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70 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2022 Article by Mark Laing SIEMENS DIGITAL INDUSTRIES SOFTWARE New product introductions (NPIs) and cus- tomization have been increasing rapidly over the past few years—with the results that the already-small profit margins in electronics assembly are shrinking even further. Fieen years ago, the PCB was the product. Today, most products are a system, with multiple PCBs, cables, and enclosures. Many manufac- turers want to provide turn-key products that have multiple BOMs, making the assembly process even more complicated. Accurate quoting is more critical than ever, but, as any electronics manufacturer knows, that's no easy task. PCB assembly bill-of-mate- rials (BOM) file types, formats (text, XML, database), and accuracy vary greatly, and OEMs are forced to invest significant resources in cleaning the data and validating the content before creating a quote. Even aer they are extracted, there is no way to validate the man- ufacturer part numbers, no assurance that it is available for purchase, and no way to check whether there is an accessible alternative option that is less expensive. ese challenges lead to inaccurate quotes and problems during sourcing and production. Traditionally, electronic manufacturing ser- vices (EMS) companies rely on manual activ- ities and Excel macros to quote PCB projects. But, as process engineering solutions continue to advance, a more efficient way is needed to verify the design, source components, and accurately cost out the project. Given the small profit margins in electron- ics assembly, accurate quoting is critical. How- ever, because design companies generally How to Minimize Quote Time and Increase Accuracy in EMS Production

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