Agility to Scale: A Checklist for Ensuring Your Manufacturing Partner is Up to the Challenge
Since the inception of the global pandemic, companies of all sizes and kinds have found themselves on a roller coaster. This roller coaster goes by many names: supply chain bottlenecks, semi-conductor shortages, geopolitical uncertainty, rising inflation, the looming threat of recession, erratic fluctuations in market demand, increasingly mutable consumer sentiment, and more. And if there is any lesson to be learnt from this wild ride, it may be this: agility to scale — the ability to flex, flow, strategically pivot, and rapidly respond to threats and opportunities as they emerge — is perhaps the single most significant differentiator between companies that not only survive but thrive in an era of escalating uncertainty.
At Pivot UK, we are a global, one-source product design, development, manufacturing, and supply chain firm. With fifty years of proven NPD experience and the most advanced digital technologies, we deliver the agility for helping customers capitalise on emerging trends and time-sensitive opportunities in medical, industrial, security and defence, sports and entertainment, construction, and agricultural markets.
When dealing directly with the material realities of production, the notion of agility is no longer merely a conceptual exercise but a question of concrete capability: does your partner possess the equipment, technologies, operational processes, safeguards, and experience that make agility possible? To answer those questions, here’s what to look for:
DFM (Design For Manufacturing) contributes to agility by ensuring product design is informed by manufacturing considerations. When the design, engineering, and manufacturing elements of product development are not integrated early in the broader process, the result is too often a product that appears to be perfect but is cost-prohibitive to manufacture at scale. This sends companies back to the drawing board, resulting in sunk costs, delayed launch, and loss of revenue. At Pivot UK, our in-house DFM expertise differentiates us from other one-source manufacturing partners and is the driving force behind many of our most successful and award-winning innovations.
Advanced P&P SMT
Automated Pick and Place (P&P) Surface Mount Technology (SMT) has undergone incredible advances over the last decade by integrating AI, machine vision, motion mapping, and IoT technologies into what was once a strictly manual process. Time is money, and the more agility that can be brought to production, the greater the chance of reducing TTM. When it comes to maximising efficiency and cost savings for high-volume production, nothing matches advanced P&P SMT. It can process as many as 136,000-200,000 components per hour (cph) and increase productivity by four to five times.
Advanced P&P SMT can flexibly accommodate dozens of different components and can perform a wide array of operations. This flexibility also makes it possible to scale production to demand. Whether production is ramped up in preparation for launch or deliberately dialed back to better control inventory, this technology is central to the agility that makes a key competitive difference.
Digital twinning refers to the creation of a digital replica (also known as a “mirror”) of physical assets, real-world systems, and operational processes (inputs). Using data collected from these inputs via IoT sensors, human operators can monitor, analyse, and learn from their real-time status. In manufacturing applications, digital twinning drives agility by making it possible to reconfigure manufacturing parameters in response to emerging insights and developments. This provides the basis for data-driven decision-making, allowing companies to make proactive process improvements and identify and correct issues before they become a problem.
At Pivot UK, we’ve invested extensively in digitally-twinned, high-speed SMT lines in our American Midwest and Philippines-based facilities. These twinned lines provide agility for scaling production between these locations to optimise distribution and cost-effectively get products to customers when and where they need them.
Quality control may seem only peripherally related to agility, but few things can introduce as much drag into otherwise agile production as quality issues. To ensure the highest quality, regulatory compliance, and maximised yield, Pivot’s Quality Management Systems and Policies conform to ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2016, ISO 80079-34, and IEC 60601-1 standards. Pivot is FDA Registered, UL Listed, and CSA Approved. We comply with WEEE, Conflict Minerals, Prop 65, REACH, and RoHS regulations.
Looking for a Trusted Manufacturing Partner?
We deliver 320,000 square feet of scalable manufacturing capability across three continents. With a highly collaborative approach to doing business, we will work closely with your team to understand your growth objectives and provide the agility to successfully scale. If you’d like to learn more about how we will support your company, contact us today.