PCB Chat

RM 102: Contract Manufacturer Selection Process Best Practices

August 23, 2022

Today, we're going to talk about contract manufacturing. Do you have a circuit assembly that needs to be built? Don’t have the equipment in-house or enough bandwidth or specialized expertise to build it? You may be best served by utilizing the services of a contract manufacturer.

Contract manufacturers come in all shapes, sizes and capabilities. Should I seek out a Tier 1 manufacturer? How about Tier 2, 3, 4? What does tier stand for anyway? should I have my assemblies built overseas or in-country? What about issues such as ITAR? Who will be providing the components? What if I need more than just boards assembled such as design, testing and box build?

To answer these and so many more questions Mike Konrad turns to his friend and colleague David Raby. David is the President of STI electronics, founded in 1982 by David's father the late Jim Raby. Those of you who have been around the electronics industry for some time will know Jim Raby for his work with the US Navy in establishing military standards for electronics manufacturing and the development of the NASA and Department of Defense Soldering Schools.

Over the past 40 years, STI Electronics has expanded its focus from consulting and technical seminars to providing training, laboratory analysis, advanced research and development, microelectronics assembly, prototyping, and small to medium volume PCB contract assembly for the electronics industry.

David graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management.


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