To remain competitive in the manufacturing sector, OEM companies are constantly introducing new product lines to appeal to customers or extend reach in the marketplace. However, these new product lines can put manufacturers in a design and engineering bind. New product lines require the development of the machinery, equipment and other complex assemblies to create the new innovations not only at the highest quality, but also at a rapid production rate without raising costs. In addition, the components they select for the production could impact the quality of the raw materials required to create the products. This problem is especially true for products in the food processing, medical device creation, life science, pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
Contract manufacturing companies such as Axenics support OEM manufacturers by applying our product design process and engineering experience to help develop simple and complex assemblies for these new manufacturing processes. These assemblies may be standalone equipment or components that will be placed into larger machinery.
Prototype Assemblies are a Cost-Effective Approach for New Production Innovations
Developing an idea for an assembly requires intricate understanding how each component fits together and works in unison to accomplish a specific function. While a manufacturer is focused on the end result where the assembly creates the product, getting to that stage can take trial and error that can be costly. It can also take time away from present operations for smaller manufacturers who are trying to compete against large corporations who have the design and engineering capabilities in house.
Axenics provides contract manufacturing services, offering a team made up of of mechanical engineers, electronic engineers and technicians, who have a combined 30 years of experience. Using technology such as SolidWorks, AutoCAD 3D and LabViewC+, our team is able to take a manufacturer’s design sketches and develop the control systems, mechanical components and materials required to create the right assembly.
Introducing New Materials and Techniques in Prototype Assemblies
An advantage in using contract manufacturing companies to create prototype assemblies is that manufacturers can tap into the engineers and technicians knowledge and experience to bring something better to the drawing board. Often, a manufacturer will rely on the technologies and materials they are most familiar with in their design specifications. Axenics can broaden their assumptions by introducing new materials and technologies that may make the assembly more productive at a lower material cost.
In addition to introducing a variety of metals, plastics and other components into the product design process, Axenics will provide counsel on how those materials interact with each other – and with the materials they will interact with during production processes. Some materials will interact badly with others over a short or long period of time. This issue can cause failures, malfunctions and faster wear-and-tear to components. By developing a prototype assembly, we can see how it works in real-time and make note of any issues that it encounters. In addition, we track whether the assembly will meet all initial requirements as well as adhere to any established or industry regulations.
Prototype Assemblies Help Manufacturers Expand Operations
Developing prototype assemblies is a vital step in expanding manufacturing operations or extending product lines. Contract manufacturing companies can provide successful prototype assemblies, allowing OEM manufacturers to focus on creating the final assembly, confident in how the assemblies will function with other equipment.
Axenics partners with our clients on the product design process, prototyping, and final product assembly. Working with us on the design and assembly functions, you can count on superior work from professional engineers and technicians who understand your product requirements and specifications. Learn more about Axenics’ design capabilities and contract manufacturing services by contacting our engineers today.
If you’re considering working with a contract manufacturing company, it’s important to analyze a variety of factors before making a choice. Above all else, your choice should ultimately be about much more than the cost of the services. It should also be (and maybe even more so) about the value of the services being provided.
We understand cost matters. Everyone wants to get the best quality of products and services for the best possible price. However, there are times when quality takes precedence over price. When it comes to manufacturing, the quality of the products — from individual components to complex assemblies — really matters. If you’re looking for a contract manufacturing partner that values quality as much as you do, it’s worth paying the price.
When reviewing quotes from contract manufacturing providers, you may want to take the following into consideration before making a final choice:
1. What’s Included?
When reviewing a quote from a contract manufacturer, it’s important to understand what is included in the price. Are they just quoting you for materials and labor? If so, it’s possible that there will be some hidden costs that get added on, such as overhead fees for equipment and tooling, as well as any packaging or shipping that they might provide for you as well. Be sure to outline as specifically as possible what you want the company to do for you – beyond the manufacturing – so you can get a clear picture of the total cost. Otherwise, you may think they’re pricing is better than the competitor’s while the services aren’t comparable.
2. What’s Their Skill Level?
Don’t assume that all contract manufacturers provide the same level of skilled labor. It’s important to verify the expertise of the technicians that will be doing the work for you. It’s also important to verify what certifications and processes the company has in place to ensure the project is completed to specification, and on-time. Ask for copies of any applicable certifications, and take a look at online reviews, testimonials and information provided on their website, so you can confirm the expertise of the company you’re considering working with.
3. Do They Offer Quality Testing?
Some contract manufacturers may not clearly indicate whether they offer quality testing services along with – or as a part of – their fabrication services. This is a highly valuable service, because it ensures the quality of the components and/or assemblies produced matches industry standards, as well as any specific requirements your organization may have. If this service is included, it will be reflected in the price.
4. Is it a One-Time Project, or Ongoing?
If you have a contract manufacturer that you use for ongoing work, the price estimate you receive for additional projects may be lower than if you were to price out a new provider for a one-time project. Contract manufacturers often negotiate volume discounts from material suppliers, and will pass on some of that savings to you. If, however, they are being hired for a one-time gig, or one that requires uncommon materials, the estimate may be higher. It’s important to keep this in mind when shopping for a contract manufacturer.
Ask for a Bill of Materials
All of the above can be verified with a detailed bill of materials (BOM), which reputable contract manufacturers should always provide to you. The BOM should include specific information about what is included in the quote, and the factors affecting the total. This empowers you to make an educated decision about which contract manufacturer can best meet your quality needs, while also meeting your budget limitations.
Remember – the lowest quote is not always necessarily the best. Be sure to consider the contract manufacturing services being provided, the expertise of the company, the quality of products and services delivered, and the potential for long-term cost savings opportunities. The value of working with the right contract manufacturing company is often worth a slightly higher price tag.