How to Cut Costs by Improving Quality During Contract Assembly

With so many manufacturers faced with the prospect of cutting quality in order to cut costs – we’ve learned that a more quality-oriented alternative isn’t just possible, but more viable and effective in the long-term. With this in mind, it’s important to consider the contract assembly process a critical opportunity to add value and lower costs.

In addition to being low-cost, a company’s PCBA must function well—which means that the assembly process must take into account the tolerances of both the board and its included components. A properly designed PCBA helps to improve quality, reduce manufacturing time and lower product cost.

Quality assembly takes every factor into consideration to help eliminate errors and prevent costly delays. Following, you will find the hallmarks of our approach to maximizing quality and savings throughout the contract surface mount assembly process.

  • Identify build standards and assembly documentation early: IPC-A-610 is accepted worldwide as a standard for high-quality, high-reliability PCBA assemblies. Some assemblies may require different workmanship standards as laid down by IPC-A-610.
  • Maximize automation: The more hand assembly you rely on, the greater your costs will be. It’s that simple. There are plenty of automated contract manufacturing companies in the U.S. and abroad that can help you keep costs low.
  • Minimize damage with careful placement: Components should be placed 6.35 mm from the PCB edge. With regard to potential damage during depanelization, parallel to the edge is better.
  • Plan for delicate components: Delicate components, such as ceramic capacitors, are at risk of cracking when they are placed too close to the edge. Manufacturing equipment clamping mechanisms require un-obstructed room to grab the PCB effectively.
  • Component spacing is critical: This is particularly true around ball grid assemblies (BGAs)—.150″ spacing is recommended. This spacing allows enough room for hot air rework tools if upgrades or replacement is required.

Bonus Tip: Good Assembly Documentation is Vital

In addition to all of the above steps. High-quality assembly at an efficient price can never come if expectations and specifications aren’t clear. This is where assembly documentation comes in.

  • Specify the Solder Type: In order to prevent unwanted delays or expenses, assembly documentation should always specify the solder type. Whether it’s  tin-lead material or RoHS and Flux, this is the type of essential information that should be readily available.
  • Include labeling and traceability requirements:  Identifying product labeling and traceability requirements on assembly documentation is an extra step that can severely reduce headaches further down the line. The label location should be identified with a box in the silkscreen layer.

Better contract assembly is something Distron takes seriously. Contact us today to learn how. For insight into how we approach efficient and effective contract manufacturing for a wide variety of specifications, visit our case studies page.

 


What to Look for in an Electronic Contract Manufacturer

Electronic contract manufacturing plays a vital role for businesses and industries around the world. But before getting into what separates the good from the bad, a brief definition of an electronic contract manufacturer might help.

On a very basic level, electronic contract manufacturers like Distron (otherwise known as “ECMs”) use advanced manufacturing technology and machinery to produce the intricate components many of our electronics rely on.

A number of industries take advantage of electronic contract manufacturing when they need a fast, effective, and reliable source for complex assembly. These industries often include the aerospace, defense, computer, semiconductor, energy, medical, food manufacturing, personal care, and automotive fields.

One of the most common fallacies these days is that all of the electronic contract manufacturing businesses have moved overseas in search of greater cost savings. Apart from being living proof that this isn’t true, Distron is proud to be proof that this fallacy isn’t exactly true — especially for high precision applications in the aerospace, defense, and medical industries.

But what makes a good electronic manufacturer? When looking for the right contract manufacturer for your project, you must make a few considerations. At Distron, we take all of the following into mind when optimizing our processes, services, and customer support.

Relationships:

Will another contract manufacturer push you to the bottom of the queue when a high-volume project comes along and demands next-day delivery?

At Distron, when we’re working on your project — you are number one. For any contract manufacturer, relationships are important. As a business, you have to be confident that your manufacturing will be completed in a timely fashion — not pushed back because something else came along.

What is best, is what Distron offers. A real relationship from as early as the prototype stage to full production. This gives us a full understanding of your product and the ability to identify any ways to improve it, while avoiding costly pitfalls and delays. This dedication to an actual relationship ensures that you get the patience, time, and resources necessary when it comes to developing a product that has been designed and optimized for quality and cost efficiency.

Staying Competitive:

Any good electronic contract manufacturer should be focused on helping you stay competitive. This is particularly true at Distron, where our specialty is working with small to medium sized companies. This involves a variety of processes ranging from helping you stay up to date with industry trends to helping you prepare for various regulations pertinent to your products or components.

Flexibility:

Because of the variety of different products and components that rely on effective ECM, a good provider should be able to demonstrate a high degree of flexibility in terms of its structure, processes, and equipment. Flexibility is absolutely necessary when it comes to accommodating various customers, products, and timelines. At Distron, we accomplish this flexibility by offering a wide variety of services ranging from PCB assembly, supply chain management and BGA repair to comprehensive inspection and testing services. At the same time, remaining flexible also means having strong distributor relationships for greater cost efficiency and reliability.

When all of these factors come together, businesses get a contract manufacturing resource that offers the many benefits of manufacturing in America with a level of cost efficiency comparable to off-shore manufacturing.

Would you like to know more about contract manufacturing at Distron? Please don’t hesitate to contact us today.