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Successful Transfers to Contract Manufacturers

Corey Peterson

#11689

Successful Transfers to Contract Manufacturers | 27 April, 1999

As I transfer prototypes/pilots out of my shop (because the designs are mature or Engineering confidence is high). How do I minimize my risk and ensure success for both the CEM and my group. This would include low tech as well as higher tech boards.

Best Regards

CP

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Justin Medernach

#11690

Re: Successful Transfers to Contract Manufacturers | 27 April, 1999

| As I transfer prototypes/pilots out of my shop (because the designs are mature or Engineering confidence is high). How do I minimize my risk and ensure success for both the CEM and my boards. | | Best Regardsgroup. This would include low tech as well as higher tech | | CP | Corey, I work for one of the top tier CEMs. Specifically, in a prototype facility. I can honestly say that there is no clear cut formula for success. However, there are practices that can facilitate desirable results for both the CEM and the customer. The best thing you can possibly do is build a relationship with your contractor. Don't use a million different assembly shops for different technologies. Chose a CEM based on your most technologically intense board. The better CEMs will give you cost effective quotes for the high and low technology. Establish deliverable criterion with your CEM. This is a very critical element. You and your CEM need to sit down and discuss what each group needs to fabricate in an efficient and cost effective manner, yet with the maximum level of quality acheiveable. It is crucial that you understand how your contractor does business. From there, success is a short distance away. If you'd like to discuss further, shoot me an e-mail and we'll set up some time to talk.

Regards, Justin Medernach Mfg. Eng. justin.medernach@flextronics.com

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Jeff Sanchez

#11691

Re: Successful Transfers to Contract Manufacturers | 27 April, 1999

| | As I transfer prototypes/pilots out of my shop (because the designs are mature or Engineering confidence is high). How do I minimize my risk and ensure success for both the CEM and my boards. | | | | Best Regardsgroup. This would include low tech as well as higher tech | | | | CP | | | Corey, | I work for one of the top tier CEMs. Specifically, in a prototype facility. I can honestly say that there is no clear cut formula for success. However, there are practices that can facilitate desirable results for both the CEM and the customer. The best thing you can possibly do is build a relationship with your contractor. Don't use a million different assembly shops for different technologies. Chose a CEM based on your most technologically intense board. The better CEMs will give you cost effective quotes for the high and low technology. Establish deliverable criterion with your CEM. This is a very critical element. You and your CEM need to sit down and discuss what each group needs to fabricate in an efficient and cost effective manner, yet with the maximum level of quality acheiveable. It is crucial that you understand how your contractor does business. From there, success is a short distance away. If you'd like to discuss further, shoot me an e-mail and we'll set up some time to talk. | | Regards, | Justin Medernach | Mfg. Eng. | justin.medernach@flextronics.com | Corey, I think Justin hit on many of the key aspects of the relationships that we must have with our customers. I don't see my shop as really separate from our customers. We try to make ourselves an integral part of our customers company as much as possible for a number of reasons. The biggest of which is communication. I try to establish a ground work that allows the customer to contact us as if we where across the hall. We presently build the diagnostic computers that go in the land speed record cars out at Bonnaville Salt Flats. I am very proud to have this account because they came to us and asked "How can we make this manufacturing friendly" ." We haven't really started yet but we want to get you in on the ground floor so there isn't any miscommunication" All issues where covered in advance and we built the first articles mopped up some spills and the product is very successful. I am still waiting for a T-shirt, lol. If you want things to run smoothly between your design team and your contractor than don't keep them in the dark till the last minute. Ask them to help you solve manufacturing related issues. That might save you alot of money as well. Personally I am getting a little burnt out on making up for other peoples mismanaged lead time and then having them wonder whey things aren't as smooth as they should be. In the end it is always the same they hand you boards like the one Steve Gregory is chewing on right now. If you haven't seen it look at thread ( HEY GUYS CHECK THIS OUT!) So the bottom line is don't keep your contractor in the dark. If you can't work with them find some one that you can work with. Don't chew up all the lead time on your end and then expect miracles on theirs !!!!!!!!! And now for the one I like that always turns heads in my shop, "YOU ARE NOT GOD, THE PRODUCT IS, SO YOU BETTER FIGURE OUT A WAY TO MAKE YOUR GOD HAPPY!!" Which means we all better work together to make it right or go broke. lol....hehe....Just a thought, see ya round ....Jeff Sanchez

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Corey Peterson

#11692

Re: Successful Transfers to Contract Manufacturers | 28 April, 1999

| | | As I transfer prototypes/pilots out of my shop (because the designs are mature or Engineering confidence is high). How do I minimize my risk and ensure success for both the CEM and my boards. | | | | | | Best Regardsgroup. This would include low tech as well as higher tech | | | | | | CP | | | | | Corey, | | I work for one of the top tier CEMs. Specifically, in a prototype facility. I can honestly say that there is no clear cut formula for success. However, there are practices that can facilitate desirable results for both the CEM and the customer. The best thing you can possibly do is build a relationship with your contractor. Don't use a million different assembly shops for different technologies. Chose a CEM based on your most technologically intense board. The better CEMs will give you cost effective quotes for the high and low technology. Establish deliverable criterion with your CEM. This is a very critical element. You and your CEM need to sit down and discuss what each group needs to fabricate in an efficient and cost effective manner, yet with the maximum level of quality acheiveable. It is crucial that you understand how your contractor does business. From there, success is a short distance away. If you'd like to discuss further, shoot me an e-mail and we'll set up some time to talk. | | | | Regards, | | Justin Medernach | | Mfg. Eng. | | justin.medernach@flextronics.com | | | Corey, | I think Justin hit on many of the key aspects of the relationships that we must have with our customers. I don't see my shop as really separate from our customers. We try to make ourselves an integral part of our customers company as much as possible for a number of reasons. The biggest of which is communication. I try to establish a ground work that allows the customer to contact us as if we where across the hall. We presently build the diagnostic computers that go in the land speed record cars out at Bonnaville Salt Flats. I am very proud to have this account because they came to us and asked "How can we make this manufacturing friendly" ." We haven't really started yet but we want to get you in on the ground floor so there isn't any miscommunication" All issues where covered in advance and we built the first articles mopped up some spills and the product is very successful. I am still waiting for a T-shirt, lol. If you want things to run smoothly between your design team and your contractor than don't keep them in the dark till the last minute. Ask them to help you solve manufacturing related issues. That might save you alot of money as well. Personally I am getting a little burnt out on making up for other peoples mismanaged lead time and then having them wonder whey things aren't as smooth as they should be. In the end it is always the same they hand you boards like the one Steve Gregory is chewing on right now. If you haven't seen it look at thread ( HEY GUYS CHECK THIS OUT!) | So the bottom line is don't keep your contractor in the dark. If you can't work with them find some one that you can work with. Don't chew up all the lead time on your end and then expect miracles on theirs !!!!!!!!! And now for the one I like that always turns heads in my shop, "YOU ARE NOT GOD, THE PRODUCT IS, SO YOU BETTER FIGURE OUT A WAY TO MAKE YOUR GOD HAPPY!!" Which means we all better work together to make it right or go broke. lol....hehe....Just a thought, see ya round ....Jeff Sanchez | | Thank for the input. But I guess I was looking for more. We have been transferring boards for some time and a have good working relationship with our primary CEM and have worked out many bugs. I was thinking more on the order and don't shoot me but I know that someday I'll have to move boards to a CEM that we have never done business. When that day comes I won't have any notice or warning. So I really was thinking more on the order of some type of process caapbility test that was fast and generic enough that I could spend a day running test and then know that I could process boards there. Also I have been thinking that I would supply all the process support documentation such as profiles, aperature openings that we have had success with placement programs. Anything that will help me get off the starting line quickly and have the boards that best they can be right out of the box. Because if I can provide that service what value does my group add to the equation. So as contract manufacturing folks is there any value add in this kind of stuff.

Best Regards

CP

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#11693

Re: Successful Transfers to Contract Manufacturers | 28 April, 1999

| | Thank for the input. But I guess I was looking for more. We have been transferring boards for some time and a have good working relationship with our primary CEM and have worked out many bugs. I was thinking more on the order and don't shoot me but I know that someday I'll have to move boards to a CEM that we have never done business. When that day comes I won't have any notice or warning. So I really was thinking more on the order of some type of process caapbility test that was fast and generic enough that I could spend a day running test and then know that I could process boards there. Also I have been thinking that I would supply all the process support documentation such as profiles, aperature openings that we have had success with placement programs. Anything that will help me get off the starting line quickly and have the boards that best they can be right out of the box. Because if I can provide that service what value does my group add to the equation. So as contract manufacturing folks is there any value add in this kind of stuff. | | Best Regards | | CP | CP: You're correct. As part of your ISO 9000 quality program (Section 6), you should have a structured method for assessing suppliers. Check this link. Good luck. Dave F

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JohnW

#11694

Re: Successful Transfers to Contract Manufacturers | 28 April, 1999

| | | Thank for the input. But I guess I was looking for more. We have been transferring boards for some time and a have good working relationship with our primary CEM and have worked out many bugs. I was thinking more on the order and don't shoot me but I know that someday I'll have to move boards to a CEM that we have never done business. When that day comes I won't have any notice or warning. So I really was thinking more on the order of some type of process caapbility test that was fast and generic enough that I could spend a day running test and then know that I could process boards there. Also I have been thinking that I would supply all the process support documentation such as profiles, aperature openings that we have had success with placement programs. Anything that will help me get off the starting line quickly and have the boards that best they can be right out of the box. Because if I can provide that service what value does my group add to the equation. So as contract manufacturing folks is there any value add in this kind of stuff. | | | | Best Regards | | | | CP | | | CP: You're correct. As part of your ISO 9000 quality program (Section 6), you should have a structured method for assessing suppliers. Check this link. Good luck. Dave F | Hey Justin...that's nothing like advertising is it..???(hehehe)

Corey,

I'm working in an NPI & Process group at CEM in Scotland (Solectron - plug plug plug.....) anyway's I have to say it would be heaven if someone came along and said..I want you to build this and here's all the info I have it would be like I've died and gone to heaven. We get folk's giving us drawings..no cad or gerber and saying build that in a week!!!!..we normally do it in 6 tho..(if only) Anyway's I've been working to develop a fast tranfer system for NPI's from 2 angles..virgin build i.e. no one has ever built it before and your option, a transfer. The transfer is real simple if you've got the following upfront... Gerber data for ordering screens..preferably in extended including paste layers..you have no idea how hard it is getting this info from some folk. good accurate CAD data for transferring to SMT programs, I can generate a full Fuji SMT program in 20-30mins given the right info. If you already have a profile that is working that's great but remember no 2 ovens r the same but it's a great start off. also if copies of you process instructions r available then that is ideal although again I have to say many OEM instructions are not as user freindly as they think..familiarty bread's contempt and all that. The only other thing that could help would be being able to supply the material as well although it's gotta be in the right format!, wouldn't be the first time I've been given a bunch of 0603's in a bag and told here use these to build that..eyuck! The fastest NPI I've managed yet (from getting the order to ship) is 5 day's including tooling. I recon we can get it slicker but the bigest headache is alway's gonna be getting the material. The only other thing I can say is be honest with your CEM..tell them of problem area's instead of letting them find out, although if they are anygood they should be highlighting them to you!

good luck

John | |

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#11695

Re: Successful Transfers to Contract Manufacturers | 28 April, 1999

Thank for the input. But I guess I was looking for more. We have been transferring boards for some time and a have good working relationship with our primary CEM and have worked out many bugs. I was thinking more on the order and don't shoot me but I know that someday I'll have to move boards to a CEM that we have never done business. When that day comes I won't have any notice or warning. So I really was thinking more on the order of some type of process caapbility test that was fast and generic enough that I could spend a day running test and then know that I could process boards there. Also I have been thinking that I would supply all the process support documentation such as profiles, aperature openings that we have had success with placement programs. Anything that will help me get off the starting line quickly and have the boards that best they can be right out of the box. Because if I can provide that service what value does my group add to the equation. So as contract manufacturing folks is there any value add in this kind of stuff. | | | | | | Best Regards | | | | | | CP | | | | | CP: You're correct. As part of your ISO 9000 quality program (Section 6), you should have a structured method for assessing suppliers. Check this link. Good luck. Dave F | | Hey Justin...that's nothing like advertising is it..???(hehehe) | | Corey, | | I'm working in an NPI & Process group at CEM in Scotland (Solectron - plug plug plug.....) | anyway's I have to say it would be heaven if someone came along and said..I want you to build this and here's all the info I have it would be like I've died and gone to heaven..

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You too huh John? I've wished the same thing a bunch of times! But unfortunately in the "real world" that doesn't happen near as often as I would like.

Unless the customer is some big OEM, their staff is usually pretty darn lean. They won't have a document control staff with nice, orderly documents, or a materials manager that keeps everything in check. It's usually just a handfull of people that designs the product, types up a B.O.M, buys the parts, and then hands it all off to poor suckers like us.

Unless those few people really got their act together, this is what I usually wind-up with.

But I look at things in another way besides just assembling the product for them, I look at part of what they're paying for is for our expertise to help them get their "ducks in a row" so to speak, so that they can have clean documentation, a good product structure with revision control and whatnot...

Now there's also those customers out there that don't want you to tell them what to do, "just build the boards dammit!" and it's those kind of customers that I could care less if we ever build anything for them. They can take their stuff to some sweatshop down the street (there's a LOT of those in "silly-con" valley too!) and let them slap it together...I don't need the bother.

I digressed some, getting back to Cory's question, I think Justin really said it, you've got to build relationships, and you do that by going in a place and "sniffing around" so to speak.

Look at the condition of the equipment, is it clean? Are there PM logs that's up to date and "not pencil whipped?" Just take a notice of the things around you. How does the production floor look? Is it all cluttered? Or is everything in it's place? Are there racks of partially completed assemblies on shelves with dust on them? Does any of the product on the floor that's in WIP look as complex as what you want them to build? Do they have a army of touch-up operators fixing defects or hand soldering parts that require hand soldering. These are the little clues that will tell you more about how the place operates than any pre-arranged survey can ever tell you.

There could be some good reasons for all of that stuff, but much of the time it's because somebody has dropped the ball somewhere in the chain, but then this is where you start asking questions. If you don't get the answers you like, the question if you want your stuff built there is then answered.

The problem I have with surveys, is that it's a "dog and pony" show. Anybody can put on a good show when they've been given a notice that you're coming...and as soon as the show is over, it's back to business as usual, and normally that isn't something that you'd really like to see.

I'm not saying that there aren't companies out there that do things exactly "by the book", and don't deviate one bit from it. But contract assembly is a very, very competitive business...can actually be pretty cut-throat. Doing things in a very regimented controlled manner costs money, because you have to the staff and support for it, and that's going to be reflected in the qoute that is provided to the OEM...everything costs money.

Then management will determine who's gonna build your boards for you, because it all comes down to money. That's just one of the reasons we can buy 'pooters for less than $700 nowdays...

But just to reiterate what Justin said, get to know the "Justins, the Steve's, the Dave's, or the John's" of where you may be getting your boards built, get a relationship going with them.

Don't say you're gonna come over and give them a test, because they'll be ready for that...I'd be pretty stupid not to be ready if you called me, unless I didn't want your business, and that's pretty dumb too...I mean at profit margins at 5% of sales, you need to take business where you can get it.

By the way, if you can make 5% you're doing WONDERFULLY! Most of the time it's less than that...just check Solectron's latest financial report to see what their margins were! It's a rough ol' world out there...

-Steve Gregory-

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