Selecting a PWB supplier for military products starts with all of the same steps necessary for other industries.There are some additional requirements and added emphases on other requirements.In all cases a financially stable supplier who meets quality and delivery requirements is needed because it is a major disruption when a replacement supplier must be found.In military products this also causes a requalification at considerable cost in dollars and schedule slip.In the past dual sourcing was the answer.In today's cut throat bidding on contracts this is an unaffordable luxury.You are going to have to get this right the first time.
Are they even a military supplier?When all of the consumer goods and most commercial PWB manufacturing went off shore all domestic suppliers decided to specialize in medical and military products since that was all that was left.A high percentage of these converts simply changed their advertising and left the company culture as is.The first thing you need to know is how much of their business is military, space and medical.If the percentage is over 50% you have a fighting chance.The higher that number, the better.Every shop is certified to ISO 9001.Only the serious military shops are certified to AS9100.If they can't show documentation of ITAR registration, walk away.Some will say they are ITAR compliant, just not registered.Registration is part of ITAR compliance, walk away.
Mostshops specialize in certain types of products, rigid boards, flex circuits, HDI, easily producible, high volume or low volume.It will be somewhere between difficult and impossible to find one supplier which suites you're business and all of your product designs.There are appropriate suppliers for each individual board design.Figuring out who they are is the key to avoiding problems.If a complex HDI product is placed with a less capable shop disaster follows.If an easy board is placed with a very high tech shop you will spend too much.I'll go over that decision process another day.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.