CAM Engineering—Reducing Costs

While having on-demand capacity, improved automation, and fast turn-around are critical to any front-end engineering operation, achieving those goals with a cost-effective solution is imperative. Electronics are constantly under cost-reduction pressures. Functionality, capability, and complexity increase while costs decrease. Moore’s law is still alive and well and will probably remain accurate into the foreseeable future. He predicted the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit would double every 18 months. This has since been revised to doubling every two years. Still, as general electronics become increasingly complex, the cost continues to reduce and the downward pressure is felt through the entire supply chain. PCB manufacturers are no exception.

As I speak with many customers in the United States and Europe, access to highly skilled engineers is becoming more and more scarce. Younger people are attracted to jobs at high-profile, high-tech companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. Let’s face it—the PCB industry isn’t “sexy” to younger people and the current generation of engineers is slowly entering retirement age. More and more PCB companies are losing engineering talent through attrition. This problem is hampering growth of many U.S. and European companies. 

Outsourcing with the right partner will not only offset the difficulty of finding talented CAM engineers, but can also help find these resources at lower costs. Countries like India offer an abundance of highly skilled engineering talent at a very reasonable cost structure. Thanks to the British legacy, English is widely spoken, especially in the engineering community, making India a unique destination for CAM outsourcing. In my experience, in addition to lower wages, the workforce is highly dedicated and loyal. It’s not uncommon for people to start and end a career at the same company, providing tremendous benefits, like continuity and loyalty, for end customers.

With the right partner, you will gain the ability to manage costs and retain a sustainable and reliable workforce while not having to compromise quality, delivery, or capability.

In summary, using an outsourcing partner can help solve your cost reduction challenges by allowing you to:

  • Add highly skilled engineers at a lower cost
  • Remove the burden of having to find experienced engineers on your premises
  • Retain high-quality, quick turn-around and experienced staff while managing costs
  • Capture more market share from your competitors with your unique competitive advantage of being more cost effective
  • Free up critical engineering resources to help generate more sales and interact with customers on technical sales
  • Grow your business and have scalable font-end engineering resources to fulfill your changing requirements
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2018

CAM Engineering—Reducing Costs

06-12-2018

While having on-demand capacity, improved automation, and fast turn-around are critical to any front-end engineering operation, achieving those goals with a cost-effective solution is imperative. Electronics are constantly under cost-reduction pressures. Functionality, capability, and complexity increase while costs decrease.

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2017

CAM Engineering—Fast Turn-Around

09-11-2017

Time-to-market has been the mantra for every successful technology company. The best among them have strong and integrated supply chains that march to the drum of the OEMs and EMS providers that bring that technology to market. A big part of that success, especially in North America and Europe, is the ability for PCB manufacturers to turn around complex PCBs very quickly. The hallmark of PCB production in these higher-tech, higher-cost regions is flexibility and responsiveness.

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2016

CAM Engineering – Automation

12-19-2016

As volume production in PCB has shifted significantly to Asia, manufacturers in Europe and North America have been focusing on high technology, quick-turn, prototype, and lower-volume production.

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A Case for Outsourcing CAM Engineering

04-29-2016

In the West, outsourcing is sometimes considered taboo and many believe it is one of the causes for shifting our manufacturing base to the East—specifically China and other lower cost Asian countries. In this series of columns, I will make a case in support of CAM outsourcing—especially for North American and Western European printed circuit board manufacturers.

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