There are few generally accepted methods to use to reduce EBOM cost in electronic industry?
Group EBOM components using one or both of the following criteria
- Type of component, (example: capacitors, microprocessor, inductors, resistors, transistors etc)
- Vendor or Manufacture
Then start looking for common components. These could be simple as looking for such 1uF value capacitors. Don’t forget to look for components in the adjacent in value. There might be an opportunity in the design to use a larger or small component without affecting the design. Then look for cheaper alternatives. This also helps to obtain volume based discounts.
Another method is to group the components by price, start from most expensive components to the least expensive. The tabulate your results in a Pareto chart and focus on the top 20% of the components. Use the 80/20 rule. This concept commonly used in Supply Chain for insurance purposes which states 80% inventory cost is in 20% of the high value inventory. Therefore, cost reduction from the top 20% of component (cost base) will have 80% impact on the overall cost reduce effort. This is a concept that is hard to grasp.
Looking at component size is also a good idea. Consider changing larger 1206 or 0805 type SMT components to smaller 0402 or 0201 from factor components. Make sure the product design is not compromised.
Sometimes the PCB board is a good candidate for too. If the current design is 12 layers then look at possibility of reducing the number of layers without impacting the design.
If you have module such as a blue tooth, WIFI or ZIGBEE module consider replacing the module by discrete components. In this case you might have perform test EMC testing to verify if the system meets regulatory requirements
For cost reduction purpose outside of the EBOM
Look at the SMT and other manufacturing process such as Test. Using DFM & DFT strategies there is a significant opportunities to reduce product cost. SMT machines have a limited capacity, therefore strategic parts placement can gain higher throughput reducing product cost.
Summary: There is no golden rule, other than professional work experience and seeking help from peers.