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BlogUnraveling the Key Responsibilities of EMS Companies

Unraveling the Key Responsibilities of EMS Companies

The main role of an electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider is to produce electronic devices that have already been designed by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). However, the exact scope of services may vary from one company to another. In this article, you will find the most common tasks that an EMS provider can do for you.

Product Contract Manufacturing

EMS companies start mass production of electronic devices whose prototype has been validated. The initial phase of manufacturing is called New Product Introduction (NPI) and requires assembling a customer focus team that will handle a new project. Some of the steps of NPI include product codification, process PCBA, and associated structural and functional testing, as well as process integration. To move from NPI to mass production, an EMS provider must complete final testing.

Once an EMS company ensures that the new product works properly, it is manufactured at scale. Currently, electronics manufacturing uses one of two common methods, such as mounting through-hole components (THT) on printed circuit boards (PCBs) or surface mount technology (SMT) production. Sometimes, the methods can be combined if needed.

Most EMS providers offer low-mix high-volume (LMHV) manufacturing, which is characterised by a large number of products of low variety. However, there are also such EMS companies as Poland-based Assel, which offer high-mix low-volume (HMLV) in addition to LMHV.

It should be noted that some EMS providers specialise exclusively in PCB assembly, while others, including Assel, also support electromechanical assembly of final electronic equipment that requires the integration of PCBs and mechanical components.

Compliance with OEM’s requirements and industry standards

As mentioned earlier, EMS companies manufacture electronic devices according to the exact design of OEMs. To ensure this, reputable EMS providers have implemented quality assurance measures to validate the quality of a device at every step of production. Such companies are responsible for identifying potential defects and producing devices with the functionality required by OEMs.

Original equipment manufacturers planning to introduce their products into a particular market should make sure that the practices adopted by their EMS provider comply with the relevant regulations, particularly concerning safety and environmental compatibility. For example, working with an EMS provider that has undergone ISO certification will help an OEM launch a product in one of the numerous countries that recognize the ISO standards.

Supply chain management

Some EMS providers, such as Assel, handle the complex management of the supply chain. While it is an OEM’s responsibility to provide a bill of materials (BOM) that lists all the components needed to manufacture a particular electronic device, EMS companies can help you with procurement.

Assel, for example, selects material suppliers for its customers, taking into account component quality, pricing, supplier reliability, and delivery capabilities. Assel pays particular attention to materials availability and works with multiple vendors to minimise supply chain risk by avoiding reliance on a single source.

When the components are delivered to an EMS provider, they should inspect the materials for quality.

EMS companies can also take care of inventory management and demand forecasting to support production schedules and reduce procurement costs by avoiding oversupply.

To maintain quality and comply with industry regulations, an EMS provider has to maintain thorough documentation that tracks all components used in manufacturing.

The bottom line

Understanding an EMS provider’s responsibilities is essential for successful outsourcing. Without a clear view of the exact support OEMs can receive from EMS providers, there is a risk of developing unrealistic expectations and incurring unnecessary costs due to delayed product delivery. To learn more about Assel’s offering, visit asselms.com.

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