In the electronics industry, if you want to maintain your competitiveness, you need to constantly improve your process to ensure the quality of production. This will attract more customers and retain your old customers. Of course, this is just a new business model, which requires the company has the ability to practice to improve the specific process.
Best Practices for Improving Your Electronic Assembly Processes
Take Nothing for Granted
Sure, you may believe that your design specs and boards are as efficient as they could possibly be, but why should you settle for the status quo? When we become overly comfortable, we stop changing and improving. In order to avoid getting stuck in a rut, you might want to give some thought to teaming up with a trusted contract manufacturing company that can review your current plans. By taking a look at what you've got, a new set of eyes might be able to pinpoint areas that could actually be improved, enabling you to cut down on the number of components that need to be used, improve efficiency, and lower costs.
Be Smart About Batch Sizes
Going back and forth between handling a large batch order and smaller-scale batch orders is not efficient. Being required to re-set the assembly for mismatched batch orders will slow you down, increasing production times and spending. Take care to plan ahead and plan strategically so that you are handling all large orders together and all smaller orders together. If you don't have the means of doing this, you might even want to consider subbing out some of your jobs to a PCB manufacturing partner in order to improve efficiency.
Make Use of the Best
In order for you to speed up your electronic assembly processes without compromising quality, you'll need to take advantage of the most advanced machinery, design tools, robotics, and other state-of-the-art technologies. Unfortunately, for many small and midsize electronics companies, this can be very expensive and difficult to manage. If you're unable to keep up with your larger competitors, though, you can still stay in the game. A good PCB manufacturer will keep up with all of the best techniques, practices, and technologies. Your partnership with such a third-party contractor will enable you to enjoy access to this tech without having to purchase, maintain, or house the equipment.
Don't Cut Corners
One of the biggest mistakes that "underdog" electronics companies tend to make is hiring a contract manufacturing company that operates "across the pond". These offshore manufacturing services often offer lower prices than their American competitors, but you should understand that you'll get what you pay for. Many of these overseas companies have a tendency to cut corners, purchasing counterfeit parts in order to reduce their costs. This can completely compromise the quality of the product, resulting in board failures, and can even create unsafe conditions that could get you penalized or force a recall. To preserve your integrity and reputation, be sure to take the time to find a high quality American company to partner with.
Minimize Warranty Replacements
Replacing a faulty board with a brand new warranty item can be very expensive, and is often a huge waste of money. In many cases, the board is failing because of one faulty component or a simple problem. When you or your contract manufacturer can troubleshoot and make easy repairs, you can save significantly and also improve customer confidence in your product.