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Electronics Buyers' Guide

Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook 2019


 

Success factors for contract manufacturing in 2017
22 March 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services

The South African contract manufacturing industry stands at a crossroads – to develop its value-add and skills base to carve out a niche in high-end delivery, or to specialise as outsourced labour. It is in fact a choice between investing in costly research and development (R&D) on the one hand and assembling at a low margin without the guarantee of viable volumes on the other.

Owning the supply chain

Manufacturers going with the first choice are faced with the need to invest in more parts of the supply chain, such as distribution and packaging, and selling to customers in order to retain more of the margin from the selling price.

Many electronic, automotive and white goods manufacturers have built factories in South Africa. Here they utilise IP from their ‘mother company’, procure labour and a portion of components locally, whilst still importing some components, and then proceed with local assembly. They then advertise their product and sell to retailers directly. Owning the entire value chain is ideal, but remains a costly and long-term investment that’s out of the reach of small manufacturers.

Own the labour market

The second choice can work if you enjoy an equal partnership with your customers, in which both depend on the other and your risk is lower.

Foxconn in the USA manufactures for household names like Apple and Amazon, but this kind of contract requires extensive capacity, which again seems unattainable for most small manufacturers.

Preparing for 2017

How then can a low-to-medium capacity assembler attain the scale, value-add or end-to-end delivery to meet the volume and quality requirements of global brands?

By getting customers to commit to sufficient and reasonably consistent volumes to justify the investment in equipment and mitigate their risk. No-one wants to put all their eggs in one basket, and a big customer may well decide to groom an eager, dynamic small supplier as backup. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket either – don’t focus on one or two clients or products when you can spread your risk. Include high volume and high margin items with lower volume, higher value items.

Minimise your costs, for example by taking advantage of special economic zones with different tax, labour and resource dispensations. Be prepared for an economic downturn with a diverse pipeline of opportunities and diligent relationship management.

The manufacturing life cycle is long. Plan in advance and have several prospects going. Have new ideas in the pipeline and spend some money on R&D. Join industry associations and lobby groups to raise awareness of the local electronics contract manufacturing industry.

Global markets remain a real opportunity for local assembly in the areas of smart metering – managing consumption of energy and harnessing natural energies. Pick the right horses and be innovative.

For more information contact Duncan Pollock, Grand Tellumat Manufacturing, +27 (0)21 710 2911, dpollock@grandtellumat.com, www.tellumat.com


Credit(s)
Supplied By: Leratadima Tellumat Manufacturing
Tel: +27 21 710 2765
Fax: +27 21 710 2275
Email: info@ltmanufacturing.com
www: www.ltmanufacturing.com
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Further reading:

  • Things are tough for electronics contract manufacturers in SA
    23 October 2019, Barracuda Holdings, Leratadima Tellumat Manufacturing, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
    The contract manufacturing side of the South African electronics industry has been under enormous pressure for some time now, with some high-profile manufacturers having closed their doors or suffering serious financial trouble in recent years.
  • Quality management based on quality assurance
    23 October 2019, Quamba Technologies, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
    To ensure consistently high product quality and ultimately achieve a zero-fault production stage, it is necessary to control all process steps.
  • 3D printing and electronics manufacturing
    23 October 2019, Omnigo, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
    “The opportunities are endless and we are excited to see what the future holds for 3D printing and the electronics manufacturing industry.” – Christine Brindle, Omnigo
  • The only constant is change
    31 July 2019, Microtronix Manufacturing, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
    Change means different things to different people and organisations. It can mean the challenging of paradigms, disrupting performances that are embedded in comfort zones, seeking a better way, constant learning and improvement, and much more.
  • All in space is not rocket science
    31 July 2019, Elmatica, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
    Elmatica, a Norwegian printed circuit board (PCB) broker that established an office in South Africa last year, has assisted a newcomer to the space satellite scene to put its satellites into space.
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    Researchers have created a machine learning library programmed in C that can run on microcontrollers, and on other platforms such as PCs, Raspberry PI and Android.
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    Beyond the realm of traditional thermal management solutions, the latest IC packaging technologies are making a significant contribution to satisfying the exacting thermal demands of modern electronic designs.
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    When used as a tool for community development, the Solar Bread Box becomes a self-sustaining, economy stimulating, job creating and skills development platform.
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    26 June 2019, Accutronics, Power Electronics / Power Management, This Week's Editor's Pick
    There are many things that impact the life of a power supply, overstressed components being the main one. All components have a life that is affected by temperature; some components are more strongly ...
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    29 May 2019, Altron Arrow, This Week's Editor's Pick, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT
    Analog Devices’ SmartMesh could help with predictive maintenance of the largely metal and concrete buildings which include industrial plants, data centres, commercial buildings, bridges and tunnels.
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    29 May 2019, Otto Wireless, This Week's Editor's Pick, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT
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