Monday, June 18, 2018
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Evolving EMS at NBS
NBS provides state-of-the-art PCBA services.

At first glance NBS appears to be like many other Tier II EMS providers. It was founded in 1999 as a PCB layout specialist, and expanded into contract manufacturing in 2004. In the 10 years since its startup, the company has achieved continuous growth using an unusual business model that delivers leading edge services in design engineering, manufacturing, and test and verification for a large and diverse customer base spanning all industry segments and geographies. The January, 2009 acquisition of CompServ enabled the company to expand the scope of those services to include advanced supply chain logistics, custom products sourcing and a wide array of test services.

According to Michael Maslana, NBS' President and CEO, "NBS is the evolution of EMS. Our origins might be similar to other EMS providers, but we're an entirely different species in the world of contract manufacturing services. We understand and embrace the fact that in addition to experience, expertise and resources, successful EMS is all about the execution."

Maslana continued, "Our approach is truly unconventional. We welcome and cater to a large and diverse customer base. We recognize (the fact that) ours is a service business. We excel at providing designs, consultative technical advice and support which abbreviates the development process. And very importantly, our capitalization and manufacturing techniques allow for NPI to peacefully and successfully co-exist alongside volume production." Most would agree that a comprehensive test strategy is a sound way to guarantee defect-free products and avoid the costs associated with repair issues. NBS deploys the most advanced AOI, automated 2D and 3D X-ray, flying probe and ICT equipment available on today's market, and it's managed by some of the industry's most experienced manufacturing test engineers. But beyond that, test and verification is systemically and intimately integrated onto the manufacturing process, providing comprehensive closed-loop manufacturing refinements that enable the company to deliver an impressive combination of quality, reliability and turn-around time.

Capital Expansion
"Unrivaled flexibility, response time and impeccable quality have been cornerstones of our success and the benefit afforded our uniquely varied customer base," offered Chris Alessio, VP Sales and Marketing. "We recently added a fourth automated assembly line at our Santa Clara headquarters. This expansion is not simply about adding capacity but the furtherance of facility capitalization that is second to none in Tier II space."
Automatic flying prober is one of a full range of NBS test technologies.

The new line includes Juki's latest Model FX-3 modular high speed placement system, and expands the company's capability to accommodate all up-to-date package styles including 01005, 0201, 0402, QFP, QFN, ball grid array (BGA), µBGA, and chip scale packages. The FX-3 placement system can handle up to 60,000 components per hour and thus fits seamlessly into an ultra-high-speed assembly line that delivers high accuracy and repeatability. NBS also takes full advantage of powerful line optimization software as well as a component handling and traceabilty implementation based on Juki's IFS-X2 Intelligent Feeder System. This employs contactless RFID technology which provides access to feeder intelligence both inside and outside of placement machines. It includes offline feeder trolleys and storage carts, thus providing feeder and associated component visibility and precise material management throughout their highly automated, purpose built new facility that opened in June, 2008. Maslana said that NBS averages 12 product changeovers per line — each and every day. This unrivaled practice is the result of the comprehensive engineering and specialized manufacturing techniques that allow NPI and volume assembly to so successfully co-exist there.

Back to the Roots
Because NBS was founded as a PCB layout company, this expertise has continued to grow along with the rest of the business. Three locations across the U.S. provide local and personal attention and a fourth facility in Southeast Asia complements the company's 24-hour mindset. In addition to utilizing the very latest technologies including Cadence® Allegro® and Valor® Trilogy® to offer complete PCB design services, the company's veteran layout team also interacts continuously in a closed-loop with both its customers and its assembly and test operations. This ensures that every design is the result of real-world manufacturing expertise as well as the latest in PCB Layout technologies.

Design Engineering VP Ian Grover explains, "The best technology on the market is not enough to guarantee the most effective board layout for a product. Our highly integrated processes make us better equipped to work with the most challenging layout issues, including high layer counts, advanced materials and component miniaturization technologies."

End-to-End Solutions
Another element of the company's 2009 capacity expansion program has been the addition of a new 10,000-ft.2 facility not far from its headquarters in Santa Clara. The facility is dedicated to NBS' full range of box-build and system integration services and further extends its ability to provide end-to-end solutions to a world-wide customer base that spans all market segments.

This dimension of the business is a further byproduct of Maslana's strategy to attract and support a diverse customer base. The integration services have been specially designed to customize and support unique and innovative business models. In addition to backplane, cable & harness, and enclosure assembly, the company offers design and engineering support along with hardware/software integration services. Its sophisticated Build to Order (BTO) and Configure to Order (CTO) services include reverse logistics and RMA capabilities as well as system test and burn in.

Sales and Marketing VP Chris Alessio further explains, "Our special ability to support new and unusual business models is based upon the development of customer-specific processes that include track and trace operations and testing of sub-systems, as well as system-level products. We work with both standard and custom-designed enclosures in all form factors, large and small."

Finally, the company name is unusual in that it does not represent any person's initials. Maslana explained, "NBS simply means no BS. Whether you have a single PCBA needing rework while you wait, or require an entire product design and build, with shipment, fulfillment and logistics included, we say `Search no further.' Others claim they exceed expectations. We strive for a higher result. Perfection, in everything we do."

Contact: NBS, 2950 Patrick Henry Drive, Santa Clara, CA 95054 408-654-1100 E-mail: Web:

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