With the rise of electronic assembly industry, many electronics manufacturers in order to reduce production risk to select the appropriate processors, but the corresponding also appeared in a variety of problems. What problems can we avoid in the process of PCB assembly? When we understand these issues, we can better ensure the quality of our products.
1 - Communication Issues
Electronics manufacturing should not be treated as a "fire and forget" solution. A good product requires a consistent flow of information back and forth between the assembler and the company ordering it. This includes plenty of prototyping and testing, with feedback to match.
This can be difficult to achieve with domestic assemblers, and it's far more difficult when dealing with overseas operations. If you're looking offshore for assembly, we strongly recommend you hire a translator you can trust (ie, not local to the assembler) and keep them stationed on-site.
If you're relying on your manufacturer to provide translation/communication, you will simply never know whether they're being honest or not.
2 - Long Supply Lines
When choosing an PCB assembly service, their logistics become your logistics. If they're sourcing parts from halfway around the world, with a 4-6 month lead time, this can be hugely detrimental to your operations.
Besides the obvious costs in fuel and transportation, it also limits your flexibility. Today's market is more reactive and faster-changing than any other market in history. Six months can see a product go from fad to has-been.
If you lack the ability to quickly respond to new market forces, and give customers what they want when they ask for it, you're probably going to lose business to other, more flexible companies.
3 - Robust Manufacturing Facilities
You should always have a very good idea of the facilities a manufacturer has on-site. Don't take anything on faith and, especially, don't deal with PC board assemblers who won't discuss their own equipment. This virtually always means it's antiquated or, worse, they're secretly outsourcing the work themselves to a company you wouldn't know about.
To be able to produce a full range of products -especially ones with multiple variations- you need an assembler who has invested in a full range of PCB manufacturing facilities including support for both surface-mount and through-hole production, hot and cold and clean rooms, and computer-aided testing facilities.
Pay attention to standards compliance as well, especially those issued through IEEE. A facility with high-level IEEE certifications will be much more likely to produce high-quality goods.
4 - Computerized Components Tracking
Counterfeit parts are one of THE biggest challenges in electronics assembly today. Even the US Air Force discovered frauds in their own supply lines a few years ago.
The one and only way to counteract this is to work with a manufacturer who uses tracking services to guarantee each and every part comes directly from a legitimate supplier, and is never 'swapped' anywhere in the process. When parts are tracked via QR Codes, RFID, or other computerized services, their provenance can be demonstrated with a far greater degree of certainty than is ever possible using hand-done surveys.
Choose a good electronic assembly service providers, and you will get a better return.