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Manufacture and supply of PCB assemblies - case studies

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Local company cures quality issues by going local for PCB assembly

First Choice Assembly have recently taken a large printed circuit board manufacturing contract back from the Far East, in doing so curing the delivery and PCB quality issues of its client overnight. As a supplier of printed circuit boards to London Transport our client needed a more reliable PCB supply. At First Choice Assembly we have offered quality printed circuit boards and an inventory management saving our client £250,000 in stocking cost of finished PCBs and easing the lead time issues he had with component supply.

Our client now has full traceability and is safe in the knowledge that all PCB assemblies and components are from a quality source.

First Choices components supply has also reduced our client’s prototyping cost and timescales have been reduced to 5 – 7 days from 3 – 4 weeks of fully assembled printed circuit boards.

"The service out performed our expectations"

During these difficult times UK manufacturing on the whole is arguably suffering the most from the recession. It is therefore uncommon to find a Midlands based manufacturer with a full order book for 2 years in advance.

To meet this demand our customer has recently upgraded his production facility to be able to produce his own printed circuit boards on a larger scale which are in the main surface mount by purchasing a new pick and place assembly line.

During the installation of this new machinery and the decommissioning of the old assembly line. First Choice Assembly was asked to bridge the gap in production by assembling the pcbs during the installation. This was to take around 5 months and during this time on average First Choice was expected to assemble around 22,000 cph (components per hour) as well as satisfying its other customers needs. All materials were free issued to us.

This level of production given its short notice pushed even our I pulse assembly line to its limit. With 36,000 cph  at our disposal and with the reliability of Yamaha equipment we managed it.

Our customer put us under constant delivery pressure as we needed to deliver pcbs to the line daily with the quality you would expect in a medical  application. During the 5 months we produced around 10,000 pcbs with 100% quality.

We exceeded our customers expectations so much that we now have long term partnership with this customer maybe not in the volume produced during the initial period but our customer is safe in the knowledge we can lend a hand during his production peaks. 

Customer thanks FCA with increased order volumes for sourcing cheaper alternative components

Our purchasing team have met with much praise recently from an off shore customer having noticed a cheaper alternative IC on the internet to one that was already being used on the customers pcb.

Our purchasing manager followed this up with the manufacturer of the IC and with much redesign work carried out by a local design specialist the IC was found to also lessen the component count on the pcb thus saving even more money in labour time and components fitted.

During the redesign working with the customer we also added new functions to the pcb not previously incorporated into the pcb.

The effect has been that batch sizes have increased as the customer is more competitive and can now sell into new markets otherwise untapped by them previously due to price. The new functionality of the pcb also helped break new markets for the pcb.