What’s the difference between laser etching, laser marking and laser engraving?

by Conelec Team Conelec Team No Comments

So, you’ve got a product and you’re confused on which laser service you’re going to need. They all sound the same but what is the core differences between marketing, etching and engraving? It comes down to materials and let us explain how to tell the difference. We offer laser etching in-house.

Laser marking is used for marking different types of metals which need serial or model numbers. A laser, via computer optics and rotary capabilities will mark any variation of flat, round or curved surfaces with serial numbers, alphanumeric variations and bar codes.

Laser etching is tremendously helpful when you need to etch away a certain material. This could include: plastics, ceramics and laminates to create identifiers or labels. The process involves vaporizing material from the surface of a part. This will usually be done on coated parts.

Laser engraving is mostly used for wood, metal plaques, firearms, jewelry, etc. You’ve probably seen this service offered by most companies to add your name on a product. The process is removing material to add depth to the mark on the part.


Contact us today for help with your project. 


Understanding the Differences between Class I, II and III Medical Devices

by Conelec Team Conelec Team No Comments

We manufacture a good amount of medical devices for clients but one thing that may not be clear prior, is the classifications of the devices. Depending on consumer risk and how complex the design is, FDA guidelines must be met. Let’s dive into what defines each Class.

Explaining Class I Medical Devices:
A Class I Medical device can be described as simple. That describes the design and the fact that it holds almost no potential risk. There are some general FDA policies it must follow, such as registering the device, branding with labeling, proper manufacturing (hello!) and the FDA has to alerted prior to marketing. A good example of a Class I device would be bandages or examination gloves.

Explaining Class II Medical Devices:
A Class II Medical device are much more complicated in design and of course, risk. A Class II must have special labeling, meet mandatory performance standards and post-market surveillance. In general, most medical devices will fall under the Class II categorization. Some examples would be powered wheelchairs and x-ray machines.

Explaining Class III Medical Devices:
A Class III Medical device are very complicated and intricate in design. This is where strict guidelines will come into play, mostly because these devices pose the greatest risk. Class III follows the same guidelines as I and II, but also has to have pre-market approval by the FDA, a scientific review before marketing. Class III devices at times will be relied on to sustain human lives, so malfunctions are not acceptable in a any manner. Some examples would be pacemakers, cerebral simulators and heart valves.

Now that we’ve discussed classifications, let’s talk about manufacturing. If you have a medical device you’re looking to produce, give us a call at: 386-873-3800 or email:


Contact us today for help with your project. 

Why Testing Matters in Electronic Manufacturing

by Conelec Team Conelec Team No Comments

Confirming quality and identifying early issues

Before you decide on testing your boards, you need to ask yourself a few questions: What happens if there was a design issue? What if there was a faulty component? How do I make sure small errors don’t create huge consequences?

When Conelec tests your product, we check for existing errors and potential design flaws early on. We find testing to always be worthwhile, especially if quality long-term matters.

The biggest distractor from testing is obviously the extra cost. If you have a small production run, you may not be able to squeeze testing into the budget. In most cases, testing early on while save you money long-term. Optimizing vulnerable components early and making sure to adapt production in advance, will reduce rejection rate and defective products.

Think about testing as early as the design stage

During your design phase, thinking about the testability of your product should be an important focus. Using a “Design for Test” methodology, you can influence design and make sure you’ll meet test requirements early on. Something like setting additional test points and using push-down resistors on inputs and outputs.

Think about traceability and life cycles

Even if you’re just doing a prototype, you should be testing, ideally, for a product’s individual life cycle. A prototype strategy would be quite different from, say, a bigger volume run in the future.

Another factor would be determining which tests make sense for your product early on. Will it just be a functional test? Could it also be:

AOI (Automatic Optical Inspection)
AXI (Automated X-Ray Inspection)
ICT (In-Circuit Test)
Flying Probe Tests

When deciding which test will work best, having an in-depth knowledge like Conelec test engineers, will work in your favor for creating a thorough process for the future. Our methodology is to make everything easy for you. You imagine, you create and we manufacture it. Our test engineers will work with you to help explain and understand in detail our testing procedures.

During the process, you’ll have visibility to the whole production process (not just testing) and be able to calculate costs of testing and also assess potential risks.

Test now and enjoy peace-of-mind later.

To us, Everything Matters.

We put an enormous amount emphasis on individual testing strategies and providing our customers with our decades of experience in the process. We want to make sure that turnkey means turnkey. That means not just producing your amazing product, but making sure from manufacturing to shelf, your product is perfect.

How Six Sigma DPMO Works

by Conelec Team Conelec Team No Comments

So, you’ve been reading comparisons about other companies and looking to laser (etch) focus on which electronic manufacturer you’re going to use. Along the way, you’ve hit some reoccurring terms and would love clarity on them. Don’t worry! Monday Manufacturing Word Day is here. We’re working on a better title. Today, we’re going to discuss Six Sigma and why DPMO matters. To a lesser degree, we’ll dig into PPM, just for comparison purposes.

Six Sigma, in it’s most basic definition is a set of management techniques intended to improve business processes by greatly reducing the probability that an error or defect will occur. For someone like Conelec, we use it to analyze our manufacturing processes.

Six Sigma is about stable and predictable processes in our manufacturing. It allows for us to enhance customer satisfaction by not exhibiting excessive variations.

When everyone in a company commits to Six Sigma, sustained improvement can be see. We at Conelec are fully committed to it and our results show that.

Six Sigma is all about the emphasis on quantifiable results. If we were to break it down further into a methodology (phases):

Here the problem solving team defines the problem in specific terms and creates the project charter.

Collection of existing process data, and/or the creation of new data collection methods.

Examination of the data to determine the problem causes.

Determination of the steps to take to eliminate or minimize the problem at hand.

Verification steps to ensure the gains achieved by the project can be sustained.

Defects per million opportunities (DPMO) is the average number of defects per unit observed during an average production run divided by the number of opportunities to make a defect on the product under study during that run normalized to one million.

DPMO or defects per million opportunities, has to be considered one of the most important six sigma metrics for electronic manufacturing. We use this value to determine how effective our manufacturing processes are. It’s also great for comparing processes.

While similar to PPM (parts per million), we find DPMO provides us with a much more detailed look at our process effectiveness. PPM considers each individual output an opportunity and can almost be considered the same as a first time pass percentage.

So, what’s the issue with PPM? PPM is unfairly weighted to high volume activities. Say you were doing a lower volume process – well, your processes would be decimated by a single reject.

Here’s a better way of looking at it. You create a blender and a pencil. I think we can agree that a blender has more parts, operations and processes being applied to it. In these cases, you use DPMO to allow you to evenly make judgments of the blender to the pencil on an even level..

Ultimately, Six Sigma comes down to a company as whole investing in a defined methodology to improve production. Since Motorola engineers decided to use Six Sigma to measure defects in the millions (versus previously thousands), they saw a cultural change that came with it. As well as huge savings to their bottom-line.

For your Electronic Manufacturing assembly, you’re going to want a company that defines its culture and defines i’s processes – because only then, can you rely on predictability and the expectation of exceeding your expectations.

Your Electronic Manufacturer Should Offer Customized Solutions. We Do.

by Conelec Team Conelec Team No Comments

It’s not uncommon in the electronic manufacturing industry to run into assembly issues with production overseas. Certain requirements are lost in translation or perhaps there’s an issue with traceability (or lack there of). What about assembly? Are there loose or missing parts?

Conelec hangs it’s hat on being able to offer each customer their own customized solution. We’re aware that every product is unique and when issues arise, the answer isn’t always simple.

A potential client came to us who was in fact having issues with their assembly overseas. Quality control was an issue and a good amount of their products were being shipped with missing screws.

So, the question was, how would Conelec provide a solution that wouldn’t hamstring production time, yet provide quality control for each individual product?

Problem: Missing screws during overseas manufacturing due to the lack of quality control.

With our Pansonic NPM-W platform, we can provide Tier 1 capabilities and still give our customers the personalized touch with each project.

After taking a tour of facility, we setup a station for their product specifically with a customized fixture (built in-house) to check for the installation of each screw. The device would sound a low alarm if each screw installation wasn’t met. There is also a LED timer to display how many screws are left to be installed. The process doesn’t take long but allows us to make sure each build is properly secured and shipped without fault.


Solution: Created a personalized station with a customized fixture to test for installation of screws. 

Our team is always looking to get creative to solve problems. We communicate and more importantly, we find a solution and execute on it. We’d love to show you.

Schedule a tour of our facility.

Design2Part Atlanta: What to Expect and Our Experience

by Conelec Team Conelec Team No Comments

We had a wonderful time in Atlanta for Design2Part. From tremendous feedback on our new booth to meeting companies in need of immediate EMS, we’re glad we got to spread the word about Conelec’s capabilities.

There were two big questions we got in the show and thought we’d highlight them here:

What’s the lowest volume you can do and what’s the highest volume you could?

We’re always willing to help, be it for prototype or just a small sample run. Our goal is ultimately to help you succeed to have bigger manufacturing needs. For your bigger goals, our facility can handle any size and with an extra 17,000ft2, we can make it yours.

How do you compete with overseas manufacturers when it comes to price and when it comes to capabilities?

Is there anymore focused issue right now than how to keep manufacturing in the United States? We wish we could start our answer to the question with a tour of our facility. The gorgeous 62,000 ft2 facility is equipped with updated manufacturing technologies to offer customers a high caliber EMS recourse in the United States.

The next big thing would be our equipment. Click here to learn about our PCB Assemblies and our SMT Pick and Place using our Panasonic MSF.

The long and short of it, we have the same state-of-art equipment found in tier 1 operations.

We’ll be continuing to attend events throughout the year, so make sure you keep up with our Events page for more details. As always, let us know what you think and reach out to us with any questions you may have.

Design2Part Atlanta: Day 1

by Conelec Team Conelec Team No Comments

We had a great time at Day 1. We met some incredible companies and people – discussed their needs and are looking forward to delivering turnkey solutions to their manufacturing needs.

We’re at booth #401. See you tomorrow.

Thursday 9:30 – 3:00

Come meet the team and tell us about your EMS needs. Mention that you’ve seen the blog post and get an awesome gift.

Design2Part Atlanta: See You There.

by Conelec Team Conelec Team No Comments

We’re very excited to be exhibiting in Atlanta this year for Design2Part. We’d love to see you at our booth and will keep you updated on all the latest from Conelec at the event.

We’re at booth #401. You catch us between:

Wed. 9:30 – 3:00
Thursday 9:30 – 3:00

Come meet the team and tell us about your EMS needs. Mention that you’ve seen the blog post and get an awesome gift.

AmCon Orlando: What to Expect and Our Experience

by Conelec Team Conelec Team No Comments

For twenty-five years the AmCon Orlando show has been the Premier contract manufacturing show in Orlando. We were lucky enough to be an exhibitor between March 1st and March 2nd. We met some incredibly people.

Our team is ever grateful for everyone who came by the booth, told us their story and allowed us to show them the capabilities of Conelec.

We will see you again, Orlando!