Acronyms 11 to 20


This is our 2nd installment of “50 Acronyms Used in Electronic Contract Manufacturing”.  In this article we’ll look at the meaning of 10 more acronyms.  If you missed our first installment, you can check it out here.

11. DFM = Design for Manufacturing

Design for Manufacturing is the process of studying the design of a circuit board assembly with the purpose of improving it in ways that can reduce the probability of manufacturing defects and reducing the manufacturing costs.

A circuit board design can be perfect from a purely electrical engineering point of view.  However, it can be a very poor design with respect to manufacturing.  Let’s look at an example:  let’s say we have a circuit board that has a handload capacitor in the middle of the board.  Let’s also say that there is a diode near the PCB’s breakaway (area between copies of a circuit board in a PCB panel) region.  When studying this circuit board for DFM, we see 2 issues: 1) the handload capacitor should be replaced with a machine-placed SMT capacitor.  Using a human to handplace a capacitor costs much more than having a machine do it; 2) having the diode near the edge of the PCB could result in the diode getting damaged when the boards in the panel are separated.

12. DUT = Device Under Test

In the electronics contract manufacturing industry, a device under test is a circuit board that is undergoing electrical testing.

13. DV = Design Verification or Design Validation

During the prototype stage of an assembly, an EMS will have what is called a “DV build” for the customer.  During the DV build, units are produced for the customer so they can closely analyze (electronically, physically, and cosmetically) the units to see if the design is ready for mass production, or if the design needs to be modified.

Some companies refer to the above process as “Design Validation”.  So, depending on who you talk to, DV may mean “Design Verification” or “Design Validation”.

14. EAU = Estimated Annual Usage

This term is frequently used in quoting.  When a customer requests a production quote from an EMS, the EMS will want to know the customer’s EAU.  Similarly, when an EMS contacts various suppliers to obtain quotes for parts, the suppliers will want to know the EAU of those parts.

15. ECN = Engineering Change Notice
16. ECO = Engineering Change Order

An Engineering Change Notice is a document that describes changes being made to a customer’s product, or changes to a process in the making of a customer’s product.  Usually, an ECO will include a revision number as well as a signature block where various representatives from the customer and the manufacturer can sign to indicate their approval of the change(s).

17. EMS = Electronics Manufacturing Service

An EMS is a company that will manufacture electronic assemblies for other businesses that do not have the capability to do so.

18. EOLT = End of Line Test

An end of line test refers to the testing of electronic circuit assemblies at the end of the manufacturing process.  A circuit board may undergo testing at various stages in the manufacturing process, but an end of line test is the final testing point before a unit is boxed up in preparation for shipment to a customer.

Usually an end of line test is a functional test.  That is, a board’s functionality is tested.  Read more here.

19. ERP = Enterprise Resource Planning

When someone refers to their “ERP system”, they are referring to a large software package that helps employees in multiple departments (hence the word “enterprise”) perform job functions such as:

  • Entering and tracking of customer orders
  • Budgeting
  • Resource planning
  • Inventory management
  • Human Resource functions
  • Shipping
  • Receiving
  • and numerous others

The ERP acronym evolved from the MRP acronym.  MRP stands for Manufacturing Resource Planning.  An MRP system typically resided on a local server at an EMS company.  Whereas an ERP system is usually cloud-based and has more capabilities.

20. ES = Engineering Sample

An engineering sample is no different than a prototype.  Frequently, for new designs, an EMS will be called upon to manufacture a small amount of a newly designed product for a customer.  The purpose of these samples is so that the customer can scrutinize not only the design of the product but how well the EMS built it before mass production starts.