It can take thousands of hours for an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to design, manufacture and test subassemblies for new and existing pieces of equipment. Even though an OEM may take a lot of pride in doing this work in-house, many are turning to contract assembly partners for help.
A contract assembly partner can build all electrical assemblies such as control panels, power distribution and operator interfaces and consoles – allowing an OEM to focus on business growth and sales. If the OEM chooses to exclusively outsource its electrical box builds to one contract assembly partner, the process can be streamlined and enhanced based on the following compelling reasons:
1. Engineering Expertise
Before sharing your equipment designs with a contract assembly partner, make sure they have experienced electrical engineers in-house who can manage technical questions and offer suggestions to improve the design and manufacture of your subassembly, if necessary. Their engineering staff should act as an extension of your own engineering staff and collaborate to make sure your company gets exactly what it needs.
2. Manufacturing Space
Finding floor space in a manufacturing facility can be difficult, especially if the facility builds heavy-duty equipment that requires a large area. A contract assembly partner is equipped to flex floor space as needed to fit the job. That means you can avoid adding on to your production facility and taking the risk that it may sit empty as demand naturally fluctuates. Plus, you can dedicate the space used to build electrical boxes to increasing finished product output and boosting profitability.
3. Efficient Equipment
Whether it’s a hand-held soldering tool, a CNC mill to machine metal enclosures or a two-ton, fully automated wire cutting and crimping machine, your contract assembly partner has the equipment required to efficiently build electrical boxes. While it’s possible to manufacture assemblies without advanced equipment, it can take more time and the outcomes may not be consistent. Contract assembly partners also stay on top of technological updates and testing processes, ensuring efficient customer service and that all electrical box builds are produced and tested to exacting standards.
4. Skilled Labor
With the national unemployment rate hovering around 4% (a 10-year low), it can be very difficult for manufacturing companies to hire skilled assembly workers. A contract assembly partner is generally staffed by skilled workers who are fully trained on the latest best practices and standards across diverse industries in order to easily meet the needs of a wide variety of OEMs.
5. Robust Quality Processes
Building an electrical box can be simple. Replicating that process perfectly for hundreds – or even thousands – of assemblies is where it can get difficult. A contract assembly partner uses continuous improvement principles to perfect the production process and maintain component quality. Creating and adhering to detailed parts lists, work instructions and testing protocols guarantees the highest quality outcome for each and every electrical box build.
6. Streamlined Internal Processes
By joining forces with a contract assembly partner, your purchasing department won’t be responsible for sourcing subassembly parts. Since the contract assembly partner likely does electrical box builds for other OEMs, they have a broad supplier network to leverage in getting the best pricing for each component and also implementing stocking programs for components with longer lead times. Your purchasing department will issue a purchase order for one part number – the electrical box build – and wait for the delivery.
In conjunction with electrical box build outsourcing, you’ll want to find an enterprise supplier like MCL with broad capabilities and direct access to suppliers in related industries. This type of partnership opens the door to outsourcing any of your subassemblies, whether electrical, mechanical or electromechanical. The best contract assembly partner for you will have whatever you need, whenever you need it.
To help you decide whether or not outsourcing to a contract assembly partner would help your bottom line, use our quick-reference infographic To Build or Not to Build. Click the button below to access your copy now.