It had long been accepted that as products move through their life cycle towards standardization, manufacturing migrates offshore. Eventually, even leading edge products are also produced overseas with the help of new technology and an increasingly symbiotic global economy. But circumstances have changed. The component costs of offshoring have increased along with the risks that go along with it, specifically threats to domestic intellectual property.
For this reason, PCB manufacturing is returning home. Recent events indicate companies are re-examining decades old paradigms and even reversing established manufacturing trends. In 2012, Sony UK Technologies enabled process automation by adding just two holes to one of their PCB designs. They then resumed manufacturing the board domestically after offshoring it for years in China.
If you are sending your PCB manufacturing off shore, what factors weighed heaviest in your decision making? How do you know if offshore manufacturing still makes sense for you? This article considers both simple and complex ideas for cost-benefit analysis to help guide your decision process.
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