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An EMS provider that doesn't build boards: taking "focus" to the extreme can mean giving up SMT assembly too.

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Narragansett Technologies lives the philosophy it espouses to its customers: Focus on core competencies and outsource everything else. Narragansett Technologies and its two divisions, Narragansett Imaging and Narragansett EMS, originally made a name for itself in the digital imaging market as a division of the Philips Components group, designing and manufacturing medical camera tubes and digital imaging modules. This group even won an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development--the result of an invention of a product that improved television image quality.

Today the Narragansett EMS division is focused on high-mix, low-volume manufacturing of digital imaging systems and subsystems. Applications and products include medical, biometrics, defense, traffic control and professional imaging. A majority of the business is centered on diagnostic medical imaging subsystems products and its complex assembly and test requirements. Narragansett EMS's business model focuses on core competencies and outsourcing board-level manufacturing.

The model developed as the division and its imaging business customers began to understand what a significant portion of the total system functionality Narragansett's products were providing. This led to the realization that the additional tasks performed at the customer's site were not adding significant value and would be better performed at Narragansett EMS's facility as the imaging products were assembled. The company's success building higher-level systems led to winning an increasing amount of work for system builds not based on its own imaging modules.

This business model benefits customers since the logistics behind procurement and assembly of many specialty parts are placed in the hands of a specialist in that field. The advantages include:

* As an EMS company, Narragansett is able to offer its customers the typical benefits associated with a traditional contractor: assembly services, product lifecycle management, supply chain management, manufacturing engineering and order fulfillment.

* By focusing on the large (and growing) diagnostic medical imaging market, the company is able to offer more specialized testing associated with this field, such as image quality testing or x-ray imaging. In almost every case, this testing is too specialized to transfer to a traditional EMS provider cost-effectively.

* Similar to the testing advantages, the company is able to offer economies-of-scale in specialized components that would not be possible in a company making a wider range of product types.

Dawn Poirier is director of program management at Narragansett EMS (;
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Title Annotation:EMS Business Models
Comment:An EMS provider that doesn't build boards: taking "focus" to the extreme can mean giving up SMT assembly too.(EMS Business Models)
Author:Poirier, Dawn
Publication:Circuits Assembly
Date:Jul 1, 2007
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