Partners in profit: breaking into new markets

Choosing the right EMS partner is critical when breaking into new markets. Sensitive pricing, backed by flexible assembly, is essential.
X-ray and photo-sensor specialist, Sens-Tech, selected its manufacturing partner, Dynamic EMS, nearly five years ago to help maintain its competitiveness in demanding niche markets. With this goal in mind, Dynamic EMS has worked consistently to provide a flexible service and dynamic supply chain management in line with Sens-Techs demanding lead times and pricing criteria across a range of products.
Equipment manufactured under the agreement includes data acquisition systems for use with various x-ray sensors and linear x-ray sensors in radiation-screened housings for industrial applications.
In all, there are some 35 product lines with volumes ranging from 100 to 1,500-off per month. A mix of conventional and surface-mount-BGA production techniques are required and with around 70 different PCB assemblies involved, the supply chains are highly dynamic.
Customers for these products span the security, industrial and medical sectors, so Sens-Techs pricing has to be keen, without compromising quality. Crucial for Sens-Tech was the ability to offer a lower-volume line where products under development could be assembled in order to evaluate new markets and customers. These prototype products are sensitively priced so that Sens-tech can achieve the correct costing structure to penetrate new markets.
Competitiveness is crucial not just to the electronics assembly process itself, but all the way down the supply chain. Dynamic EMS materials group provides a range of services to Sens-Tech, from material sourcing and procurement, supply chain management, component selection and inventory management, through to component obsolescence and lead-time profiling.
Sens-Tech’s Steve Jaye explained: Dynamic-EMS uses the approach that is most appropriate to your business needs. For us, they provided a number of supply chain methodologies that support our product portfolio through all aspects of supplier selection and supply chain management. Working closely with its supply chain partners, Dynamics project management and always-helpful approach has been the key to achieving our difficult timescales and price requirements.
He added: The technical capability of Dynamic-EMS has always matched our business requirements across a variety of circuit boards and final products.
Facilities at Dynamic-EMS include three surface-mount assembly lines, capable of up to 75,000 component placements per hour. In addition to multi-zone ovens for conventional soldering, there is a ten-zone reflow oven for lead-free processes and inspection and rework facilities to match. For Sens-Techs conventional through hole and mixed technology needs, facilities include a 60-station sequencer with capacity for up to 10,000 insertions/hour and an 8,000 insertions/hour DIP inserter.
Where Sens-Tech is concerned, partnership with an EMS provider is too important to rely on technical capability, project management and supply chain expertise alone.
Steve concluded: We place contracts with people rather than companies. Key account staff, programme manager, Paula Scotland and sales director, John Dignan, have been extremely helpful throughout our relationship, working closely with suppliers and with our personnel, from the top-down and bottom-up.
This is an integral element of the company philosophy, as Dynamic EMS John Dignan acknowledged: We first worked with Sens-Tech in 2005 and have engaged at all levels ever since. We have built a trusting working relationship with a common goal of satisfying the needs of both Sens-Tech and their end-customers.
Proof, if needed, that electronics manufacturing services is as much a people business as it is technical and commercial.