6 Reasons to Use a Design and Manufacturing Services Partner

So you’ve finally decided to explore using an electronic design and manufacturing services partner to develop and build your product.

There are many reasons why this makes sense, but obviously, your product design will benefit from a manufacturing perspective during the design process.

1.  TECHNICAL EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE

Certainly the electronic design & manufacturing firm should have the requisite technical design and manufacturing experience to develop and build your product.

Although engineering discipline expertise such as electrical, mechanical, or software is important, it is not sufficient.

Relevant industry experience is vital, particularly for those products that require specific domain knowledge such as defense, aerospace, communications, or medical. Many of these products may have to meet stringent performance standards in harsh environments or they may have onerous regulatory or critical safety requirements.

Depending on your product’s complexity, the development process may require specialized instrumentation, software, simulation tools, or test and measurement equipment; the electronics design and manufacturing provider’s personnel should have the necessary experience. If not, you will be paying them to learn which is neither ideal nor cost-effective.

Some products may require dedicated facilities such as clean rooms for optical and medical devices or anechoic chambers for sophisticated RF systems. While it may be beneficial if the electronics design & manufacturing company has these facilities in-house, you may also be paying more to cover the additional overhead for these facilities instead of paying one-time fees at a local test lab.

If your product will have complex assemblies like those in electro-mechanical or robotic products, the electronic design and manufacturing firm’s assembly and test experience is essential to help you avoid quality issues, inflated costs, and unanticipated schedule delays during the introduction to the manufacturing process.

2.  MANUFACTURING MINDSET

Feedback during the design phase from the manufacturing team members in sourcing, supply chain, and test engineering reduces the risk of unanticipated issues and increases the likelihood of a seamless design transfer to manufacturing.

SOURCING & SUPPLY CHAIN

Because the BOM (“Bill-of-Material”) cost is usually a significant portion of the total product cost, the electronic design and manufacturing provider’s capabilities to effectively reduce these costs should be an important selection criterion.

Since electronic design & manufacturing companies purchase significant quantities of components and material from their suppliers daily, they have the flexibility to aggregate orders from all of their customers to obtain volume discounts and preferred pricing.

Furthermore, large electronics design and manufacturing firms have access to substantial financial credit facilities that enable them to purchase bulk quantities of parts and materials at best possible terms.

The firm’s design team should leverage this sourcing power to select optimal components for your product design based not only on cost, but also based on availability, lifecycle, and lead times.

TEST CONSIDERATIONS

Often product design teams do not develop production test plans until after the product design is already completed. However, a savvy electronics design and manufacturing provider will ensure that a comprehensive test strategy is developed concurrently with the product design. This approach results in a cost-effective test process with the best possible test coverage which greatly reduces the risk of uncovering issues during test process validation before the product is introduced to manufacturing.

3.  3RD PARTY SUPPLIERS

If the electronics design & manufacturing firm will be using 3rd party resources to design your product such as on-site contractors, remote developers, or external suppliers, there are several things to consider.

First, you should ensure that electronic design and manufacturing partner has substantially equivalent confidentiality agreements with its suppliers to protect your information.

Second, the more suppliers that your electronic design & manufacturing partner uses, the greater the risk of miscommunication among your partner, its suppliers, and you.

Third, assuming that the electronics design and manufacturing company selects its own suppliers, it should be solely responsible for their performance. This includes managing them, ensuring the quality of their work, and paying them. And, you should never be involved in any disputes between the company and its suppliers.

Ideally, choose an electronics design & manufacturing partner that can develop your product with the fewest 3rd party resources.

4.  LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Even though it is much easier today than in the past to do business internationally as well as virtually, the location of the electronic design and manufacturing firm is still an important consideration.

The smaller the geographic range you’re willing to consider, the fewer choices there will be. However, the further away from the electronic design and manufacturing company is from you, the greater the opportunity for potential problems to arise.

WHAT TIME IS IT OVER THERE?

It is unlikely that you will have any communication issues working with a local supplier since you are typically working the same business hours.

Even a couple of time zones difference is usually not a problem.

But as the distance to the electronics design and manufacturing provider increases, the window for daily communication narrows. For example, a provider that is located in a time zone that is 5 or 6 hours ahead or one that is halfway around the world will likely require you to attend early morning or late evening calls.

This situation hinders timely communication between teams that will inevitably contribute to a longer than expected development cycle since issues can’t be discussed until the end of one team’s day and the beginning of the other team’s day.

TRAVEL

Ideally, it would be great to have a local electronic design and manufacturing firm that was only a short car ride away. But, in most cases, this would greatly limit your options.

It’s worthwhile to estimate the anticipated travel costs in advance if you believe that you will need to make many trips to the electronic design and manufacturing company’s location during the product design and manufacturing phase.

If you choose a domestic electronic design & manufacturing company, your travel costs are limited to airfare, ground transportation, meals, and hotels. It’s fairly straightforward to control these costs using online booking services even when booked on relatively short notice.

However, if you choose a foreign electronics design and manufacturing provider, travel costs will likely be higher than for domestic travel. Additionally, intercontinental travel will exponentially increase your travel costs as well as the time investment required per trip.

Furthermore, you and your team members will need to have passports and possibly need to obtain visas. This situation can be further complicated if some members of your team are not citizens such as those with temporary visas, work permits, or permanent resident alien cards.

A final consideration is that unless the electronics design & manufacturing firm is local, it will likely to bill you for travel costs for its product design team members to travel to your location, especially if it requires them to stay overnight.

SHIPPING

While domestic shipping is relatively cost efficient if you can avoid overnight shipping, the cost of international shipping can vary widely based on the destinations, weight, and class of service.

If the package’s size and weight is relatively small, international air shipping can be a reasonable option. But, if the package’s size and weight is substantial, air freight can be prohibitively expensive. While ground or boat shipment will be more cost effective, you will have to plan for longer shipping times.

It is worth noting that incorrectly filled out customs forms may cause delays and unanticipated tariffs or duties can also substantially increase the effective international shipping costs.

Always ensure that the electronic design and manufacturing provider has experience managing international shipping to your location. Otherwise, you risk delays and unplanned costs.

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS

If the electronic design & manufacturing company is organized in a foreign country, you may not have the same legal protections as you would domestically for contracts, warranties, liability, or intellectually property.

Even if the electronics design and manufacturing firm has a domestic subsidiary you may still be at risk. If the contractual liability resides with the domestic entity, you may have limited legal recourse when an issue arises if the domestic subsidiary doesn’t have the necessary assets or the appropriate and adequate insurance coverage to cover it.

Also, beware of a domestic electronics design & manufacturing provider who offers a “partnership” with an international supplier. These relationships are almost always just informal business agreements to cooperate without any mutual contractual obligations. So when business goes badly, neither party will take responsibility for the problems leaving you to sort them out for yourself.

The best advice if you’re considering an international electronic design and manufacturing company is to consult with a qualified attorney who has the necessary background and experience in international trade and intellectual property protection.

5.  COMPANY STABILITY

Potential customers often ask how long an electronic design & manufacturing firm has been in business. But, in the current business environment, longevity can no longer be a barometer for company stability.

FINANCIAL STRENGTH

Although often overlooked by potential customers, an electronics design and manufacturing provider’s financial condition is a critical factor to consider before committing your business.

If your electronics design & manufacturing partner is not financially strong, the negative impacts can be subtle such as shipping delays due to outstanding past due invoices from a key supplier, credit constraints based on banking covenants, or key personnel leaving, voluntarily or involuntarily, because of payroll cash flow issues.

You can be assured that a fiscally disciplined electronic design and manufacturing company will do some level of financial qualification on you as a new customer, especially if it will be offering you payment terms. You would be wise to do the same.

PERSONNEL TURNOVER

A key reason to select an electronic design & manufacturing firm is that you have access to a seasoned design team that has worked together for many years.

The stability of the design team is critical to the efficient development of your product. If there are many new people and the electronics design and manufacturing provider is not growing its business, this may be an indicator of a high rate of personnel turnover. However, if there are few new people, this may be a strong indication that you are working with a provider whose business is either stagnant or worse, contracting.

Neither extreme is an encouraging sign that your electronics design & manufacturing partner is stable. Search for a partner that has many long-term team members mixed with some new ones.

6.  INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Wouldn’t it be great if you could find an electronic design and manufacturing company that had previously designed a similar product?

While at first, this might seem appealing, there are two concerns that should be addressed.

First, you risk one-track thinking by the electronic design & manufacturing firm’s design team that will highly leverage a previous design to reduce the amount of development time and work. Although this approach may reduce development costs and time, it may result in your product design being only slightly adapted for your requirements instead of being optimized for them.

Second, depending on the agreement under which the previous product was developed, there may be IP (“Intellectual Property”) entanglements including joint ownership, 3rd party licensing terms, and other business restrictions that could potentially limit your future product plans.  Additionally, there is a risk of unintentional infringement unless the firm has well-defined processes in place to ensure that people and documentation are segregated among the competitors’ projects.

Lastly, you need an electronics design and manufacturing partner who is trustworthy, who will honor confidentially agreements, and who will not share your product design details with any 3rd parties.

FINAL THOUGHTS

While the list of considerations stated above is not exhaustive, it will help you evaluate potential electronics design & manufacturing companies based not only on their stated capabilities but also based on key attributes that could impact their ability to successfully design and build your product.

Always remember that working with a good electronic design and manufacturing partner should free up your time and resources to allow you focus on core business processes to grow your business

Explore North America’s Largest Annual Medtech Event

What are you doing February 6-8, 2018? How about coming by to visit with people from Creation Technologies manufacturing and design teams at Booth 546 at Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West ?

It’s going to be quite an event this year, and we’re really looking forward to reconnecting with industry friends as well as meeting new people. MD&M West is always a great place to solve existing challenges and be inspired by everything new in the MedTech industry.

At MD&M West you’ll find the largest showcase of MedTech suppliers in the country, plus a full spectrum of solutions across the advanced design and manufacturing supply chain. Whether you’re interested in product design, new materials, intelligent sensors, testing solutions, components, packaging, or anything else needed to bring your concept to market, you can source from more than 2,000 cutting-edge suppliers in a time-saving format. Free presentations, interactive events, and fun activities throughout the expo make this a can’t-miss event.

Featuring its biggest program yet, the MD&M West conference will deliver four tracks of expert-led MedTech education you won’t find anywhere else — plus additional smart manufacturing and 3D printing programs — all with unlimited track hopping.   This year MD&M offers a full day of conferences focused on Medical Device Security.  This rigorous conference program will address security and privacy challenges for connected healthcare devices.

This is your chance to get up to speed with the strategies and techniques that turn concepts into competitive products. Curated with the help of an expert advisory team, this unmatched program is made by the industry for the industry and packed with information crucial to every stage in the development process.

Learn about Creation Technologies’ flexible model, integrated solutions and dedicated Customer-Focused Teams and how we offer a complete customized solution that delivers what our customers need…their way. Creation’s experience and robust systems help OEMs avoid costly surprises, get to market faster and scalability to achieve your business goals.

We would love to meet you and learn more about how we can help you meet your future goals. Drop by Booth #546 and learn how we do it.

You can use our Promo Code:  Special when registering and receive a free Expo Pass or 20% off Conference Pricing

Hope to see you there!

 

How a VAVE Risk Mitigation Strategy Improves the Bottom Line

A VAVE analysis is considered a game changer to OEMs because of its potential for major cost reductions.

VAVE is not about a quick fix to cut expenses. Good EMS providers can leverage VAVE to improve product quality and lower lifecycle risk. This focus on risk mitigation will translate into long-term savings and greater revenue opportunities for OEMs.

Here are the ways VAVE teams are achieving this.

Entering the Market with Confidence

Being first to market is important, but it is ineffective if you are not priced appropriately. An OEM may have a great product but will fail in the market because of its high unit cost.

If a VAVE analysis is performed during the prototype phase, you will get expert opinions from your EMS partner on pricing strategies. Early supplier and engineering engagement, before the design is finalized, will ensure there is feedback and approval from all stakeholders.

Putting that upfront investment in VAVE will drive the unit cost down and allow you to enter the market at the right price point. You have an opportunity to capture a competitive market share and maximize revenue potential.

Extending your Life Cycle

A thorough EMS partner will put a large emphasis on quality and risk management when conducting a VAVE analysis. They will make sure that the product and all of its components will last the entire product lifecycle. This is usually done during the risk analysis phase, where your partner evaluates your bill of materials (BOM) and identifies areas of improvement to reduce risk within the product lifecycle.

Making sure that the product BOM has longevity will avoid redesign costs in the midst of the products life.

Part of their task is to get as many approved sources in the design as possible (more on that later) so that if one or two sources become obsolete in a few years, you still have a supply chain that won’t cause you shortages.

Experts in the Supply Chain

Mitigating risk is all about being able to foresee barriers and having a contingency plan to address them without missing a beat. OEMs that aren’t prepared will not be able to react quickly if a major quality issue arises.

Almost 93% of critical shortages where delivery is effected is attributed to OEMs single sourcing their components. That means there are other supply chain options available that haven’t been vetted or approved. When your customer wants an extra 10,000 units, a single sourced component on your BOM can cause you to lose revenue if the supply chain can’t react in time.

We often see in startups or smaller companies, a design engineer is simply not looking for multiple component sources under the pressures of a launch schedule. If they are looking, they may not have the supply chain relationships to identify the lowest cost options.

A capable EMS partner can help you design a sustainable supply chain. They can lessen your risk during a VAVE analysis by identifying and qualifying a second or third source for components, so if there are quality issues, you have the flexibility to adapt.

The BOM might start off with 80-90% single sources, but can drop to 20% single sourced after a successful VAVE analysis. This will not only improve the products longevity, but will eliminate unnecessary long-term costs.

 

 

Tips for Engineers to Avoid Hidden Development Costs and Delays

I have yet to meet an engineer who enjoys seeing costs pile up during the design and development process.

And unexpected costs are definitely unwelcome visitors in the drive for product commercialization.

If you’d like some new, actionable ideas for getting a new product to market quickly and without those unexpected, expensive guests, here’s a suggestion for you…

Attend ‘How to Avoid Hidden Costs and Delays in the Product Design-to-Commercialization Cycle’ next week at PCB West in Santa Clara.

How to Avoid Hidden Costs and Delays in the Product Design-to-Commercialization Cycle: Creation Technologies Technical Workshop at PCB West

In this two-hour, technical workshop, Todd Dierking, Creation’s Director of Design Services and Todd Baggett, Creation’s EVP of Integrated Services, will share their engineering and component expertise to help you:

  • Get the right tradeoffs between Time and Money
  • Assess and define requirements to meet design controls, minimize costs, and still bring your creativity to the project
  • Simplify the prototyping process with some cost-effective technical techniques, as well as a checklist for commercial considerations that will help you make the best choice for each stage of prototyping
  • Uncover the ‘hidden costs’ of designing in the wrong materials

While you’re there, drop by Booth #216 and meet a team from Creation–San Jose, our rapid prototyping/manufacturing facility that’s about 10 minutes from the Santa Clara Convention Center.

Hope we’ll see you there!

More information here in our recent press release.

3 Questions Medical Device OEMs (Should) Have for New Contract Design and Manufacturing Partners

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Today, it’s more common than ever for medical device OEMs to outsource significant portions of their design and manufacturing. The medical industry’s many regulations make this process especially complex.

As Director of Regulatory & Quality for Creation Design Services, I’m often asked about our capabilities across the product life cycle from design through after-market support. Here are a few questions I hear often.

 

1. Do You Have Proven Medical Experience?

The bottom line is, medical device OEMs want a partner with experience – especially regulatory experience.

Off the bat, they are probably going to ask about our FDA-registered product portfolio. They want to see that we have experience working with other companies in the industry.  Much of this information is actually public knowledge that can be found on the FDA website.

Medical OEMs are also looking for regulatory expertise that spans the entire product lifecycle – a partner that can take a drawing on a napkin and see it through to manufacturing transfer, all while meeting FDA requirements. That positions them for a successful 510K or PMA submission experience.

 

 2. Can You Provide Manufacturing AND Design Services?

Creation’s customers today want a full turnkey solution. They are looking for support from the minute they walk in the door with an idea, through the shipment of their first manufacturing pallet, to sustaining engineering at a product’s end-of-life.

Why?

  • Flexibility

A design partner offers medical device OEMs an immediate, expert way to supplement their product development teams.

This could mean adding capacity in existing areas to meet time and cost targets.  This could also mean adding functional expertise in product development, test fixture design, test engineering, component obsolescence redesign, value engineering, etc.

  • No Nasty Regulatory or Quality Surprises

Experienced design engineers who understand the regulatory documentation and submission process help make the transition into manufacturing seamless.

Experienced manufacturing teams who understand the regulatory requirements in a volume production environment help keep auditors and end customers satisfied and safe.

When both the design and manufacturing teams are working cohesively and have a standardized process, any issues can be easily and proactively identified, communicated and solved.

  •  Saving Time and Money

An integrated design and manufacturing team streamlines the New Product Introduction process and ensures consistency from cradle to grave.  From accelerated speed-to-market to higher-quality products, this saves medical OEMs both time and money.

 

3. Can You Support My Product Once in the Field?

Attention to a product shouldn’t end when the device leaves the manufacturing floor. Every medical OEM should target EMS providers that offer after-market services like firmware upgrades, repairs, routine calibration and service.

After all in the medical industry, an OEM can’t tell their customer, “Just put it in a box and send it back to us.”

From a regulatory standpoint, the product needs to go back through a formal process. All modifications must be documented in the DHR – Device History Record – and the provider must be able to provide a detailed record of those changes that are traceable, by serial number, back to that device.

After-market and end-of-life support processes must also take health and safety into account. For example, repair or calibration procedures may need to include decontamination or similar elimination of risk – both to the provider’s employees as well as to the ultimate end user.

At the end of the day, medical device OEMs can trust their outsourcing only to an experienced EMS provider that understands the product life cycle requirements of this highly regulated environment. Questions like these help companies qualify new outsourcing partners. 

Lucky for me that in my role at Creation, I get to say ‘Yes’ to all three.

 

To learn more about Creation Technologies, be sure to attend Getting More Bang for Your Buck: Innovating within Cost Constraints” , at BIOMEDevice in Boston, MA on April 14, 2016.

 

Beyond Design and NPI: Lifecycle Visibility Yields Cost-Savings for Medical Device OEMs

Stethoscope Laying on Stacks of Hundred Dollar Bills with Narrow Depth of Field.

In the medical device industry, there can sometimes be a disconnect in both the priorities and collaborative communication between design engineering and manufacturing operations teams.

This disconnect can be significant to a medical device OEM’s bottom line, especially when time to market is delayed and unnecessary supply chain costs accumulate quickly.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work in both the product design and electronics manufacturing world. I recently had the chance to speak with Editor in Chief of PlasticsToday, Norbert Sparrow, about medical device design strategies that I’ve seen make things much easier for development and commercialization teams, including:

  • Front-loading design work through ‘hobbyist’ platforms
  • Having a structured process in place when working with regulated industries
  • Gaining a thorough understanding of the manufacturing process including supply chain

I’ll be talking more about this at the BIOMEDevice exhibition and conference in Boston on April 14th.

I’d love to hear your ideas to make the commercialization process easier for all involved, and hope to see you there!

 

Read the full PlasticsToday Article

 

3 Areas for Improvement in the Medical Device Industry in 2016

smart medical doctor hand drawing network with operating room as concept

These are exciting times to work in healthcare. With advancements in research and innovation, the medical device industry continues to push the envelope, saving lives and improving the quality of living for people across the globe.

But even with all of the game-changing products that have been recently introduced such as LifeWatch’s Mobile Cardiac Telemetry (MCT) patch, or Medtronic’s new superDimension lung navigation software, there are still many barriers and process inefficiencies that are detrimental to innovation.

As Director of Regulatory & Quality for Creation Design Services, I see both the technical and business challenges of taking new medical products to market every day. As we begin the new year, I’d like to share my view of three ways we can do better.

 

1. Address the High Cost of Regulatory Requirements

Whether we’re talking about medical devices, pharmaceuticals, or veterinary medicine, medical companies are constantly challenged to keep up with the never-ending changes to regulatory requirements. As a quality and regulatory professional, I am constantly thinking about these changes and their impact.

For example, there are costs associated with allocating resources and time to understand any new legislation and standards.

There are costs associated with acquiring new certifications themselves, not to mention all of the preparation, due diligence and training that must come first.

There are costs associated with providing ongoing training for your people.

Depending on the number and type of products produced, and the number of people you employ, these costs are not trivial and can run into the millions.

And passing these costs onto the consumer, or worse, the costs of non-compliance, may take you right out of competition.

How would costs of compliance be altered if softcopy standards were public domain? Or if “eLearning” were entirely non-profit?

 

2. Reduce Lengthy Delays in FDA Premarket Notification / Premarket Approval

There are substantial delays in the process of marketing a medical product in the United States from FDA submission to approval. A device with a predicate, for instance, can take 180 days for the FDA to grant clearance to market. Class 3 devices requiring premarket approval can take even longer.

These delays can result in loss of potential revenue, leading to increased unit costs because of amortization.

And what about the loss of potential benefit to society?

Because of these costs and delays, some innovative products never get to market.  Both startups and Fortune 500s alike elect not to pursue some concepts because of this barrier to market entry.

What would happen if the FDA hired more submission reviewers?  Or if the FDA addressed existing internal administrative hurdles?

 

3. Simplify Complex and Fragmented Global Legislation

There are many quality and regulatory legislative requirements around the globe. Some of these are region-specific.  Some are industry- or product-specific.

As much as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) advocates a homogeneous approach to regulatory requirements, this harmonization is not yet a reality.

For example, the FDA 21CFR820 regulation versus the ISO 13485 standard. These two requirements are very similar, however will most likely never merge. For those wishing to market in Japan on the other hand, the requirements of the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Law (PMDL) must be independently met.

Comprehending, executing and sustaining the in-depth requirements of multiple standards is a constant burden.

If a globally harmonized standard existed, how else could these time and resources be spent?

 

Looking Forward in 2016

In conclusion, can the industry be more Lean, while still maintaining public safety and integrity?

How can we apply the Theory of Constraints to the industry as a whole?

Without a doubt, the medical device industry matures each year and while I look forward to the advancements in 2016, there is always room for improvement. Imagine if companies did not have to worry so much about barriers, but rather, focus more time into innovation and collaboration. The possibilities could be limitless.

What are your biggest Medical design and manufacturing headaches?  Drop by
our Booth #571 at MD&M West in Anaheim, CA on February 9-11

 

 

Speed and the Bottom Line: Rapid Prototyping is a Fiscal Game Changer

Breadboard and Jumper Cable Wires close up on white background

We have all heard the buzz around 3D printing as a tool for prototyping and low-volume manufacturing. As 3D printing technology progresses and becomes more accessible, demand is expected to jump from $1.3 billion in 2012 to $5.2 billion in 2020.

Being new to Creation Technologies – and the electronics manufacturing industry – I assumed that when our OEM customers mentioned “rapid prototyping”, they meant 3D printing. This isn’t the case.

In our industry, Rapid Prototyping refers to an accelerated product development model, and most of the time it’s done without a 3D printer.

So What is Rapid Prototyping?

Rapid Prototyping is designed to get new products out to market in the quickest and most efficient manner. Companies that offer Rapid Prototyping services, find ways to significantly condense the new product development cycle, through either technology or in-house expertise.

OEMs in the electronics manufacturing industry are typically looking for experienced companies that can assist them with product documentation, complete test strategies, supply chain demand, and DFX services.

When done right, rapid prototyping can increase an OEM’s top-line revenue and extend their product lifecycles by ensuring that their product features at launch are actually the features their customers need.

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Get to Market Faster

“If you are not first you are last.”

This is the reality when it comes to new product introduction. With ramped up competition and technology advancing daily, businesses – both startups and established – need to get their new products to market quicker, smarter and as cost efficiently as possible.

Making good decisions early can create the competitive advantage companies need to maximize revenue opportunities. Rapid prototyping can help.

Look at a company like Xerox. Last year, with printer sales declining, the company adopted a rapid prototyping approach to streamline their production cycle for their value-added services.

Xerox focused on smaller, more customized projects so that they could give (and get) instant feedback early in the process. With the help of this rapid feedback loop, products like the Digital Nurse Assistant were commercialized several months quicker than it would had Xerox opted for a more traditional approach.

Million-Dollar Errors in New Product Development

Regardless of whether they build in-house or outsource, OEMs need to maneuver through industry requirements, eliminate costly design mistakes, and ensure quality early in the process.

Rapid prototyping is a smart option for OEMs looking to do this quickly, especially if they leverage a partner that is rich in end-to-end expertise. (Did I mention that Creation Technologies specializes in end-to-end solutions for OEMs?)

In many situations, prototyping and manufacturing are done in isolation. Not only are opportunities for improvement overlooked, critical information often gets misinterpreted in the process, adding unnecessary costs and time onto the development process.

Creation Technologies’ Business Development Director for Creation Express Services, Michelle Angel, has worked with product innovators in the Bay Area for two decades. Today, she’s focused on creating high-impact solutions for Creation’s rapid prototyping customers. Michelle told me that if a mistake is not identified or fixed at the prototyping stage and moves into production, the simple error could cost a customer hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of dollars.

Are you making million-dollar errors in a time where every competitive advantage matters?

Software Development Outsourcing: A Smart Choice for Smart Device Design

Creation Technologies Expert Software Design and Development

Today’s electronic devices are incredibly complex.

To fully appreciate just how complex, look beyond the advanced physical hardware and micro-circuitry to the sophisticated software layer that controls device functionality.

This “command and control” layer comprises an average of one million lines of software code and puts the “Smart” in Smart Products.

That much code represents increased complexity, as well as increased risk of code—and therefore product—failure.

Embedded Inside

Embedded software is quickly becoming one of the most significant components in electronic design.

It is enabling our customers to transform standalone devices into smart, networked, and differentiated versions for each of their market segments (and often even tailored for each end customer).

In fact, BCC Research expects the global embedded software market to reach $198.5 billion by 2019, driven by the emergence of connected devices in healthcare and new Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

This considerable growth isn’t driven solely by market demand.

According to a report published by the CTO and Chief Science Officer of software testing company Coverity, the code base in embedded devices is doubling every two years!

Complex Software Requires Sophisticated Testing

As software becomes more complex, the need for sophisticated software testing is also growing.

Faulty code can have disastrous consequences.

In Energy and Medical markets, for example, software must meet stringent standards and regulations to ensure safe and effective operation in the field. The safety and even lives of the people using these new products depend on it.

(Read more about connected medical devices here, in a recent blog post by our President and CEO).

Yet, some OEMs are struggling to keep up with the advancements in software test design and development. Others are looking for new ways to accelerate the development process to keep ahead of the competition.

Reducing Costs AND Increasing Quality

Regardless of industry, OEMs are facing rapidly changing market demands and condensed product development cycles.

Now combine these pressures with increasing software complexity and a growing scarcity of highly skilled Software Engineers.

Not surprisingly, Creation is seeing more and more OEMs looking to leverage external software development expertise. Our customers choose Creation Design Services for our engineering acumen, but also for the software design experience drawn from many programs and industries, which brings valuable insight and design efficiencies to each unique project.

By outsourcing software design, our customers are able to respond faster to market changes and minimize costs while freeing up critical bandwidth for their engineering teams.

If you’d like some input on your software design or test development, please let us know.

Creation Goes Prime Time: Fox Business Channel Shoot

Creation Technologies Dallas Electronics Manufacturing

To say August 13th was a memorable day for the Creation Technologies Dallas Business Unit would be a huge understatement.

It was a complete trifecta!

1. Had a chance to meet our local Congressman, Sam Johnson, and his staff
2. Visit from John Hasselmann, VP Government Relations for IPC who was visiting from Washington, DC
3. Onsite filming for a segment featuring Creation on Fox Business Channel

A Visit from Congressman Sam Johnson and IPC

We were delighted to host Congressman Johnson and IPC.

Our Dallas leadership team enjoyed some great discussion with the Congressman about economic development in Texas, and Creation’s plans for growth in the region of Collin County/Plano. Texas has long been a center for technology-based innovation, and recent investment in accelerators and incubators around the state suggests this isn’t going to change anytime soon.

We also discussed the increasingly complex outsourcing needs of our OEM customers. Many of Creation’s customers are multinational organizations, and so our global business units in Mexico and China continue to play a critical role in helping our customers identify the right regional strategy.

Afterward, the Congressman toured our production facility and met the 150 people that we’re proud to have work here at Creation in Texas. He was extremely personable and engaging and genuinely interested in what we do.

John Hasselmann of IPC also joined in the discussion with the Congressman, and informed us of the many ways that IPC is helping our industry from a government relations perspective – the insight and support that IPC offers is tremendous.

Creation Makes Our TV Debut

Last week, Creation made our television debut as part of the Fox Business segment, Manufacturing Marvels.

To make this possible, not only did we host the Congressman and IPC on the 13th, we had a lot of fun as the film crew followed us around throughout the day. They captured footage of our manufacturing facility, as well as some interesting moments in our business meetings. They even got out a drone for the aerial footage!

I watched the segment the night it aired, and I think it turned out really well. Manufacturing, after all, is a key part of Creation’s end-to-end solution.

Everything was shot in high-definition and highlighted Creation from a global perspective while illustrating the specific capabilities and location of Creation Technologies Texas – it was very exciting to see our people and facility on film.

Our People, Our Company, Our Industry

August 13th was a great, high-energy day and our team had a lot of fun.

It isn’t every day that we get to be on camera for a national broadcast, enjoy an audience with the Congressman and visit with an IPC executive!

All fun aside, it is our sincere hope that the day was successful at bringing value and recognition to our people, our company and our industry. Hopefully, it not only conveyed some of our strengths and capabilities, but the passion we all bring to the workplace each and every day!

Read more about our big day in the news releases:

Congressman Sam Johnson Visits Leading Texas Electronics Company Creation Technologies
Award-Winning EMS Provider, Creation Technologies, Appears on Fox Business News Network

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