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Vital Elements of a Box Build Assembly

Electromechanical box build assembly is a key service offered by electronics contract manufacturers. In addition to the manufacture and population of PCBs, this full turnkey production offers a simple, all-in-one approach to your manufacturing needs. This includes wire harnesses, metal fabrication, and sub-level assemblies.

Box Build Assembly Services

box build assembly(Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force)

What’s Included?

Box Build Assembly Services include:

  • System level assembly
  • Product assembly
  • Sub-level product assembly
  • Packaging & labeling
  • Testing
  • Software loading & product configuration
  • Aftermarket services & repair
  • Warehousing, order fulfillment, & traceability

To get your box build assembly off the ground, provide your electronics contract manufacturer (ECM) with the necessary information up front. This foresight can save you an arm and a leg -- not to mention a lot of time.

Bill of Materials (BOM)

This one is obvious, but it’s arguably the most important.

The BOM contains critical information for the design of your assembly, including:

  • Item number
  • Reference number
  • Manufacturer part number
  • Package
  • Part type
  • Much more

You wouldn’t expect someone to build a house without blueprints, right? Well, the bill of materials acts as the blueprint for building your assembly, and it should be treated as just as significant.

An accurate, thorough BOM can get your product into production faster and with a lesser likelihood of error.


Another important tidbit of information is the size and weight of your product. Be sure to share this with your ECM, as it can affect your product’s:

  • Shipping
  • Packaging
  • Warehousing

Do you have specific requirements for shipping and packaging? Be sure to specify those as well.

Another thing to consider: If your box build assembly is large, ask your ECM if it has the capabilities for such a project. Assets like an overhead crane can be vital to projects of formidable sizes.

3D Model and Prototype

If you have 3D CAD technology, provide a 3D model to your electronics contract manufacturer so it can understand and visualize what you’d like the end product to be.

Better yet, provide a prototype unit, if you have one. If not, don’t fret: Many ECMs have their own 3D CAD software to accomplish this.

Test Specifications

Be sure to specify any explicit testing requirements. This includes:

  • Basic electrical testing
  • Functional testing
  • Burn-in testing

If not, discuss with your manufacturer which kinds of electronic testing are available. Product quality is hugely important, so you’ll want to know all options available.

smd resistor sizes chart

Author: Tyler Vasbinder