Optimum Design Associates Blog



What China’s Third Plenum Means for Offshore Manufacturing

Envisioning a new era for China’s economy, in November 2013 top Chinese leaders held the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th Committee of the Communist Party of China (the Third Plenum), a four-day meeting to plan China’s future of social and economic reform. The reforms outline sweeping changes that China’s leadership expects to make in the coming decades.


4 Ways Contract Manufacturing Partners Should Do Cost Reduction

Here are 4 ways you should expect a contract manufacturing partner to be reducing your costs. 

  • Poor Component Selection: A product can function and meet your cost goals, yet be difficult to manufacture. An approved vendor list (AVL) that has a large number of sole-sourced components can be setting you up for material availability issues longer-term. Your contractor’s New Product Introduction (NPI) process should include design for manufacturability/testability recommendations using tools like Valor. The NPI process should also identify any materials availability issues using information from components suppliers and third-party providers like SiliconExpert and IHS.


3 Myths Drive EMS Vendor Selection Mistakes




Is Bigger Always Better in Contract Manufacturing?

Bigger is always better, right? So, from an outsourcing perspective it should always make sense to work with tier one electronic manufacturing service providers. However, that isn’t always the case. Let’s look at three common myths that create vendor selection mistakes


Conflict Minerals Quick Facts


What - “Conflict Minerals” refers to tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold mined in or near the Democratic Republic of Congo. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act requires publicly traded companies regulated by the SEC to do two things:


PCOLA/SOQ Explained


PCOLA/SOQ is an approach to defining the defect spectrum for PCBA assembly manufacturing that allows the test engineer to calculate a score for defect coverage. It is estimated that greater than 95% of faults found using functional test only can be detected earlier at much lower cost. Therefore, maximizing defect coverage before functional test is crucial to manufacturing at optimum yields cost-effectively.

What is a Complementary Test for PCBA Assembly?

Modern high-tech PCBAs can potentially have 20,000–30,000 solder joints, requiring sophisticated automated inspection techniques to efficiently inspect results and provide process control feedback. But how do we control the efficiency and effectiveness of the test process itself?


Complexity Index for PCBA Assembly

The Complexity Index (Ci) is a method of scoring the manufacturing complexity of PCBA assemblies proposed by Agilent many years ago. It is a useful and accessable method of standardizing approaches to understanding complexity and therefore the appropriate manufacturing and test strategies.

Complexity Index (Ci):

     Ci = ((C + J) / 100)) * D * M

Continue reading after the break for a practical example of how to utilize this formula. 


What's 'World Class' for Solder Joint DPMO?

As the value of statistical process control (SPC) increases in importance when selecting a quality contract assembler, the standard question becomes, "What is good?" This question can be examined in light of some recent articles.


Jabil Review


It goes without saying that Jabil Circuit is one of industry's most esteemed EMS providers. Founded almost fifty years ago, the company has grown into the world's third-largest EMS by revenue, largely through its exemplary business practices, supply chain management, innovation, and quality. 


TTM Technologies Review





TTM Technologies is North America's largest printed circuit board supplier and fifth largest in the world. TTM focuses industry-leading PCB fabrication technology for both high-velocity and high-reliability markets. Operating in an industry dominated by offshore suppliers, TTM steadfastly remains one of America's best competitors.