Originally Published MPMN March 2005
Sneak Peek: Electronics OutsourcingNew Kid in Town
EMS provider crosses over to medical electronics
In recent years, electronic assembly houses in the United States have lost business to Asian companies, especially with high-volume, low-margin electronics, such as consumer goods. Yet when it comes to the manufacture of medical electronics, jobs tend to remain stateside. Savvy EMS industry leaders have, quite understandably, begun marketing campaigns to get medical device OEMs as customers.
Such was the case with electronics manufacturer Avantec Manufacturing Inc. (Orange, CA; www.avantecusa.com). The company has offered electronic assembly for more than five years and made the recent decision to move into medical electronics. According to company president Alan McNeeney, “It’s about being proactive.”
In McNeeney’s experience, the medical industry is much more concerned with the quality of the finished product, rather than producing high quantities. “Customers want to be able to see and control the quality of their products,” he states. The key to obtaining high quality products, he says, is workmanship and traceability—two main areas that domestic EMS providers can comply with easily. “It’s more critical to have a paper trail, and when you outsource to Asia, sometimes that paper trail gets lost,” he adds.
Competition is fierce among electronics subcontractors, McNeeney says, so it’s still too soon to say what the future holds for Avantec with medical electronics outsourcing. As for the future of medical electronics outsourcing as a whole, he anticipates more attention will be focused on establishing documentation procedures and quality management systems, including more levels of certification. Shorter production cycles will also be demanded by OEMs, he adds.Copyright ©2005 Medical Product Manufacturing News