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Q: What does RBB consider a “small” batch?

A: We’ll build one unit if needed, and we often do. Ninety percent of our production runs are for 100 units or less, but batch size can range from 1-1000 depending on complexity. If circuit boards are small and panelized, the total number of units is, of course, much greater. “Small” to us is basically small enough so that the other jobs in the schedule don’t have to slow down or wait for a “large” job to complete; usually this is simply a matter of how much time is needed in the surface mount area of our facility. When job sizes begin to grow, we often negotiate with clients to break them into smaller batches so that all clients continue to receive outstanding service.

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Q: Why do you refer to “large portfolios of recurring small batches” and what does that mean exactly?

A: While RBB is uniquely positioned to produce any small batch, we fit best with clients who manage a significant number of assemblies/SKUs. A good rule of thumb is 50 or more, although in some cases our clients have more than 200 different devices, each one in a small batch. This type of client has ongoing monthly demand, and the production mix varies widely. RBB was designed with the complex challenges of this type of business in mind—a type that’s underserved by most contract manufacturers (CMs) worldwide. “Recurring” refers the repetitive nature of the work. Costs come down the more often we build an assembly.

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Q: What certifications or other company credentials does RBB have?

A: We have:

  • ISO 9001-2015 with Design certification
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliance
  • Export Administration Regulations (EAR) compliance
  • IPC and J-STD workforce certifications
  • RoHS compliance
  • UL 508A registration (panel shop)
  • Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA), Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce, and Wayne Economic Development Council memberships

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Q: Why should I trust RBB with my recurring small batch needs?

A: We manage 800–1,000 low-volume custom assemblies a year, where typically 25% are new to the market or to RBB. That’s a lot of churn that we handle in stride.

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Q: Can RBB help me with my RoHS compliance needs?

A: Yes! We have dedicated lead-free oven and wave soldering equipment, a segregated stockroom, expert employees, and the component engineering support needed to convert assemblies into fully RoHS-compliant systems.

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Q: Why does RBB focus exclusively on “build-to-print” manufacturing services?

A: The simple answer is cost control for clients. For over 30 years, RBB provided extensive design engineering services that fewer and fewer clients required, thereby forcing higher-than-necessary costs on everyone. The decision to outsource our engineering design capability reduced overhead costs substantially. In addition, RBB’s commitment to lean manufacturing techniques has allowed us to differentiate ourselves from the standard “Yeah, we do that too” approach found so often in the industry.

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Q: What if I need engineering support to design my control panel and/or printed circuit board–based assembly?

A: We have retained in-house engineering expertise for conversion-to-surface-mount services, board re-spinning, minor functional changes, test fixture development, resolution of part obsolescence issues, etc. Beyond this, RBB has many qualified third-party engineering partners to coordinate with on your behalf. This includes system integration experts, board level designers, software developers, and even custom enclosure designers.

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