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.