Optimum Design Associates Blog



5 Things You Should Know About NRE

Non-recurring engineering (NRE) is a broad term referring to a one-time cost to develop, design, or manufacture a new product. It can mean different things in different industries, depending on the product, process, and even supply chain strategy. In the PCB industry—especially in pull-based contract manufacturing—NRE refers to specific setup costs for manufacturing a newly introduced PCB assembly.


Offshoring to China More Expensive Than United States

Offshoring to China is now more expensive than building in the United States (for the United States). Using objective 3rd party databases and actual prices we demonstrate why building "in region for region" is now the hottest trend in outsourcing.


SMT Temperature and Humidity Control

One of the most important ways to prevent PCB defects is controlling factory environmental conditions. If the manufacturing floor’s humidity and temperature levels are not properly controlled, very expensive components—and possibly entire assemblies—could be damaged, resulting in quality issues and unnecessary costs.


Future Electronics Review

Future Electronics

Future Electronics is the world’s fourth largest component distributor. The privately held company is headquartered in Pointe Claire (Montreal), Canada, operating in 169 locations in 42 countries worldwide, with roughly 5,500 employees. In 2013, Future Electronics revenues were approximately $5 billion.


PCB Surface Finishes Comparison: HASL, OSP, & ENIG

A PCB surface finish is a coating between a component and a bare board PCB. It is applied for two basic reasons: to ensure solderability, and to protect exposed copper circuitry. As there are many types of surface finishes, selecting the right one is no easy task, especially as surface mounts have become more complex and regulations such as RoHS and WEEE have changed industry standards.


How are Electronics Components Priced? [Podcast]


In this episode of Outsourcing Things You Should Know you'll learn about:

Three types of price for electronic components

1.  Book Price

2.  Broken Price

3.  Direct Price

The cost of printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs) is usually dominated by the component costs when outsourcing. But how are those costs determined? The production price you see from distributors is controlled by the manufacturers through a system called "ship from stock and debit."

 Xilinx vs. Flextronics Article: http://blog.optimumdesign.com/xilinx-v-flextronics-insight-to-a-gray-market


Avoiding Risk with a Thorough BOM Scrub

A BOM scrub is the act of scanning a Bill-of-Materials (BOM) to clean off any inconsistencies, errors, or potential risks. It allows program managers and purchasers to align the customer’s order with the manufacturer’s capabilities. BOM scrubbing is one of the most important processes in the contract manufacturing business, and it is essential to lean front end processing and proactivity.  


Avnet vs. Arrow Electronics

Avnet, Inc. and Arrow Electronics have long dominated the electronics distribution market. With shared lineages in the radio industry, similar business models, and recent forays into enterprise computing, the two companies are neck-and-neck rivals. But financial strength isn't the only indicator of a good company. Let's take a closer look at the world first and second largest electronics distributors. 


Quick and Easy Should Cost Analysis

Conducting a should cost analyis can seem daunting but is actually very achievable for most OEM's outsourcing electronic assemblies. Use this quick and easy guide to benchmark your current price for an individual pcb assembly and determine if it is competitive.


Cut Tape vs. Tape and Reel

When procuring components, it’s important to pay attention to packaging type. Most component distributors offer the same components in a wide variety of packages to accommodate different pick-and-place loading preferences. The main options are: cut tape, reel, tray, tube, and batch. Each packaging type has its benefits, though it can be difficult to determine which type of packaging is the most appropriate for a certain job.