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68 SMT Magazine • February 2017 by Tom Beck MANNCORP A growing number of low- to medium-vol- ume manufacturers of specialized electronic products are reaping the rewards of bringing their SMT assembly in-house. How have some of these companies justified the cost of their en- deavors? In this article, three OEM companies share their experiences. Campbell Company, of Boise, Idaho, is a manufacturer of pedestrian safety systems that has been subcontracting PCB assembly for near- ly two decades. In just the last two years, the company has invested in its own equipment and brought the production of all but a few of its 27 different, mixed-technology PCB designs in-house. "We've always had very good relation- ships with our subcontractors," said Phil Tate, Campbell president and CEO. "They all did a very good job for us. There were occasional problems, as one might expect, but we always worked through them. Our decision to bring our production inside was not a reflection on them. We just came to the realization that it was the only way we could meet our goals for inventory reduction and process control." Recently acquired by Molex LLC, Sensor- con of Williamsville, New York, manufactures poisonous gas detectors for industrial applica- tions. Founder and President Mark Wagner sub- contracted Sensorcon's PCB assembly for only 18 months before deciding that in-house pro- duction capability would best serve their needs. "The need to accelerate development, take con- trol of quality, guarantee product availability and, above all, reduce overall cost, were all key factors in our bringing production in house," said Wagner. Sensorcon purchased its first SMT produc- tion line in July of 2013 and just recently in- stalled a second line to keep up with the com- pany's steady growth. "The new line will be BRINGING SMT ASSEMBLY IN-HOUSE Case Studies of the Effects on Lead Time, Inventory, Quality, and Overall Cost ARTICLE Figure 1a: Campbell Company's pedestrian safety systems are used worldwide. b: Sensorcon's high quality environmental sensor products meet the most demanding needs. c: Verbos Electronics' synthesizer modules are well known throughout the electronic music industry.

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