What is Box Build?
Box build, or system integration, ranges from packaging printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs) into an enclosure to full electromechanical product assembly. Box build often spans the full product lifecycle — including design, prototyping, production, and final assembly.
Many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) leverage outsourced high-level box build for two reasons:
Limit in-house assembly costs and labor requirements
Receive delivery of a "plug and play" sub-assembly or complete product to optimize specialization
How Does Box Build Work?
Box build refers to a combination of electronic assembly and mechanical pack-out. Box build engagements often start with a single technology — most commonly, printed circuit board assembly — that is controlled directly by the contract manufacturer. A PCBA project might evolve into a box build through the addition of electrical and mechanical assembly work.
Electronic contract manufacturers participate in many aspects of box build production for OEM customers, such as:
Software and firmware programming
Return and repair services
The OEM typically maintains ownership of all box build specifications, requirements, bill of materials (BOM), and tooling.
Advantages of Box Build
Box build, or systems integration, offers many advantages:
Complete customization to specified requirements
"Plug and play" incorporation with the final product
Lower total cost of ownership
Higher level of quality and performance assurance
Maintain full control over design and BOM
Optimized division of responsibilities between OEM and contract manufacturer
Direct control of high-value BOM items
Test, validation, and regulatory approval readiness