Making the decision to partner with a PCB assembly manufacturer comes with many benefits. With a PCB assembly company as your partner, you can improve design efficiency, get a second pair of eyes on your designs, gain access to the latest technology, and reduce your material costs.
So, how do you find the right PCB company to work with?
A good PCB manufacturer will deliver high quality PCBs at a reasonable price. And they will be efficient, but not “cheap.” If you want quality, you need to pay more for it. But, the price you pay should be competitive.
To get an idea of what kind of quality and efficiency your potential partner can provide, here are some questions you can ask them:
1) Have you implemented “Lean Manufacturing Principles”?
If a company has implemented Lean Manufacturing principles, you know they are committed to efficiency. It means that they are focused on eliminating waste and maximizing the value that they provide to you. Through implementing systems they can ensure that production is efficient and that a high quality, cost-effective product is passed on to you.
2) How much of your key staff have been with the company long-term?
High turnover at a manufacturing company can lead to decreased efficiency. When new people are constantly getting up to speed, it can slow down the production process and lead to more breakdowns in quality. By working with a company that is good at developing employee training systems and retaining its employees, you’re benefitting from the increased efficiency of a smooth manufacturing process.
3) What kind of testing do you do before shipment?
It’s important that your PCB manufacturer is committed to “doing it right the first time.” That means that they will test all products 100% before shipping them to you. If they don’t, you can end up with sub-par product quality and that is going to hurt your own productivity and efficiency. By choosing a manufacturer that is 100% committed to quality, you will always know what you’re getting before you receive it.
By choosing a PCB manufacturer that uses lean manufacturing principles, is good at staff retention and that tests all products 100% before shipment, you’ll be putting yourself in a position to reap the rewards of a highly profitable partnership.