporating IoT into electronic devices is to make into immaculately compatible with the PCBs that there are no chances of its failure. Building a foolproof PCB assembly that embraces IoT is the demand of the hour.


PCB Manufacturers in the IoT Space

As soon as a new prototype circuit board is designed, IoT companies need to have research and development carried out. This facilitates quicker prototype turnaround times helping to gain a significant competitive advantage altogether for both the parties.


Apart from immediate turnaround time, it is also important that the PCBs meet rigorous quality standards. For IoT companies looking for quick-turn capabilities, it is crucial that the PCB manufacturer meets all the specific design requirements.


With the proper processes in place, IoT companies can meet the PCB design requirements. This will help businesses to not only cut down the risk of delays due to miscommunication or incompatibility, it will also ensure that the IoT businesses receive their PCB prototype in a timely manner meeting the constraints of expectations and requirements.

How Can EMS Companies March Towards Phenomenal Progress?

The mantra for EMS companies to march towards phenomenal progress is simple: all employees must exhibit operational efficiency and work towards a common goal. But the truth is that many EMS companies sustain losses due to inefficient processes. If not resolved in time, businesses can become uncompetitive with a damaged reputation. The electronics market is continuously evolving with variables and opportunities to identify, address, and then eliminate inefficient processes. So, the big question up front is how do electronic manufacturing companies eliminate inefficient processes and march towards progress?

With Accurate Data Collection and Analysis

In the electronics manufacturing environment, there are many sources to collect data. It becomes mandatory for EMS providers to have systems and procedures that can collect accurate data. With the availability of so much data, data analysis tools are employed to analyze data to monitor performance and identify trends. This helps the EMS providers to prioritize their efforts and agree upon which projects should be worked on.

With Effective Project Implementation & Management

Every implemented project must be able to demonstrate a clear ROI, especially when investment in new equipment, tools, and training have been made. When quick fixes are made, a practical approach by the EMS provider is called for. At any time, engineers work on several projects. Keeping track of every project sometimes becomes cumbersome and it becomes important to employ project tracker. This is achieved with the help of the DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) methodology in which details related to every project is recorded separately within a document.

With Improved Communication & Feedback

Communication and delivering feedback plays a vital role. Failure to communicate progress can have a detrimental impact on the process improvement. By communicating well and providing feedback on a regular basis, confidence can be installed on the overall process facilitating continuous improvements.

With Persisting Improvement

Success depends upon persistence. Proactive EMS providers hold regular meetings to discuss the improvements in the project and to understand how things are progressing. With an aim to improve the improvement process itself, they continue to involve more and more staff to support and encourage a continuous improvement approach.

With Appropriate Education & Training

To enhance efficiency and be more progressive, education and training for the staff are essential. It can teach employees on how to implement project tracking successfully utilizing project tracking tools. Training and education encourages improvement in projects by making the personnel take ownership of seeing the improvements through.

EMS providers must strive for continuous improvement to increase efficiency. It is only through identifying, addressing, and eliminating inefficient processes, along with persistent improvement efforts, EMS companies can march towards phenomenal progress.