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12 The PCB Design Magazine • May 2014 by Michael Ford MenTor grAPhiCs Electronics are part of almost everything that we do today. Supporting this huge industry are many different types of electronics manu- facturing companies: OEMs (original equip- ment manufacturers) ODM (original design manufacturers), and EMS (electronic manufac- turing services providers). The scale of manu- facturing spans products in quantities of tens of millions where each may cost only a few cents, up to a single satellite controller that may cost millions of dollars. Electronics industry sectors are also diverse: consumer, industrial, telecoms, automotive, aerospace, and military. Geographically, the manufacturing opera- tion also exhibits significant variation, from tightly controlled operations in the West to more seat-of-your-pants operations in the East. The move to large contract manufacturers has further muddied the water as each of these companies may operate across several sectors and tiers, as well as design and build their own products in the case of ODM companies. In es- sence, the electronics manufacturing industry is a mess of different operations. No wonder that those in each electronics manufacturing opera- tion think that they are unique, that they are special, that no-one else does things the way they do. Although this is to some extent the re- ality of what is generally going on inside elec- tronics manufacturing, this situation is simply the consequence of evolution. Despite the variation in electronics manu- facturing companies, they still have significant areas of commonality, against which definitions of best practice can be made. One of the most important is the area of new product introduc- tion (NPI). Even though companies have dif- feature the Lean nPI Flow: all in one, and Good for all

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