Tip # 4 – A CM that will openly share electronic manufacturing solutions

Christi Beck-Levicki Blog

Our continued blog series with advice on how to avoid an only-following-instructions type electronic Contract Manufacturer, and leveraging a successful partnership with a transparent and proactive electronic contract manufacturer.

In last week’s blog post “A CM that has close relationships with their preferred suppliers” we offered the third tip in how to avoid landing another only-following-instructions type CM. Here’s our fourth, and final, tip:

A CM that will openly share electronic manufacturing solutions that were found during the assembly process

Not everything that is perfect on paper will work out in reality. Sometimes material doesn’t fit as expected, or hand soldering of a wire isn’t feasible. Whatever the concern, surprises will happen on the manufacturing floor! It’s how your CM reacts to those obstacles and overcomes them that truly matters. You want a CM that’s going to take the time to not only identify the true root cause of a failure, but also design a solution to be implemented to prevent the issue from happening again during future production runs.

A recent example of this happened at our facility during the assembly of a box build product for a major defense client. For this electro-mechanical product, we experienced inconsistency when placing a mechanical device into the chassis. We need to ensure that it is locked securely into the chassis without movement, guaranteeing that the clamping loads are strong enough to withstand a certain g-force. Our engineering team did the appropriate calculations, and working directly with the mechanical part supplier, we came up with a tweak that would allow us to insert the part more precisely while still meeting the client’s strict aerospace requirements. When we brought the issue and solution directly to our client’s engineering group, they accepted our changes. The Senior Quality Engineer even commented how much he appreciated our transparency to bring forward a solution instead of simply saying it can’t be assembled as-is, which is something he had experienced with other CMs.

Overall, this comment truly captures the essence of what you should be looking for in your next CM partnership – transparency, technical acumen, and trust.

View all of the tips in this series: “Why Your Contract Manufacturer Should Do More Than Assembly Your Product