Every engineer knows how important it is to minimize costs during a project.
And in the world of printed circuit boards, the difference between $0.03 and $0.05 can have a profound impact on a product. When you’re manufacturing on a mass scale, every penny counts. Reducing costs will increase revenue and make your products more appealing to buyers.
Let’s dive into a few ways to lower the costs of your electronics manufacturing.
Use Off-the-Shelf Components
One way to reduce electronic manufacturing costs is by using off-the-shelf components.
Off-the-shelf components are ones that are readily available — most EMS (electronic manufacturing services) providers carry them. These components have been used time after time and have fewer defects, making them popular choices for electronic manufacturing.
Materials can make up 60% or more of your product costs, so reducing costs wherever possible can exponentially increase your revenue.
As with any industry, the more unique the components are, the harder it is to procure materials. Costs increase and finding a manufacturer to work with becomes more difficult.
Using mass-produced components will reduce costs significantly.
Custom components require a custom design process that slows down the production of electronics. Well-known, commonly used components bring reliability and simplicity to your electronic manufacturing process.
If a component offers the same functionality and reliability at a lower cost, take advantage of the opportunity.
Another way to limit production costs is by reducing the number of parts used in electronics. Using fewer materials will lower prices on manufacturing and shipping due to the reduced weight.
Design With Manufacturing in Mind
Simplifying your design will speed up the production process, saving you money in the long run.
When electronics are designed for manufacturing (DFM), it will eliminate the trial-and-error phase that typically comes with new products.
A complex design requires more time, parts, and precision … all of which increase costs. The simpler the product, the easier it is to make.
Proper testing procedures can help reduce electronic assembly costs.
Testing is a crucial and necessary step in the manufacturing process. It may be unavoidable, but there are ways to lower the costs. During the beginning stages of the manufacturing process, iterative testing — testing done in short phases that build on each other — will help catch issues before an entire product line is created and shipped.
Testing in small batches will limit the cost of revisions made by designers, engineers, and the manufacturer. Less to test means less to pay for.
Printed circuit board testing can cost anywhere from $10,000–$50,000, meaning you can save tens of thousands of dollars in the testing process if you plan accordingly and design for manufacturing.
While skipping intricate testing phases may sound appealing to cut costs, it is not advised. There are few things worse than shipping end-products that malfunction or cause harm to someone by short-circuiting or combusting.
Plus, shipping out products that don’t function properly can ruin your reputation as an engineer, designer, or manufacturer.
Find Bundled Services
Finding an EMS provider that can bundle most or all of the services you require can help cut costs.
In many cases, electronics manufacturers don’t offer every service in the manufacturing process. Some companies specialize in testing but don’t offer to ship, while others provide assembly but not testing.
Costs spike when you have to work with multiple suppliers and manufacturers. Instead, try to find a company that can perform PCB assembly, PCB testing, electronics manufacturing, and component testing in the same facility or under the same company.
Bundling EMS through one provider will help save money.
Find an EMS Partner
Partnering with an EMS provider will ensure the products you design, create, and push to manufacturing will lead to a successful end-product.
An experienced electronics manufacturer will provide bundled services such as design, assembly, and testing. Bundling services and partnering with a professional manufacturer will help ensure you have a successful product, cut costs, and get an expert to lean on when needed.
If it’s time for you to partner with an EMS provider, we made a list of qualities you should look for in one.