Box Build Process With A Contract Manufacturer

Box Build

Why A Box Build With Your Contract Manufacturer Makes Sense

A good working PCB design is one thing but creating a housing and interface for your product is a whole other beast. If these two are not compatible, it may create customer complaints or even create a lack of sales. Teaming up with a contract manufacture for both your PCB assembly as well as the box build has a myriad of benefits. Since most contract manufacturers have experience with multiple different product lines and customers, they may be able to spot problems before they arise. You should find a contract manufacturer that you trust to take special care in handling and putting together the parts for your electronic product.

Finding the right CM means you can save yourself time and headache from juggling multiple vendors. Having one vendor also means that they will be able to see firsthand how all the components fit and interact together.

What Your CM Will Need For a Box Build Project

After you have done your due diligence and selected a CM, they will need several documents in order to quote and build your product. The more detailed your instructions are, the easier it will be for them to paint a picture of what they need to do to complete your build. To start, be sure to include the following:

  • Assembly drawings
  • BOM (Bill of materials)
  • Electrical schematics
  • Wiring lists
  • Testing/Programming Requirements
  • Example of unit (if possible)

Of course it is possible to build with less but the more information you supply to start, the less back and forth will be required which ultimately helps you more quickly get your product into your hands and then into the hands of your customer. Providing ample information will help avoid confusion and lead to a successful partnership!

How Will A Reputable CM Build Your Electronics Enclosure?

Once your CM understands what you require, they should have processes in place to ensure a successful project. There should be checkpoints along the way to analyze the progress and functionality of parts before they all go into the enclosure. This applies to circuit boards, wiring, programing, testing, and any other special requirement. Some of the steps included in a box build process are listed below:

  • PCB fabrication, parts procurement, assembly, and testing of circuit boards
  • Wire and Cable Harness testing and fabrication
  • Enclosure Fabrication and QC
  • Begin assembling unit from the bottom up. This may include connecting/installing multiple circuit boards, bolting parts and connecting point-to-point wiring and wire harnesses.
  • Utilize customer manufacturing specs at each specified step.
  • Assess every level for necessary screw placement, torque requirement, wire routing, labels, continuity test points, etc. A CM will test/inspect the unit before moving onto the next level of assembly.
  • Repeat for each level of assembly.
  • Do a final assessment before top cover installation.
  • Test device, making sure everything passes and fixing anything that does not.
  • Final inspection
  • Packaging
  • Shipping!

During the final stages, a good CM will take into account all of your specifications and create a specialized Pass/Fail criteria for the QC team. This ensures that your products work as they should and will be ready to ship to you and your customers. Having a good CM will mean less delays in the final steps of manufacturing.

When you have multiple vendors handling your project, things can accidentally be overlooked due to a lack of holistic understanding of your product. Something seemingly small like a cable assembly a little bit shorter than spec may create a bottleneck for the entire process. These mistakes tend to be unexpected and costly.

Vinatronic has been doing box-builds in conjunction with its PCB Assembly and Cable assembly for over 20 years. With its constant growth mindset, it has created processes to ensure repeatable quality. Trusting them with your project will save you and your company a huge amount of time, money and headache. Everything takes place in one place, and you know the quality will be superb. Reach out to our team if you want us to have a look at how we can improve your current situation.

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