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Contract Electronic Assembly: A Brief Report

EMS [electronic manufacturing services] is widening its range of applications across industries. Read this to gain an insight about the workings of Contract Electronic Assembly and learn why we require them in today’s world.

Companies that provide EMS, or Electronic Manufacturing Services, are now offering a complete range of services from designing, testing, manufacturing to distributing. They are even providing value added services such as return/ repair for electronic components. These companies provide the above mentioned services on behalf of original equipment manufacturers. This concept has also come to be known as Electronic Contract Manufacturing or ECM.

The frontline ECM services include, as gathered from the catalogue of one of the leading corporations of the concerned field, the following:

  • Custom enclosures in metals or plastics
  • Full PCB assembly of electronic components
  • Cable and wiring harness production
  • Production and sourcing of mechanical components [the latter in case of initial non production]
  • Complete assembly and post assemblage testing
  • Finished packaging and distribution

The EMS industry had started on its journey quite some time back in the past; in late 1970s.

The EMS companies back in those days offered flexible availability of considerably large pools of human resources for smaller actual manufacturers. This helped those who were otherwise restricted to doing limited runs for lack of human resources. EMS companies began to participate and eventually specially in large scale economies of scale.

They eventually added manufacturing, procurement of raw materials and pooling together of human resources. Besides developing industrial design expertise and even creating the line of value services such as warranty and repairs to their catalogue.

EMS companies freed the customers who did not need to manufacture and maintain large inventories of products. Thus the original manufacturers could now respond to sudden spikes in demand more efficiently than they could do in the past.

With the advent of SMT or Surface Mount Technology on PCBs [Printed Circuit Boards] the electronic assembly business got bigger than ever before. It eventually reached the super specialty profession mark that it has in the market today.

EMS companies concentrated on the PCB assemblies for a long time, and left the system assembly servicing to the OEMs. EMS companies rarely worked with industries outside information and computing. However, in recent years, EMS companies have been shifting to developing nations for the lower labour rate and are taking to non-traditional industries.

Among the new associates they are taking on are the consumer electronics industry, and the industrial, medical and instrumentation electronics. They have also added design and ODM with system assembly, test, delivery and even logistics support with traditional services of warranty and repair. Network services, software and silicone assembly are also coming up as important fractions.

Today’s EMS firms also provide designing services that are widely used in conceptual product development, as well as in assistance to electrical and software design.

Testing services they provide are known to perform in-circuit, functional and environmental, agency compliance, and analytical laboratory testing.

EMS companies are located throughout the world and their servicing areas are often stretched over the span of multiple continents. The sourcing capacity may vary somewhat from company to company, but general survey suggests that the service list is standard and competitive across the world market.

William Robert is contract electronics manufacturer and has always been passionate about writing articles and new information on electronics contract manufacturing. In this article, he is sharing information about the need of electronic manufacturing services in today’s world. If you want to know more about our services please visit: Dferrantielectronics.co.uk

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