We strongly feel the best way to reduce your product's cost is not through shopping vendors, rather designing cost out of your assembly. Why leave to cost reduction to the control of the market? If DFM is performed it will guarantee you will have a baseline price and puts you in control of your product's cost. So this is really not a technical article, as a manufacturer here's a list of things you can do to reduce the cost in electronics based on our experience.
- Use smaller passives - the smaller the parts the cheaper they are, don't worry we have microscopes.
- Single sided - it reduces a cycle on the line, keeping the cost down.
- Surface mount Parts - Don't use Through Hole, SMT allows cost effective automation.
- Through Hole Parts - use them only if you have to, but keep SMT parts far enough that they will not be affected during a selective solder process (0.2" would be awesome). Also keep them all on one side if possible.
- Smaller Board - You pay for the real estate, so keep it as small as you can. Also the smaller the board, the more you can panelize and push through a cycle on the SMT machine, it may not seem like it's a lot, but it reduces handling, keeping costs low.
- Keep parts inside the board outline - This allows us to panelize the board without routing, which leads to better material utilization, panel density and ease in de-panelizing
- Geometry - Use right angles as much as possible, it increase the board utilization. IE if you have a round board, you still pay for the area that was cut out. Also with right angles you can de-panelize boards much easier.
- Reduce BOM Lines - Reduce the number of bom lines so that you can use more of one type of part giving you an advantage through economy of scales.
- Automate - Reduce any type of manual assembly required. AUTOMATE, AUTOMATE, AUTOMATE
That really our wish list for you, if we can do that it will make the manufacturer's life and the OEM's life easier. The simpler the design the easier it will be for you.
If you need help in the DFM process, let us know, we would love to provide our input.
Live Long and Reduce cost through design.