When it Comes to American Vs. Overseas Manufacturing: Standards and Regulations Make a BIG Difference

Choosing American Production Guards You in More Ways Than One[/caption]

The news has been littered with stories over the years about overseas manufacturers stealing the intellectual property of U.S. companies. It’s gotten so serious that some U.S. companies have abandoned overseas manufacturing and returned home altogether.

Due to a combination of lax government enforcement of trade and patent laws and the highly variable nature of actually enforcing intellectual property rights internationally, protecting your intellectual property can sometimes become another hidden cost of manufacturing off-shore.  is a virtual non-issue with the combination of an American manufacturer and a simple confidentiality agreement.

In America, an NDA, confidentiality agreement, and well-established laws make this a virtual non-issue.

This has proven especially true when it comes to small and medium sized businesses, who – unlike large, corporations – possess few tangible resources outside their intellectual property itself. In the U.S. IP protection is comparably simple. In turn, U.S. contract manufacturers believe honesty is the best policy and carefully safeguard every customer’s intellectual property.

Benefit from the Best Available Safety and Environmental Standards

In the U.S. OEMs aren’t just protected in terms of intellectual property. Domestic contract manufacturers must also follow strict environmental standards. Hazardous chemicals must be properly disposed and the Environmental Protection Agency requires companies to fully comply.

Additionally, it’s incredibly difficult for manufacturers in the U.S. to cut corners when it comes to material quality. For every manufacturing relationship, keeping costs low and quality high is the name of the game. However, through a combination of distance and a higher degree of government oversight, quality can tend to fade over time when manufacturing happens thousands of miles away. Not only does this carry the risk of both reduced product quality, but also a reduction in reputation. Some worst-case scenarios have even seen products in various industries marred by unacceptable and even illegal levels of dangerous materials – all in an effort to cut costs lower and keep business overseas.

Ultimately, when it comes to overseas manufacturing – there’s often no telling what environmental and safety standards manufacturers follow.

Electronic Contract Manufacturing: Your Life Wouldn’t Be The Same Without It

You’ve seen video footage of endless conveyor belts dutifully carrying every part and component through the gauntlet of creation known as “electronic contract manufacturing”. You’ve seen images of robots soldering part by part to delicate components, plugs inserted, wires installed, and more. You know very well that the many products and mechanisms you use every day aren’t entirely made by hand. You know they are mass manufactured at the hands of wonderfully complex machines and robotic manufacturing equipment.

You know all of this, but have you ever considered where we would be and how you would live if none of it existed? Without electronic contract manufacturing services (ems) the computer at your fingertips, the phone in your pocket, and the car in your driveway would be drastically more expensive, and the fabric of the world would be far different than what we’ve grown accustomed to. Would cars exist? Would we all have “smart phones” in our pockets? Would identity theft be a problem? Electronic manufacturing services (EMS) have changed the world by making all kinds of products and commodities readily available to the wider public. But what is electronic manufacturing and why is it so important?

Thought of quite literally, electronic contract manufacturing is the industrial process where an electronic manufacturing service provides the automated manufacturing of virtually any electronic component, part, or product.

Every day, electronic contract manufacturers are responsible for the fast and efficient production of everything from medical instrumentation, military electronics,  and commercial products to oceanographic instruments and precision robotics. Products manufactured with EMS can be anything from printed circuit boards for a specific application or the entirely assembled and tested final product. This often involves processes such as printed circuit board assembly, surface mount assembly, flex circuit assembly, and much more.

Lets consider the printed circuit board for example. Printed circuit boards are used to electrically “connect” electronic components using series upon series of interwoven pathways etched into copper sheets that have been laminated with a non-conductive substrate. When electronic components are mounted onto a printed circuit board, it becomes a printed circuit assembly. Without printed circuit boards and printed circuit assemblies, the electronics we depend on would not work. For example, your computer has a motherboard. The motherboard drives and provides power for various components such as the CPU, GPU, power supply, USB ports, and more. Without this critical printed circuit board, your computer would not function. Because printed circuit boards can be manufactured quickly and reliably with electronic contract manufacturing, computers are more affordable.

Now when you think about how important computers are, consider the fact that every computer contains a printed circuit board that had to be manufactured. Without EMS, chances are the ubiquity of computers might not exist, because they would be far too expensive to produce.