PCB assembly requires a huge amount of investment. Thus, most original equipment manufacturer (OEM) hires the services of an assembly company. Outsourcing the assembly of printed circuit boards has its advantages and disadvantages.
Benefits Of Outsourcing
An assembly department requires investment in hiring employee for the assembly team, purchasing specialized equipment for assembly, maintaining the facility and machines, adhering to environmental standards and acquiring certification related to assembly. However, with outsourcing the assembly service, the manufacturer saves thousands of dollars in investing and creating a department for assembly.
Focus On Core Competencies
With the costs of savings, the manufacturer can refocus resources on more pressing matters such as improving and upgrading equipment for higher quality, and enhancing sales distribution channels for the final output.
Hiring the services of assembly houses yields better quality product since these companies specialize in the industry. The machines, labor force, work standards are all geared towards producing excellent PCB assembly units.
Risks Of Outsourcing
Outsourcing assembly services has its own risks. These risks include delayed product delivery, inferior quality, products not being compliant to environmental standards and defective assembled boards. Though problems may arise, choosing the right assembly company reduces the risks. With proper selection guide, outsourcing an assembly company yields more benefit than the risks involve.
Guidelines In Choosing An Assembly Company
Choose a company that is near or within the regional location of your manufacturing company. When site surveying, you could visit the assembly company anytime, any day without shelling out money on transportation costs. When problem arises, communication is easier. When a rush order is in place, delivery is faster. These factors help in establishing a stronger customer relationship and in increasing sales for the company.
Inspect the prospective assembly house’s machines. The company is a good choice if the assembling machines are the latest model. It means the company invests on technological advancements to deliver the latest innovation to their customers. Also, see how the company maintains their equipments. If in case the PCB assembly company does not have the latest model, look into their client portfolio. Perhaps despite the outdated machines, they can still deliver and complete orders in excellent condition.
Printed circuit board assembly requires technical knowledge. Review the assembly company’s labor force. Do the employees have technical training and certifications in board assembly?
In electronics, certifications are essential because it means adherence to local and international standards when it comes to quality management. Acquiring certification means the assembly company is serious about quality. There are three highest certifications in electronics industry: International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries
Ability To Meet Deadlines
Evaluate the ability of the PCB assembly company to meet deadlines by reviewing their client’s portfolio. If interview is possible with one or two of the company’s existing clients, schedule it. Also, review the history of their supplier in electronics component if the OEM is not supplying the parts. Through experiences, a manufacturing company can have a clear understanding on how the assembly company deals with tight deadlines.
Costs Of Assembly
Labor costs vary from one place to another. Some states have higher labor rate. Obtain a complete list of the costs of assembly from all the prospective assembler. Compare the list to see which one offers the best price. OEM should also consider transportation expenses.
Long Term Factors
These factors include labor rate increases, transportation costs, delivery time changes, and the manufacturing company’s vision. Consideration of these long-term factors aids the OEM to evaluate how long the outsourcing lasts. Whether the OEM is better off creating an assembly department or not depends on the results of these long-term factors.
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