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60 SMT Magazine • March 2016 by Jered Stoehr MIlWAUKEE ElECTroNICS Most EMS providers have some ability to provide design for manufacturability and test- ability (DFM/DFT) support to their customers. Some even offer layout services. However, the ability to offer product development engineer- ing support at the conceptual level is rarely found outside of tier one EMS providers. This can be an underserved niche since projects that start as outsourced design projects can take one to two years to ramp to full volumes and even then the volumes may not reach the scale at- tractive to a global EMS provider. Often the so- lution is a design firm and job shop followed by transition to larger EMS provider once the job shop is outgrown. This can be inherently inef- ficient since the OEM may be outsourcing de- sign and subsequent manufacturing to multiple suppliers, resulting in multiple project transfer costs and concomitant inefficiencies. Why wouldn't more EMS companies fill this niche? One reason is that it can be challenging to keep the right mix of design engineers work- ing at capacity in an EMS-only environment. There are basically two ways to address this chal- lenge: form strategic alliances with independent design firms or develop an in-house capability that stays at capacity through a combination of independent design projects and EMS-related projects. One company that is effectively utiliz- ing this model is Milwaukee Electronics. Its De- sign Engineering Services group follows a simple "fit what customers need" model. The group is designed to integrate with customer engineer- ing teams and fill the gaps. They can support standalone product development efforts with- The Appeal of a Combined Engineering and Manufacturing Solution fEatu rE

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