PTI Blog

Sourcing Process Expertise for High-Precision Assembly

Posted by Janine Powell on Tue, Jul 02, 2013 @ 02:11 PM

Near-sourcing, out-sourcing, in-sourcing, crowd-sourcing, group-sourcing—which one is right for your organization? Palomar Technologies' has extensive experience as it relates to sourcing production solutions across many different markets and applications and what is nearly always the critical piece of the puzzle organizations must overcome to be successful.

Palomar is unique among equipment manufacturers in that it is able to offer not just high- precision assembly equipment, but also full service contract assembly production and expert process development. Even more unique is that this business model is executed cost-effectively in California (noteworthy since Chief Executive Magazine once again this year ranked California #50 of out of 50 states in the USA as “worst places to do business”). Nonetheless, an argument could be made that our success is at least partially a result of the geographic advantage of being in Southern California–putting us between the Silicon Valley and the innovation capital, Texas (which is the friendliest U.S. state to do business) and Mexico (North America’s low cost/high volume manufacturing destination). But geography itself doesn’t drive customers from around the globe to our doorstep. What about offering world-class wire and die attach products and services at cost-effective prices? That seems at least, on the surface, to be the answer. But is it? Following this train of thought, one would only need to take a product brochure and quotation to select the lowest priced equipment that meets the minimum specifications on paper. However in the real world, it is not that simple—especially when dealing with complex packages with high-performance requirements. Device manufacturers still need to put that equipment to work in their factories quickly AND cost-effectively—they still need to be able to contract their builds to a company that can not only build the products, but do so with a cost-effective path for high-volume production. The understood-but-often-overlooked critical piece of the puzzle is access to process expertise and the ability to transfer production to a high-volume operation anywhere in the world. 

puzzle


Process Expertise

Palomar’s experience is to truly harness and master processes for customers, with a team of dedicated process experts whose entire professional lives are consumed with process, process, process. This importance of process is best evidenced by the fact that Palomar is the only high-accuracy wire and die attach supplier to have a Sr. Scientist on staff whose focus is--you guessed it--process! Palomar’s Sr. Scientist is Daniel D. Evans, a Stanford-educated thought leader, process innovator, and 25 year veteran of high-accuracy die attach and wire bond processes. What good is world-class equipment without a good process? What good is production capacity but with low yields? A good process can be the difference between a half-million dollar elephant on your factory floor and a robust money making machine!

Process Expertise in Volume Manufacturing

The device manufacturer’s typical path for buying and implementing capital equipment for production goes like this:

device manufacturers path

In this flow, going wrong in either process development or acquiring equipment for production can mean failure. We usually hear about failure on the equipment end, and it almost always can be summed up with the statement: “We bought this machine and it wasn’t right for our application”. My recommendation to these customers is to de-risk phases 3-6 and select a partner who can hand these phases to you a on a silver platter. In other words, select a true turn-key production partner, one that has mastered process AND equipment. The good news is that organizations can test the process expertise of a potential partner without spending a dime, and for a small investment organizations can get actual part production as generated by that process and equipment.

Assembly Services data sheet

 

There are many ways you can leverage Palomar’s expertise. For example, you can take the approach of doing only phase 1 and 2 and contracting with the Assembly Services division for phases 3-6 entirely, and each week you are delivered a finished product. If at some point you decide to bring phase 6 in-house, phase 3-5 are already completed and well understood.

Equipment arrives to the organization with customized and proven programs already installed. And it’s worth noting that by this time, product is already out on the market and proving itself. The understanding of what kind of equipment and processes needed to meet customers’ needs becomes much clearer. Additionally, the risk factor of the project goes down significantly.

Process is critical. Working with a team who can deliver process expertise and world-class equipment will offer many more choices along the way and a much higher probability of success. In sourcing production for high-precision, step out of the box and evaluate your options. Go with the process experts!

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Richard Hueners
Director of Sales & Marketing
Palomar Technologies, Inc.