Online quoting tools that offer customers the ability to create their own printed circuit board quotes and place orders online has become quite common in the PCB industry today. InstantPCBQuote from Epec aims to do more than the competitors. Most quoting tools are designed for lower technology parts which don't need much more than the outside dimensions of the board to provide a fast quote.
The future of manufacturing in the U.S. is set up to be driven by volatile economic conditions, 3D printing, robotics, mobile technology, the Internet of Things, embedded devices, and other emerging technologies. Forecasting the future is always risky, but there are several factors converging right now that bring more clarity as we begin our journey into the second decade of the 21st century.
Engineering in most industries, still tends to be primarily dominated by males. When I first entered the field of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) engineering, it was a bit intimidating. This was because the men always outnumbered the women. I felt we were graded on separate standards "Men vs Women".
When we sat down in 2005 to develop our IT infrastructure plan for the company, I was unsure of why we spent so much time evaluating every investment in terms of what we would do in case of a disaster. Well this winter, I found out why that was so important.
Over the past several years, the label "hybrid supplier" has become more popular among industry leading product and service companies. The term means combining multiple business elements with a unique process to create a mixture suited to fulfill all of a customer's needs under one company. While this sounds like a very attractive business model for a customer to use, it is much harder than it sounds.
With the news of TTM and Viasystems merger, two of the last big three (Sanmina being the third) circuit board manufacturers joining together is certain to have wide ranging effects on the United States Printed Circuit Board industry. To start, each merger of companies this size are priced to include "synergies" between the two companies. The word synergy is code for closing facilities and cutting people to save money to pay for the acquisition.
In the second part of this post, we will discuss 3 specific processes that you should review to control for manufacturing supplier quality management before starting to do business with them. As a customer, you need to know that every aspect of your order is managed with the utmost care in a process that is repeatable and accountable.
In today’s challenging manufacturing marketplace it is more and more difficult selecting the most capable supplier that has the right capabilities for your company long term (so challenging, in fact, we had to break it into 2 parts). With more pressure being put on cost cutting and improving efficiency, it becomes very easy to put a short term gain ahead of all else. Unfortunately, when we do that, we end up losing sight of long term goals that drive core future organizational growth.