There are lots of reasons why, as an OEM, you might choose to outsource your electronics manufacturing. Perhaps you don’t have the necessary capabilities in house, or the money required for upfront investments in equipment. Or maybe you need help speeding up your time to market.
However, electronics manufacturing is a complicated process. Any decision to outsource to an external supplier must be taken with great care.
Choosing the right partner is essential to ensuring a successful and long-term relationship. But finding the right electronics manufacturing services provider can be a difficult task.
On the one hand, you don’t want to spend a fortune. On the other hand, you want to make sure you’re getting a good quality product. There’s a fine balance between the two.
Here are some of the points you need to consider before choosing your EMS provider.
Do your research
When looking for a company to outsource your electronics manufacturing to, it’s important to do your research. Start by looking at manufacturers’ websites to discover what services they offer and as much information about them as you can. From there, you can narrow your list down to just a few companies which you want to talk to in more detail.
Ideally, you should meet your potential EMS provider in person. This will give you a better sense of what it would be like to work with them and whether or not they would be a good fit for your business.
Ask the right questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions either. How much will they charge to create your parts? A good manufacturer should take the time to provide you with a detailed quote. You can then use these quotes to compare what each company is offering for the price.
What kind of guarantees do they offer? It’s crucial to find out what would happen if any of the parts are faulty. You want to use a company that stands behind its services and which will make sure you are satisfied with the end product.
Are they using the latest equipment and technology? Have they met and documented maintenance schedules? You would expect manufacturers to have access to the necessary equipment and an expert understanding of the technology needed to fulfil your project.
How much experience do they have in manufacturing the component you need? If they’ve worked on similar projects in the past, they’ll already know where to source the best components from and be familiar with any assembly challenges.
What quality accreditations do they have? How often do they deliver the full order on time to their customers? Both certifications and the manufacturer’s performance history will give you a good insight into what standards the company adheres to and what its customer service is like.
Key standards to look out for
In the electronics manufacturing industry, there are many quality standards and accreditations to look out for. Some are more important than others (i.e. they are a requirement rather than a guideline or framework). Some are also more specific to a particular market.
At EC Electronics, we place a high emphasis on both supplier and product quality. We have been an ISO 9001 approved EMS provider since 1994. All of our material suppliers also work to internationally recognised standards — including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 13485, IATF 16949:2016 and IPC Class 3 — from well-known approval organisations.
Let’s break down what these accreditations mean.
This internationally recognised standard for quality management systems covers a wide range of business functions. Areas include process improvement, contract reviews, traceability, customer satisfaction and complaints procedures, on-going training and risk management.
This standard provides a framework for addressing numerous environmental management issues, such as impact and carbon footprint reduction, pollution prevention, sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
ISO 13485 was specifically developed to cover the manufacture of medical devices. It aims to bring a level of consistency to medical device regulatory requirements — focusing on areas such as process improvement, traceability, quality control and legal compliance.
This technical specification was introduced to help define common processes and procedures for companies which design, manufacture and service products supplied to the automotive industry.
This standard is widely used throughout the EMS industry. It provides guidance on the inspection standards and acceptance criteria for printed circuit board assemblies.
Initially released in 2002, this standard describes requirements for cable and wire harness assemblies based on visual criteria. It has become the industry standard against which to measure quality and acceptance.
These industry-recognised accreditations, along with our factory’s own quality processes, give our customers peace of mind that their product will be manufactured to the high standards they demand, in a timely and cost-effective manner.
If you’re interested in finding a new manufacturer you can rely on, please get in contact with EC Electronics today.