Dynamic EMS turns to manufacture for design

18th August 2020
Alex Lynn

The low-volume environment is challenging, all the industry processes, tools, equipment and even the materials are manufactured and targeted at the high-volume market. Choosing the correct processes is critical and getting it wrong can be costly. Dynamic EMS has a solution.

For example, when you look at higher volume markets, machine set-ups use up sample cards to adjust parameters and optimise the line for the best yield. Sample sizes vary, from ten or so to in some cases running a few hundred.

Low-volume producers, however, have to develop methods and processes that best match a particular product with virtually no sample cards. From a manufacturer’s standpoint, being given a small handful of cards for manufacture demands a special team of folks with extensive experience and knowledge to steer a new unknown product through the processes with no losses. The ability to do this well takes an exceptional set of skills.

We all know about Design for Manufacture (DFM), but what happens when you observe designs that will impact producibility? Do you produce, then rework, then ask for a redesign that will delay the product? Or do you accommodate these design-limiting issues through innovative tools and methods that you develop in-house to mitigate these yield-impacting designs?

Dynamic EMS understands that no two customers are the same. Their products, their supply chains and their markets all differ. This is why Dynamic EMS offers tailor-made, customised electronics manufacturing services to customers with complex, highly diversified businesses.

Dynamic EMS is constantly innovating different methods and tools to make our processes as robust and efficient as possible. Once we identify issues through our DFM, we use a process we call Manufacture for Design (MFD). MFD is Dynamic’s ability to utilise tools and methods that foresee and mitigate potential DFM issues. We are constantly evolving these tools, constantly challenging ourselves to serve our customers better.

Examples of Dynamic’s MFD in action:

  • Stencil design: Stencil design is a valuable area in MFD - we have managed to overcome some awkward issues with clever paste patterns including solder float and voiding issues.
  • Placement: Placement also plays a role – sometimes, to accommodate some connector issues or poor pad design, we offset placement.
  • Reflow: With reflow, we strive to keep the profile as low as practical, matching the peak package temperatures to minimise flux exhaustion, especially when we have to extend the soak to minimise voiding.
  • Maintenance: We also try to avoid unplanned maintenance, but even then sometimes the machines play up. For high-mix product lines, keeping on top of machine maintenance is a top priority.
  • Special processes: Then there are the special processes like conformal coating, or fixtures requiring certain fasteners or batteries.  Final box builds can also bring new challenges and solutions.

The opportunity for surprises sneaking up and biting you is always there - Dynamic EMS has a watch-out-for list, which in the high-mix environment is quite extensive. This is why the company always recommends that clients run the designs past them so Dynamic EMS can capture the ‘watch out fors’ before they hit the shop floor.

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