Ensuring Quality in Electronic Manufacturing: Tips and Best Practices

When you are looking to outsource your electronic manufacturing, finding the right contract manufacturing partner can be a challenge. You need to know that your ECM can ensure the best quality in all the manufacturing they do, but determining that can seem overwhelming. Knowing what to look for in best practices can set you on the right path to finding a partner who will fit your needs for years to come. From choosing the right components from the best suppliers to proper design and prototyping, through testing and inspection, your ECM should have a focus on continuous improvement and documentation that proves they are a high-quality, experienced facility.

Computer chip on green electronic circuit board or printed circuit board-PCB with electronic components. Technology concept.

Quality Control Tools and Techniques

Failure mode and effects analysis, often referred to as FMEA, is the process of reviewing the components and assemblies to identify any potential failures and their effect on the final product. For each component in the assembly, the failure modes and effects are documented and used in a qualitative analysis. FMEA is often performed during the design and prototyping stage of the manufacturing process, which will allow for any necessary adjustments to be made before a full-scale run. Having on-site engineers who can oversee this process and make the necessary design adjustments along the way is essential to overall quality control.

Quality Standards and Certifications

Electronic contract manufacturers are not required to hold any certifications. Anyone with the right equipment can set up shop as an ECM, and unless you are working with a highly regulated industry, you may wonder if it even matters. But if you want a quality product, you need to care about certifications. A certified ECM chooses high-quality suppliers, uses high-quality parts, has high organizational efficiency, and understands the regulatory requirements of every industry they manufacture for. Obtaining and maintaining these certifications shows a commitment to excellence. When choosing an ECM, look for one who holds a variety of certifications. This can include:

  • AS9100 – commitment to maintain a high-quality environment with product traceability, which is important for the aerospace industry.
  • ISO 9001 – ensuring customer satisfaction with a customer-centric approach to quality management.
  • ISO 13485 – advanced capability in medical device manufacturing.
  • IPC and J Standard Certification – expertise in soldering cables and circuit board assemblies.
  • FDA Registration – adherence to the quality control necessary for FDA approved devices.
  • CMMC – currently pursuing Level 3, which demonstrates a commitment to cybersecurity and protecting sensitive information as aligned with the US Department of Defense.

More Than Design

Challenges in Ensuring Quality in Electronic Manufacturing

In an ideal world, there would be no challenges to producing a high-quality device. In reality, supply chain issues and cost constraints can create a roadblock during the manufacturing process. When you have an ECM who uses DFM analysis during the prototyping stage, you can be well positioned to avoid many of these challenges. DFM can work around supply chain issues and adjust the design of the product to work within your budget parameters. An ECM with onsite engineers who perform a DFM analysis can help you overcome many challenges you can potentially encounter during manufacturing.

Benefits of Ensuring Quality in Electronic Manufacturing

When you make quality a focus during the manufacturing process, you will enjoy several benefits, including reduced manufacturing costs, improved customer satisfaction, and an enhanced reputation in your industry. When ensuring quality is as simple as choosing the right ECM, the choice of who you partner with becomes even more important.

When you know what a high-quality ECM partner looks like, you can choose one who employs all the best practices to ensure a high-quality end product. The right partner matters when it comes to electronic contract manufacturing. When you partner with an ECM, you are contracting with an expert who will make your product – and ultimately your business – look good. To learn more about our capabilities and certifications, or to get a quote on your next electronic manufacturing project, contact Levison Enterprises today.

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