If you plan on offering your invention(s) to the public, you build them all yourself if you plan to do small quantity, but if you want to have a life where you aren’t owned by the building process like so many small-time inventors, you will absolutely want to learn about contract manufacturing.
My first experience with contract manufacturing was when I initially made the Bedini RPX available. At first, I built the first 25 myself. They worked, but since I drilled out the holes in the cases by hand, they weren’t all 100% aligned, the sticker labels looked so-so, they worked perfect, but it was so time-consuming! After that first batch, I learned another lesson, besides etching my own PCBs, I absolutely did NOT want to manufacture these devices. Again, I can have a life or be consumed by building things. I enjoy building but more when it is experimental research on the bench, but working my own assembly line – forget about it.
Paul Babcock referred me to a local contract manufacturer since he knows the whose who in that business here in Spokane. I made an appointment, showed them what I wanted to accomplish and they guided me in the process of what I needed to provide to them so they could do it all. There is an option for them to do as much or as little as desired. I chose to do it “turn-key” meaning that I just submit the order for how many I want and they do 100%. They order every piece, they order the PCBs, they did all the assembly exactly to my spec, you name it.
In four weeks (with an expedited fee) or six weeks of normal lead time, they have 125-150 units all brand new and waiting in a box for me to pick up. They even test each unit with a scope and spectrum analyzer I let them borrow for a few days according to the exact protocols John Bedini used. They’ll even pack the units in boxes with the signal generators, batteries, and cables if I want with the only thing needed is a customer address label stuck to the box.
The greatest thing about all of this is that I learned I can do this at affordable pricing right here in Spokane so I don’t have to outsource anything overseas! 100% Made in Spokane for a reasonable price. It doesn’t get any better than that.
In this presentation, Seth Young who is with a Contract Manufacturer that specializes in sheet metal fabrication (they made the cases for our MWO Pulse Modulators) gives an overview with a lot of information on the process. Although you may or may not need sheet metal fabrication, the concepts apply to any kind of contract manufacturing and what you can expect or know to ask for.
Part of the 2019 Energy Science & Technology Conference series (64 mins downloadable video).