Assembly, light assembly, subassembly… These terms can refer to labor processes that create a product by putting a set of pieces together in the form of a device or mechanism.
Commonly, several different manufacturers supply the various components needed to build a product. Then, an experienced team and proper facilities are required for the assembling of those parts and pieces into finished goods.
Assembly and subassembly services are often utilized by companies to take care of this entire process. By outsourcing these services to an experienced provider, organizations can focus on their core competencies, knowing that the final product will meet their needs and exact specifications. Skilled technicians on an assembly line use top-of-the-line equipment and facilities to complete the project with the utmost attention to detail.
Assembly vs. Subassembly
In product structure modeling, a bill of materials describes the composition of a product. Manufacturers use a bill of materials as a critical piece of information regarding the raw materials, components, parts and assemblies—including the quantities of each—to create a specific product. Advanced product modeling techniques can be especially helpful when they are used to determine new configurations when one or more components change.
As the representation of a product’s structure and the assembly processes used to build it, product modeling shows components and their relationships to one another. An assembly can consist of subassemblies and those sub-assemblies can consist of other subassemblies. This begs the question: “What’s the difference between an assembly and a subassembly in product manufacturing?
An assembly is essentially a structure that includes two or more parts or subassemblies linked in some way. And it’s important to note that both “assembly” and “subassembly” can connote physical items or processes.
When a bike is produced, typically several substructures are assembled during the process including front and rear wheel substructures. In this instance, the front and back wheels are built as subassemblies and then attached to the chassis.
Generally, subassemblies create added value because additional labor and material costs are offset by delivering a component or assembly that is ready for use in the next application.
Outsourcing Assembly and Subassembly
If you’re an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) researching your product assembly options, outsourcing should be on your list. As you assess assembly and subassembly service providers, here are some factors to consider:
Size and capabilities
Some assembly service providers simply won’t have the right space, equipment, expertise or manpower to meet your current needs or accommodate for future growth.
The cost of manufacturing includes more than just labor and materials. Before outsourcing your product assembly, be sure you fully understand your actual in-house manufacturing costs.
Willingness to “partner” with you
When evaluating services offered by an outsourced product assembly and subassembly company, find out if they are willing to truly collaborate with your team and determine the best approach for producing your product.
The assembly process often requires other services like fulfillment, inventory management, kitting, inspections and just-in-time delivery. Does your provider offer these services? A one-stop-shop is definitely more convenient and can be more cost-effective as well.
Talk with the Experts
If you need manufacturing assistance, you want to talk with industry leaders in assembly, light assembly and subassembly processes. Contact one of our NewStream assembly experts today. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about our capabilities.