The Mannifest: Faster, Cheaper, Simpler

Looking at the SMT industry right now, I see some very interesting things going on with shifts in production locations, ease of manufacturing, and intellectual property (IP) protection. OEMs are bringing production back to the U.S. in greater numbers—some even back to Mexico. A significant driver of this over the past year has been the tariffs. For the majority of OEMs I speak with, it’s becoming clear how manufacturing in China is affecting their bottom line.

Most companies are genuinely surprised at how easy it is to bring manufacturing in-house—even financially. Some companies I’ve worked with have seen payback times of less than one year. With the rapid depreciation allowed through Section 179, payback can even be reduced to nine—or even six— months. Of course, after those months, manufacturers see a big increase in profits, and in most cases, a huge increase in quality. Better quality means fewer RMAs, less waste, and greater profit.

Most assembly equipment suppliers make the switch easy for manufacturers by looking at all production needs and considering board size, quantities per year (both now and forecasted), component types, etc. Then, they can formulate the equipment needed to handle both current and projected production. Some suppliers go further than that and diagnose your bill of materials (BOM) to determine which peripherals would be needed, from feeders to ancillary equipment, to make production integration as seamless as possible.

But it’s not just sourcing equipment that has become easier. As the years have passed, the production process itself has become more reliable and less complicated. Items like predictive profiling on reflow ovens eliminate the tedious guesswork that used to go along with profiling a board through the reflow oven for the first time. Solder pastes are more forgiving than they used to be. Even the “dreaded leadfree” is almost a term of the past with it being a more simple process now.

To read this entire column, which appeared in the October 2019 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.

Back

2019

The Mannifest: Faster, Cheaper, Simpler

11-12-2019

Looking at the SMT industry right now, I see some very interesting things going on with shifts in production locations, ease of manufacturing, and intellectual property (IP) protection. OEMs are bringing production back to the U.S. in greater numbers—some even back to Mexico. A significant driver of this over the past year has been the tariffs. For the majority of OEMs I speak with, it’s becoming clear how manufacturing in China is affecting their bottom line.

View Story

The Mannifest: Custom Reflow Ovens and Curing

08-20-2019

It seems that a lot of companies in today’s market are buying specialized ovens for curing. Did you know that most SMT reflow ovens can be modified by the manufacturer (and quite easily too) for curing applications? In most cases, these ovens will also still work for SMT reflow, eliminating the need to waste precious floor space on a second oven.

View Story

The Mannifest: Common Machine Errors and How to Avoid Them

07-22-2019

When it comes to the quality of SMT boards you produce, it can be difficult to know where to begin and what features various PCBA machines offer are most important.

View Story

The Mannifest: First Time With In-house SMT Assembly? Start With a Great Design

06-26-2019

One of the best ways to eliminate possible production issues when you handle your SMT work in-house is to ensure that you have a manufacturable design. Thus, there are several factors to keep in mind when reviewing your designs before bringing your production in-house or starting your first run of in-house prototypes.

View Story

Managing Your Double-sided Assemblies

05-01-2019

Using a double-sided board in your finished application allows you to produce more complex circuits while saving space, offering an array of benefits for high-tech applications and electronics. But challenges to double-sided board implementation are plenty, including placement questions, solder processing challenges, and heat dissipation. Read on why planning out a double-sided assembly is not substantially different from handling a single-sided board assembly.

View Story

The Mannifest: When Is It the Right Time to Automate?

04-08-2019

How can you increase your production to keep up with rising demand while keeping your operating costs reasonable? While it can be tempting to go all-in and convert your entire production process to a fully automated assembly line, it may be more advantageous to start with low-volume assembly and convert more gradually.

View Story
Copyright © 2019 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.