One weak link in a supply chain can cripple business, regardless of industry, products or economic standing. Yesterday's successes are no guarantee for tomorrow, so original equipment manufacturers must put in the time to ensure hangups between them and their suppliers are dealt with quickly and completely before they upend operations.
Money isn't everything in PCB production and assembly, but you wouldn't know it looking at the behavior of many electronics manufacturers. Although large-scale production can somewhat escape blame due to the sheer size of their orders, small-to-medium-sized demands from startups and SMBs regularly turn down reasonably priced box builds for the cheapest option around.
Manufacturers hoping to court military and defense decision-makers ought to tailor their products around what the armed forces hopes for the future. After all, the customer's always right - especially when the customer wears fatigues.
The fourth industrial revolution is coming - will electronics manufacturers be ready?
Inspections, as they pertain to quality assurance in printed circuit board manufacture and assembly, are a double-edged sword for electronics providers. On the one hand, a thorough vetting of components and connections makes for a reliable, functional product with a long life cycle. Detailed inspections, however, obviously take time, which could lengthen PCBA lead times on prototypes or new goods.
As with all manufactured or processed goods, businesses in the market for printed circuit board assembly go where the money is - or isn't, as the case may be. For the most attractive costs, companies are willing to outsource operations.
To an outsider, printed circuit board assembly in an age of surface mount technology may seem a little like a "paint-by-numbers" trade. However, as electronics continue to shrink in size, PCB manufacturing and assembly face new challenges and must meet a higher standard of expertise to continue servicing the most innovative electronics providers.
Want to buy a "designer" handbag for $20? How about a fresh pair of "name-brand" sneakers for $10? Interested in a DVD of the latest summer blockbuster before it's even out of the theaters?
Surface-mount technology has been around since the 1980s as a lead design blueprint for PCBA—but will its past dictate the future?