PCB assembly is the core competence that is common to almost all suppliers of electronic outsourcing services, including the thousands of “mom and pop” PCB assembly houses, the few multibillion dollar full service giants like Jabil and Celestica, and all points in between.
Indeed, the industry scuttlebutt is that “if you’ve seen one PCB assembly operation, you’ve seen them all.” Regrettably, it’s the acceptance of this mistaken assumption that has cost thousands of middle market customers untold billions in lost sales, unnecessary inefficiencies, and reduced profits.
Many are seduced by the “perfect” PCB assembly line, expertly balanced from end to end with modern high speed equipment and capable of producing a gazillion cell phones shift after shift. Seconds and pennies count, and each have been minimized with significant investment in well coordinated design engineering and process engineering.
But introduce a requirement for 100 high priority control panels, and the apparent beauty of the perfect line quickly morphs into an ugly nightmare. Tear down and setup consume two hours, the line then runs for seven minutes to produce the 100 control panels, and then it takes another two hours for the second tear down and setup before the line is again building the cell phones it was designed to produce. The inescapable reality is that someone has to pay for the wasted money.
At the other extreme, the ten to fifty employee mom and pop PCB assembly house may have the ideal PCB assembly capabilities for the lower volume customer with one or a few products. But that customer will pay dearly for the diseconomies of small scale, including limited purchasing power for the materials that consume as much as 80 per cent of the cost of many electronic products.
Moreover, while a mom and pop shop might seem just right for a customer’s current requirements, most middle market customers expect to grow and broaden both their customer base and product offerings. And that’s when the smaller supplier can become a noose around the customer’s neck. Options for product design and redesign are constrained by what the supplier can’t do, such as fine pitch, BGA, two sided SMT, automated PTH assembly, potting, conformal coating, and RoHS compliance; the breakthrough order from a target customer can’t be delivered due to supplier capacity constraints; the supplier’s financial wherewithal won’t support the expanded inventory and receivables necessitated by customer growth; and the supplier’s sole engineer – responsible for process, quality, machine maintenance, and customer technical interface – left two months ago for another job and no replacement is on the horizon. The impediments, the costs, and the risks go on and on.
Perhaps even worse, when it comes time for the emerging company to graduate to full service outsourcing, including box build, final assembly and test, inventory management, and fulfillment, the ten to fifty employee mom and pop PCB assembly house equates to a well meaning adolescent who is ready and eager to learn. It might work out OK, but are you ready to bet your company on it?
In contrast, AMI’s PCB assembly service – with its long standing, proven and expert capability in meeting variable demand, low to medium volume requirements — is customized for the middle market.
AMI’s quick-changeover lines are arrayed and re-arrayed daily to build up to ten jobs simultaneously, with job sizes ranging between one and 5,000 units. Moreover, with over 20 years’ experience building a vast array of products used in dozens of industries worldwide, there is virtually no PCB assembly technology, methodology, or application that falls outside the scope of AMI’s day to day expertise and capability.
AMI, with proven and comprehensive expertise in PCB assembly, is the right size and the best choice for the EMS middle market.