There was a time—so I’ve heard—when business relationships were forged by a simple handshake. Sealing the deal with a handshake today, though, is difficult for various reasons. One of the most significant obstacles to face-to-face meetings with business partners, especially manufacturers or suppliers, is that their facilities may be located far away.
The fact that manufacturers may be located remotely certainly does not indicate any loss of quality when working with them. However, for the best circuit board and electronics manufacturing results, your PCBA design and its intent must be clearly understood by the CM, which is more unlikely when significant geographical barriers; such as international borders, exist that make it difficult to establish a direct relationship with your manufacturer. The formation of this level of access promotes an integrated PCBA development process, which stands out as one of the benefits of local manufacturing.
Essentials for a Good Developer-CM Relationship
It is well-known that the best PCBA development is largely based on the degree of manufacturing efficacy of your CM. One reason for this is the need for the acquisition and utilization of accurate DFM and DFA guidelines that will impact your board’s manufacturability. Additionally, your CM needs to understand your design clearly in order to incorporate your design intent and provide the best support. These are achievable goals as long as the following requirements for the developer-CM relationship are met.
What You Should Expect From Your CM
Next to comprehensive design data and an accurate BOM, the most important factor for optimal board builds is communication. Of course, this means you must be able to correspond with your CM. Additionally, you should be able to readily obtain information about the manufacturing process and the status of your boards.
- Process Transparency
It is reasonable for you to expect to know precisely how your boards are built. This includes any modifications required to make your design manufacturable.
- Timely Deliveries
You should also be able to depend on the CM to deliver boards as promised, provided you furnish all necessary information, data and materials, if required. As most CMs use commercial shipping organizations, they do not have complete control over this, however. And long distance supply chains can be disrupted--as evidenced by the PCBA industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic--and translate into longer delivery delays.
Listed above are minimum requirements that you should insist on from your PCBA prototype manufacturer. And many of these are easier to provide when your CM is local.
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Benefits of Local Manufacturing for Prototyping Circuit Boards
Building prototype PCBAs is an iterative process that requires at least a few design⇒build⇒test (DBT) cycles. Typically, speed is a major factor in meeting development schedule demands. Therefore, the ability to trim time from the overall process at any point may be a significant asset, which is one of the benefits of local manufacturing for your boards.
5 Reasons to Work with a Local CM
- Ease of Communication
Today, it is easier than ever to reach out and touch someone virtually anywhere in the world. Yet, inconveniences can persist when your CM is far away. For example, misaligned work hours due to time zone gaps can make it difficult to talk to someone in real-time or receive a timely email response. This is not an issue with a local CM.
A lack of real-time communication makes it more difficult to rapidly institute design changes or modifications. This unavailability can result in additional costs and waste, especially if your operations are high mix low volume (HMLV).
When working with a local CM, you have the opportunity to visit their facilities if necessary and see exactly how your boards are made. This level of access is difficult or hard to justify when working with off-shore manufacturers.
- Faster Shipping
Shipping times, not to mention costs, are often directly proportional to distance. Local CMs can deliver faster, which can be a significant advantage for prototyping. Moreover, there is less probability of supply chain interruption due to unforeseen contingencies that can occur for overseas shipping.
- Export Control Regulation Compliance
For many electronics products, manufacturing regulations vary from country to country and there are restrictions that prohibit export to specific countries. This is not an issue for products built and sold in the same country.
|Tempo’s Software-Driven Smart Factory Delivers the Industry’s Leading Custom Turnkey PCBA Manufacturing Services
Today, with instantaneous communication, it can sometimes feel like a small world. However, when working with a remote CM, the world seems to take on its grander dimensions, especially in the event of a contingency. Tempo Automation is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. We lead the industry by producing high-quality PCBAs the fastest. As a critical supplier, we are reliable during situations like the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure your board build requirements are met.
And to help you get started on the best path, we furnish information for your DFM checks and enable you to easily view and download DRC files. If you’re an Altium Designer or Cadence Allegro user, you can simply add these files to your PCB design software. For Mentor Pads or other design packages, we furnish DRC information in other CAD formats and Excel
If you are ready to have your design manufactured, try our quote tool to upload your CAD and BOM files. If you would like more information on the benefits of local manufacturing for your board builds, contact us.