How to Identify If Your CM Has the Technical Chops to Handle Your Project

Christi Beck-Levicki Blog

The success of your electronics manufacturing project depends upon the technical prowess of your contract manufacturer (CM). It’s of the utmost importance to verify that a potential CM is tech-savvy enough to meet your desired project goals and expectations. Otherwise, you could sign a contract with a CM that delivers unsatisfactory, low-quality, or defect-prone electronics – after you’ve already paid. While there are endless technical solutions and innovations that could play roles in electronic equipment manufacturing, here are five any CM absolutely shouldn’t be without in 2018.

  1. Manufacturing Equipment

First and foremost, your CM needs the equipment, tools, and machinery to build the highest quality printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs), box builds, and other electronics. This is an essential requirement that your CM must have to successfully complete your project. The technology your CM uses can make a big difference in the quality and consistency of your products. Look for prominent brand names such as Apollo, Cogiscan, DEK, Juki, Mirtec, Seica, and Thermotron to check that the manufacturer is using equipment from trusted suppliers.

The more high-tech the CM’s equipment, the more likely your finished products will be of the highest quality. Advanced technology can save you time and money by making the manufacturing process more efficient, minimizing risks such as human error, delivering creative solutions for your needs and concerns. Browse the CM’s website or schedule a conversation with one of the staff members to find out about the equipment the facility uses to fulfill customer orders. Then, compare the equipment used by different CMs to see which is right for you.

  1. Engineering Support

The most advanced technology in the world would be useless without bright minds in charge of the operations. A serious technical capability your CM should have is a team of experienced, knowledgeable engineers, project managers, and others managing each stage of production. It is the engineering support of the CM that will lead to innovative solutions to your unique problems. Look for licensed and certified electronic engineers, supply chain managers, and project managers available to support your project from beginning to end. Saline Lectronics, for instance, has a talented team of electronic engineers with more than 125 years of combined experience.

  1. Material Inventory Control

Another technical capability to look for is material inventory control. Inventory control involves supply chain and operations management, to make sure that your inventory minimizes losses. Good electronic materials planning optimizes the entire supply chain. Look for a CM that provides supply chain management capabilities to improve your bottom line and overall operability. One way Saline Lectronics tackles material inventory control is with the Juki StorageSolutions Fortress, which enables the company to handle material management on high-volume assemblies. Technology like this can help manage your inventory on a whole new level.

  1. Traceability Processes

Traceability refers to the process of tracing electronics throughout every step of the assembly process and tracking the location of the circuit board or other product through a recorded identification system. Traceability is important in electronics manufacturing to reduce risks and errors throughout the process. Look for advanced traceability capabilities during manufacturing to better regulate product quality and to ensure the safety and reliability of the electronics. The best traceability systems will track not just the finished circuit board, but every component used during assembly. It should also give you data about your product in real-time. Without adequate traceability technology, you put yourself at risk of product mistakes that could hurt business.

  1. Industry Certifications

Finally, check for industry certifications to get an idea of the state of the CM’s industry-specific technical capabilities. The CM you choose should have the specific tools and resources you need for a medical device build, for example, or for what you need in the defense, aerospace, telematics, or oil and gas industries. Look for certifications and capabilities within your industry to make sure the CM has the technical chops to do what needs to be done for your project.

Saline Lectronics has an ultra-advanced production facility that uses cutting-edge manufacturing equipment and the latest best practices to handle even the most challenging circuit board or electronic assemblies. Lectronics 4.0, for example, uses smart technology to create a connected, intelligent factory that can save 50% of time in kit set-up and enhance the quality of finished products. Contact us today for more information about our technical proficiency.

P.S. Imagine what Industry 5.0 might look like.