Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 54

West

SAS Manufacturing Inc.

ted smit demonstrates one of
sas manufacturing's automatic
optical inspection machines.

Through its extensive services, SAS
provides support for both startup
companies and established businesses that don't want to invest in their
own production resources. "We are
an extension of those companies,"
Smit says. "We are their manufacturing arms if you will."

Embracing Automation
Cheaper overseas manufacturing labor puts constant pressure on American companies to become more
cost-efficient. "In order for us to be
at all competitive we have to be lean,"
Smit says. "We have to save costs."
SAS achieved greater efficiency by
investing in automation. Instead of
hiring more expensive employees,
machines do much of the work. The
company started with one pick-andplace machine, but after seeing the
impact on production speed purchased 14 more. Additionally, SAS has
11 lines of surface mount placement
equipment used to attach parts to a
circuit board, some of which can place
as many as 35,000 parts an hour.
The company's investment in automation extends to how it approaches
quality assurance. Each production
line is outfitted with automatic optical inspection (AOI) machines that
54

manufacturing-today.com NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016

use electronic equipment to inspect
components. The AOIs are integrated into SAS's manufacturing line, ensuring the every piece is thoroughly
checked throughout production.
The AOIs are an integral part of
SAS's manufacturing process, but its
commitment to quality begins before

production even starts. When sourcing materials, some clients require
SAS to purchase only components
with a certificate of compliance. The
ISO 9001-certified company also conducts thorough reviews of all its own
suppliers. "We only use qualified, reliable and certified vendors," Smit says.
When choosing which vendors to
work with, SAS does not want companies that act purely as brokers. In
Smit's experience, brokers that sell an
integrated circuit or similar product
sometimes recycle components, leading to quality issues.
However, industry suppliers such
as Quest Components can guarantee
that the product ordered meets standards. Quest specializes in high-quality passive and active components
such as capacitors, resistors and semiconductors.
During the entire 12-year history


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016

Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 3
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Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover3
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