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Kimball Electronics explains how a close working relationship with an electronics manufacturing services provider can offer many competitive advantages

In today's electronics industry, fast time­to­market (TTM) is the key to customer satisfaction and competitiveness. Optimizing the product development and new product introduction (NPI) process is particularly critical for products in dynamic market segments. Designing the product is one thing; getting it to market on time and within budget is another. With outsourcing now the rule, rather than the exception, most electronics design companies will be working with a partner from the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) community. EMS providers accelerate time to market with their expertise in electronics design, rapid prototype services and accelerated new product introduction.

To be successful in reducing time­to­market, a good EMS

provider will work hand­in­hand with a customer's design and engineering staff to provide prompt feedback and solutions to improve the design and manufacturing process. The partnership between the EMS provider and the customer

Tampa employee assembles a prototype PCBA while validating to print

design and engineering staff is crucial, and trust is imperative. A good EMS provider will encourage design for manufacturability and design for testability and provide feedback in a continuous loop until the design is refined.

The prototype team at Tampa can turn prototypes in less than 10 business days

The next key to reducing time to market is partnering with an

EMS partner that has excellent rapid prototyping capabilities (RPS). EMS providers with dedicated and focused RPS centers of excellence can help shave weeks or months off of the product development cycle and speed time to market. Great EMS providers have highly­trained dedicated teams with years of experience and ‘know­how’, as well as dedicated equipment for prototyping to help expedite the process. Additionally, experienced prototype material buyers can procure all the materials, or customers can choose to consign the material. Either way, the turn­around time for the prototype build is just 10 days or less in many cases. No matter how simple or complex, the RPS team can support a prototype build with a host of detailed services such as: assembly, sub assembly, system build, coating, soldering, flux application, testing, inspection, packaging, labeling and much more. This quick turn­around time for prototyping, coupled with concurrent engineering and design improvement enables the customer to

26 | February 2014

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