Manufacturers' Services Ltd. opened a new Massachusetts design center today to boost front-end supply chain services for printed-circuit boards, network switches, and router products.
The Concord, Mass., contract electronics manufacturer spent most of last year building its Northeast Engineering and Design Center in Westford, Mass., to augment services provided to OEM customers in the computer, telecommunications, and networking fields. MSL merged two Massachusetts design companies it acquired in 1999 -- Electronic System Packaging in Westford and Ronlin Design Co. of Tewksbury, Mass. -- under one roof to enhance the company's product development and design services.
Last year, MSL partnered with Hybricon Corp., an Ayer, Mass.-based packaging and interconnect design company to expand its design services.
MSL is not alone. Most CEMs know getting a product in the conceptual or design phase can increase business for the entire supply chain. Within the past two years, other regional players and top-tier CEMs such as Solectron Corp., Flextronics International Ltd., and Jabil Circuit Inc. have beefed up design services through acquisitions. The number of CEMs offering product development and design services is expected to grow to about 90% in 2003, according to Technology Forecasters Inc., a research company in Alameda, Calif.
"As demand for networking and communication equipment to support Internet expansion continues to soar, our customers face immense pressure to move designs from concept to production faster than ever before," said Ed DeJesus, MSL's vice president of engineering and design.
The Westford facility has more than 30 design service specialists. It joins another MSL regional design center in Valencia, Spain. The privately-held CEM recently filed papers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to become a publicly traded company, and also plans to add design services to its manufacturing plant in Athlone, Ireland.