PCB Assembly Outsourcing

About industrial-scaled production and why your current supplier no longer suffices.

Five important indicators

PCB assembly outsourcing is a difficult subject. After all, how do you know whether your current supplier provides you with the best solutions for your needs, now and in the future? Your supplier will wisely avoid the topic if he has doubts himself. And for you, it’s hard to gather the knowledge needed to decide whether you have to change your PCB assembly outsourcing. In this article, you will find five important indicators.

Maybe you recognize one of the following situations:

Sound familiar? Then read on and judge for yourself whether you're ready for the next level of PCB outsourcing.


1. Volume and PCB assembly outsourcing

Producing smaller batches usually doesn’t come with much problems. But what when your sales pays off and volumes keep increasing?

PCB design and larger volumes

Larger-scale production often brings unexpected challenges that mostly turn out to be key success factors for further growth and success. The most important one: a product design or PCB design that is not fit (or fit enough) for mass production.

‘Producible’ versus ‘mass-producible’

When it comes to PCBs, there is a huge difference between ‘producible’ and ‘mass-producible’, with the layout of the PCB playing a decisive role. The Design for Manufacturing stage becomes crucial when you switch to mass production. From the place of the components to the right mix of small and large components: they suddenly make a huge difference in terms of producibility and cost-effective producibility.

Is the production of your PCBs becoming less efficient as the year goes on? Not sure whether your supplier can handle the quantities? And if he's still working cost-effectively? Then it's time to think about switching to a new level of EMS outsourcing.

PCB assembly outsourcing testing


2. Testing and PCB assembly outsourcing

Quality, lead time and costs all are subject to many parameters. Do you know whether your supplier meets these parameters? And when was the last time you had tests performed and discussed the results for continuous improvement?

Design for Testing

Testing leads to valuable data and insights that can help to improve both the product and the production process. Proper testing, however, is not easy. It requires the use of not only Design for Manufacturing (DfM), but also Design for Testing (DfT). Both stages are necessary to make sure that your PCBs are optimized for testing.

Quality, lead time and price

Besides that, testing PCBs in the PCB outsourcing process involves a lot more than performing a handful of one-off functional tests. Proper PCB testing is about measuring whether all conditions are met to ensure the required quality, lead time and price (and to keep improving them).

Is your number of defective products growing? And are you getting more and more return shipments? Then now's the time to start testing seriously with a high-quality testing platform.


3. Scarce components and PCB assembly outsourcing

You may be aware that there are issues surrounding the availability of many electronics components. But are you aware of what impact this might have on your PCBs?

Four factors

There are the four main factors that compromise the availability of components:

  • Growing demand for electronics products
  • Concentration and reorganisation of components
  • Shortages of raw materials 
  • The miniaturisation pervasive in our industry.

PCBA component management

Component management

These are, unfortunately, factors in the EMS outsourcing process over which neither of us have any control. But there is the option to circumvent these problems: by focusing on component management at an early stage of the process. 

This means that, when selecting your components, you should not only look at their price-performance ratio (value for money) but also at their availability. This way, you can mitigate the impact of price-increasing effects and – which is arguably even more important – prevent your preferred components from becoming unavailable.

Don't you know to what extent the scarcity of components can affect your PCBs? Then it's high time to opt for PCB assembly outsourcing at a higher level. With specialists who can get you expert advice based on their market knowledge and a global database with all available information on the subject.

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