The collaboration agreements between Technology Centres and EMS have become a good tool to maintain the competitiveness of products. In order to manufacture a competitive article it is necessary to research and experiment with new technologies. In this context, at IKOR we are committed to promoting collaboration between Customer Design Engineers and our specialists at EMS from the initial stage of the product’s development.
The inclusion of electronics in the products we purchase gives them more functionality and new features, but it makes them more complex to design, manufacture and maintain. In addition, this continuous technological progress makes them “obsolete” in increasingly shorter cycles, forcing companies to launch new products.
Although all the stages of the product’s life cycle are evolving, it is in the Development stage where the concept of evolution has the greatest impact. This stage requires new tasks by the Design Engineers, in addition to those specific to Product Development (Specification, Design, Implementation and Validation). But in order for the product to be successful, technological innovation must be accompanied by other determinant factors, such as the quality and the cost.
Dealing with these parameters, the decisions made by the engineers in this stage will have an impact throughout the product’s lifetime. The joint work between the product Design Engineers and the manufacturers thus presents itself as a good opportunity to create more competitive articles. Normally, when a Customer presents a new product to the EMS to start the industrialisation prior to the production in series, the latter analyses it and submits a report with modification proposals that will allow them to adapt the product to the Manufacturing process, reducing its cost. The changes proposed by the EMS will usually be related to Manufacturability aspects (DfMA) and Component selection criteria. Once the product has been designed, validated and certified, any modification to it means a delay in the time-to-market and depending on the scope, repeating the validation and certification process. In order to avoid these situations at IKOR we are promoting a Collaboration Plan with the R&D Units of companies and with other entities where electronic products are Developed, such as Technology Centres and Universities.
According to these agreements, IKOR would actively participate in the product Development projects they carry out, contributing our experience in the form of two services:
DfMA Analysis Service, which would analyse the product from the perspective of its Manufacturability, keeping a check on aspects such as the PCB design criteria, distances between components, their orientation, the presence of test points, etc.
BOM Analysis Service, which would analyse the BOM, classifying them according to their impact on the total cost, identifying their situation in their life cycle and proposing alternative components.
Both Services are provided in the development stage of the functional Prototype, so that after its validation, the industrialisation stage does not introduce significant changes and the product reaches the market in less time, at a lower cost and eliminating risks in its supply chain.
This proposal is being well received by our Customers and by the Centres with which we are establishing these contacts, and we have signed collaboration agreements with several technology centres around Spain.