Would you like to be able to design a PCB, select simulations, find the necessary components, create a bill of materials (BOM), and then click the magic button “Produce” to let the rest of the process run on its own without the need for your interference and loss of quality equipment electronic? Of course, there is no such magic button in the real world, but there are PCB assembly companies that electronics manufacturers can outsource some of their responsibilities to and, in the meantime, take care of other essential aspects of their business. In recent years, OEMs have been outsourcing PCB assembly more and more. Let’s find out what the benefits are.
PCB production is a complex and detailed process requiring knowledge and experience. In addition, the growing presence of electronic devices on the consumer market and in the industry meant that the demand for professional assembly services had increased significantly. Initially, OEMs dealt with PCB assembly as part of their internal capabilities, but in recent years manufacturers have increasingly outsourced the PCB Assembly, which is associated with many essential benefits.
How does OEM benefit from PCB assembly outsourcing?
There is no doubt that in one article, we cannot list all the benefits that OEMs derive from cooperation with the supplier of electronic manufacturing services (EMS). A production partnership with a contract electronics manufacturer helps obtain the highest value of the entire venture, both in the case of building small and specialized components and in the case of mass, serial production. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to the five most important advantages of cooperation with an EMS provider.
#1: LOWER INVESTMENT BUDGET
Many companies, particularly those at the beginning of their business, often face insufficient budgets to implement planned investments. The cost of purchasing equipment, changing the location, or employing specialists to manage and support the investment process can be simply prohibitive. In addition, it is worth considering that the minimization and complexity of currently produced PCBs are increasing, and thus their production has become much more complicated and requires even more specialized solutions, knowledge, and experience.
It would help if you also remembered that equipment purchase and employee remuneration are not the only costs that the OEM must incur to produce the PCB. Commencing assembly is also associated with hidden costs, such as employee benefits, social benefits, or essential certificates and training. Furthermore, in many cases, outsourcing is a solution to get around the problem of insufficient investment budget. Therefore, commencing cooperation with an EMS supplier is especially important for companies that do not need continuous, mass production of electronic components and are limited to small investments.
#2: COOPERATION WITH COMPETENT SPECIALISTS
OEMs using PCB assembly outsourcing can afford to cooperate with the best professionals in their field. A skilled EMS can help the principal optimize the entire production process. For example, the supplier can analyze the product documentation scrupulously and suggest significant design changes to the OEM before production begins. That allows for faster detection of design flaws and possibly material irregularities.
What’s more, EMS has numerous certificates that guarantee, for example, that the contractor has implemented appropriate procedures in case of failure, e.g., a business continuity management certificate, or multiple certificates of narrow specialization, e.g., for medical projects. Furthermore, if the OEM operates in a given industry, this company should cooperate with a subcontractor with a certification dedicated to introducing a product tailored to a specific market.
#3: OPERATIONAL CONTROL
The EMS assembly supplier brings new skills to your business, eliminating the need for restructuring. However, the expenses related to the production line organization are not the only costs of assembling the electronics. The EMS partner, unlike the OEM, has a properly organized environment, thanks to which it is also able to manage processes such as warehousing and logistics, procurement, and material management.
Thanks to its experience, knowledge, and access to technology, EMS can constantly solve any problems regarding inventory management and the entire product life cycle. In the case of small businesses, any unexpected change or anomaly in production may result in the freezing of a significant portion of capital. Thanks to his internal resources, the EMS supplier can adequately respond to any problems without affecting production.
#4: AFTER-SALES SUPPORT
Successful cooperation between the OEM and the EMS supplier often results in the subcontractor becoming a vital business partner. Such a relationship is possible to build when EMS is an expert in its industry and supports the OEM at every stage of the product life cycle. For example, support at introducing the product to the market is significant. Thanks to his experience, the EMS supplier can help the OEM analyze product failures reported by end-users and then conclude its actual use in its natural environment.
#5: COMPREHENSIVE PRODUCTION AND ASSEMBLY REGARDLESS OF THE VOLUME
A flexible EMS with appropriate technical and technological facilities can perform all types of orders for OEM, regardless of the expected production volume. PCBs are often not finished products yet. Therefore, cooperation with EMS does not have to be limited only to the printed circuit board itself. The supplier can consolidate most of the on-site assembly work, ensuring that the final assembly goes smoothly.
Good EMS carries out orders for its clients, regardless of needing a few, a dozen, or several dozen PCBs. Moreover, thanks to his experience, he can also propose an appropriate assembly method, which will be the most profitable in a given case. Thus, even the production of low-circulation assembly series does not have to be unprofitable.
Focus on core business with PCB assembly outsourcing
Some projects may require skills or technology that the OEM may not have in-house. Outsourcing allows you to compensate for this by providing the support of a qualified, trained, and flexible EMS partner. In addition, outsourcing allows companies to gain flexibility by adding additional resources as needed. It happens that OEMs who undertake self-assembly face a weaker distribution of internal resources and an increase in expenses to the detriment of the core business, which is the determinant of the success of the entire company. PCB assembly outsourcing allows OEMs to focus their resources on activities that bring them profit without sacrificing assembly quality. On the contrary, thanks to the cooperation with an EMS provider, they can benefit from the highest quality assembly services.