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July 2017 • SMT Magazine 91 tributor is used, we are very selective! We take the following into consideration: Is this distrib- utor a member of the Independent Distribu- tors of Electronics Association (IDEA)? And do they have a certified quality management sys- tem? The distributor gets bonus points if they have the capabilities to properly process com- ponents such as IDEA-ICE-3000 certified in- spectors, in-house X-ray and testing capabili- ty, marking testing, decapsulation; and if need- ed, third party facilities to provide further test- ing. We also perform rigorous inspections to parts that come in from independent distribu- tion channels. Las Marias: How do you ensure the security and reliability of your supply chain? McDonnell: Not only do we validate our sup- plier's certifications when we first initialize a re- lationship, but we also recheck them on a recur- ring basis through our supplier database system. We're always monitoring our supplier delivery and quality performance. This helps us miti- gate any minor issues from turning into major ones. Lastly, for risk mitigation we do our best to eliminate redundancy where possible within our supply chain. Las Marias: What about cybersecurity? What strategy have you got in place to address this issue? McDonnell: Our IT infrastructure has several safeguards to protect both on the periphery of our networks and within. These are under reg- ular review by our IT Department in line with current standards that are appropriate for our business. We take data handling very seriously and have restrictive measures of control placed on different data categories particularly those pertaining to military/defense/aerospace infor- mation. In addition, we have regular training for our staff regarding IT security awareness to ensure that all in our company remain vigilant to cybersecurity threats. Las Marias: Are there any regulations that are impeding you from getting more military/ aerospace business? McDonnell: We haven't come across any reg- ulations that have prevented us from fulfilling contracts that we've quoted. We're able to ful- fill of our current military/aerospace customers' needs with our ITAR Registration and AS9100 Certification as well as our Class 3 capabilities. Las Marias: OEMs don't fully trust EMS pro- viders with their complete product roadmaps for fear portions of it or their strategy might be shared with competing OEMs that the EMS pro- vider also serves. How do you see the EMS in- dustry moving past this trust issue? McDonnell: If EMS providers are being trust- ed with the critical job of actually putting to- gether these sensitive products, then it seems a little silly that OEMs are unwilling to provide full visibility on that project's roadmap. We take our NDAs very seriously and would nev- er share any information about a product—it's not worth jeopardizing our relationship with our customer nor it is worth ruining our rep- utation. In fact, as OEMs ask for more visibili- ty from EMS providers, it's only fair for OEMs to respond in kind. The more information that we have about a product, the better equipped we can be to develop a long-term, strategic, and pro-active plan to manufacture that product. Without full visibility we're only reactive, and that puts everyone at a disadvantage. Las Marias: What are the key factors that OEMs should consider when choosing an EMS partner? McDonnell: Transparency, traceability and expertise. Transparency: is your EMS partner willing to be transparent about their manufac- turing process? Will they openly share infor- mation about their supply chain? Quality con- trols? Traceability: can your EMS partner pro- vide you with the appropriate data that shows exactly what happened to your product during the assembly process—from the very beginning to the very end? Ask for sample reports! Find out the traceability process controls that they utilize. Do those align with your expectations? Expertise: Has your EMS provider built oth- er complex products within this military/aero- MIL/AERO ASSEMBLY SUCCESS

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