your point is excellent that companies are seeking manufacturing closer to their markets as this saves lot of money is logistics. Ireland is an example for this kidn of choice. Almost all medical device giants have their manufacturing setup in Ireland.
@Rob: Yes as you have rightly mentioned cost arbitrage was one of the most important reasons for the shift to China for manufacturing. Now other avenues like Costa Rica, Vietnam,Bangladesh are also in the arena. Quality issues were observed in China and cost is also rising which has forced the device manufacturers to explore options other than China.
Yes, Vimalkumarp, that was the original arguement that sent bilions of dollars in manufacturing to China. In many cases, that was a wise idea. Yet I remember at the height of the rush to China, a distribution executive noted that his customers were shifting to China without any thought or investigation as to whether it was the right decision. Their investors expected them to shift to China to save money, so they did so.
Rob, the products made to mil spec vs products made with COTS hardware and software were pretty easily distinguishable until ROHS. After that, things got pretty confusing, especially the terminology. But building a product with COTS components that still use lead solder doesn't make a product mil-spec. Mil-spec was a long, complicated, gnarly process. As to what terms are used now, I don't know. My knowledge--which came from OEMs and board-level suppliers who bought components and sold their boards as sub-systems to OEMs--is now about 5 years old, so I'm not up to date, either.
i agree with your point that it is better that the medical folks design the products their customers need and leave the manufacturing to manufacturing specialists. It reduces time to market and also help them focus on the core areas.
This is new to me, Ann. Which shows holes in my knowledge. I was under the impression from distributors (my former area of coverage) that COTS stood for "commercial off the shelf." When the military used COTS, that meant they were not buying parts that were mil-spec. Since commercial off the shelf would cost less than mil-spec, there were savings to be had.
When components that still had lead in them became effectively a specialized market, they were no longer "commercial off the shelf."
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