What’s key to bringing innovative products to market in a cost-effective and timely manner? It’s a question we posed to Dominique Kwong, Director of Hardware and Manufacturing at Recon Instruments .
In manufacturing, adhering to a product development timeline is critical. If your company has had to design, manufacture and deliver products that are ahead of the competition, you know that every step in the manufacturing process is time sensitive. In fact, engineers need to understand how to best streamline the process.
The “pain” point in manufacturing isn’t money, according to Dominique, it’s about time. “We need to find the quickest way possible to make up for any deficiencies in the front end development process so we can adhere to our schedule,” says Kwong. “The challenge is finding an electronics manufacturing services provider that can work within our demanding schedules.”
Back in 2008, Recon looked for a local EMS provider to help build initial prototypes and guide them through their first efforts at mass production. At that time, Recon was launching their Heads-up Display (HUD) system for the sports/speciality market and had partnered with Zeal Optics to design the Transcend ski goggles. After exploring EMS options in the local marketplace, they chose Dorigo Systems Ltd as their partner to manufacture the first prototypes.
"We simply can't do it all by ourselves
and we trust Dorigo to get it done right."
“Dorigo provides complete flexibility when working with me,” says Kwong. “Over the years, they have educated me on the process and helped me with my planning by managing expectations and the minimum requirements needed to get the job done. We simply can’t do it all by ourselves and we trust Dorigo to get it done right.”
What does it mean to get the job done right?
According to Kwong, it means that the success rate on a board is high. “In fact, my experience with Dorigo is that there are certain jobs I’d only trust Dorigo to do. When it comes to fine pitch assembly or rework, I simply wouldn’t trust the job to any other EMS provider.”
Dorigo has been working with Recon to not only assemble their prototypes but also augment their mass production phase using both consigned assembly and turn-key manufacturing.
“Recon has a leading edge in technology,” says Kwong “and Dorigo has the capabilities to build the boards we design.” By including Dorigo in the early stages of development, Recon gained a partner in the production process. “Dorigo’s Process Engineers screen Recon’s designs for ease of manufacturing,” Kwong confidently states, “If you don’t include Design for Manufacturing up front, you pay the price down the road.”
Kwong also has noted that while Dorigo is not the least expensive EMS provider in the local market, they are worth every penny. When Dorigo’s standard 10-day manufacturing lead-time is not fast enough, he’s very willing to pay their 25% premium for expedited 5-day assembly. “I don’t have a problem paying a premium,” says Kwong, “Dorigo assembles 50% faster than our own manufacturing capabilities can handle, that translates into over a week’s worth of time savings! Who else can give me that solution? I trust their process and quality. Quite simply, Dorigo is everyone’s safety net.”
Are you looking to evaluate EMS providers? Kwong strongly suggests, “Always evaluate the equipment capabilities and skill of the staff. You can’t do it all yourself, so you need to find an EMS provider you can trust, even with extreme timelines.”
Top Five Questions to Ask When Choosing an EMS Provider:
What are the company’s equipment, skill and capabilities?
Is the EMS provider set up for both prototype and production volumes?
Can they support turnkey and consigned projects?
Do they offer flexible terms and conditions?
Can they provide you with a dedicated project manager?
About Recon Instruments
Recon Instruments is a world leader in Heads-up Display (HUD) technology for sports and activity-specific environments. Founded in 2008, Recon’s award winning multi-patent and patent-pending technology platform integrates a Heads-up Display with a state-of-the-art microcomputer and sensor suite. Recon’s HUDs run an operating system with an open SDK, to empower developers to create apps for an endless variety of sports, social and contextual cases. With worldwide distribution and partnerships with leading technology and optics companies, Recon continues to define and evolve the HUD category. For more information, visit www.reconinstruments.com