Strong partnerships are critical for businesses of all types, from the world of SMBs to the upper echelons of the enterprise realm. From IT vendors to sales partners and supply chain relationships, there is a wide range of connections that business leaders must manage.

However, when it comes to PCBA manufacturing and assembly, some companies tend to overlook the importance of partnership, leaving a great deal of potential on the table and opening operations up to a problematic set of risks.

To help decision-makers identify pain points in their own strategies and create better relationships with these important providers, let’s look at 5 elements of the ideal PCB manufacturing partnership.

1. Strong communication: Companies that produce electronics have a very clear vision of their final products, and it’s critical that the design and development of the product is communicated effectively to the manufacturer. This demands proper documentation, reporting and written communication to ensure that the product parameters are fully articulated.

“Fortunately, communications are moving in the right direction,” stated Sam Sangani in a piece for iConnect007. “More and more designers and board houses are starting to engage in productive discussions. Designers are reaching out for plant tours and are developing an interest in the manufacturing process.”

“Trust includes dependability, transparency and a leap of faith.”

2. Complete trust: Communication means nothing without a certain level of trust forming a strong foundation beneath. A classic article from the Harvard Business Review highlighted the importance of trust in relationships with manufacturers. The source stated that trust involved dependability, transparency and a leap of faith that both parties must take.

There are significant benefits to building trust in a manufacturing partnership, the source noted. It cited a statistic revealing retailers with high levels of trust in their manufacturers experienced 78 percent more sales than brands with low trust levels.

3. Optimal practices: Best practices are a given for a strong manufacturing partnership, and it’s important that companies understand some of the basics of PCB fabrication and assembly to ensure they are making the right connections. Here are some of the technical capabilities that a PCBA manufacturer should have:

  • MYDATA solutions for surface-mounted technology
  • Jade Handex selective soldering technology
  • Automated optical inspection
  • High resolution x-ray technology

It’s not just about technical capabilities, but project management as well. A manufacturer should have a dedicated test department and a program manager assigned to each project, ensuring the exceptional quality of every product.

4. Top-tier compliance: In this day and age, a company cannot be too careful with regard to regulatory compliance, especially when it comes to consumer goods, medical devices and military equipment. Manufacturers must be attuned to the compliance expectations of their industry and ensure that all of their practices check out from a regulatory perspective.

For example, manufacturing should take place in an ESD-certified environment, while soldering personnel will ideally be trained to IPC J-Std-001E or ES (Space Addendum), class 3 standards. It’s worth doing a bit of investigation into these regulations to ensure peace of mind.

5. Continuous improvement: It’s only a matter of time before a stagnant business partnership starts to do more harm than good, which is why a company must ensure that its manufacturing partners are always aiming to improve its operations.

Whether incorporating new best practices, implementing advanced hardware or utilizing experimental and innovative materials, a manufacturer – especially in the PCB arena – can’t be content with the status quo. Partnerships will thrive on this constant forward momentum.

VR Industries checks all the boxes on this list of capabilities and characteristics, making it a go-to American electronic manufacturing services provider since 1985. Check out our diverse set of services and get ready to hold your manufacturing partnership to a higher standard.

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