Parylene Coating: Outsourcing vs. In-House
Posted by diamondmtblog
Friday, October 1, 2021 1:06
@ 1:06 PM
Parylene coating is a vital part of many electronics, medical devices and defense components, and applications can typically occur in-house or by a dedicated third party. Knowing which one is right for your operation is key to ensuring an effective, affordable and reliable end product. So what can you expect from in-house and outsourced parylene coatings?
We’ll be taking a look at the differences between these two approaches to parylene coating and what they mean for your organization.
In-House Parylene Coating
Coating parts in-house entails taking on the entire process of coating from start to finish. The company is responsible for buying the equipment, the raw materials and the labor, as well as training workers, reworking any errors and sending the part on to its next destination. It can be a strong addition to high-volume, consistent operations or those that need to perform coatings in-house for various reasons.
Some of the factors to consider with an in-house parylene coating plan include:
- Required space for equipment, staff and raw material storage.
- Part complexity, which will influence production requirements and the engineering skill required.
- The cost of reworking parts.
- Energy and utility costs.
- How quickly you can run the coating process.
- Permits and industrial and environmental regulations you’ll need to meet.
- Training costs, particularly for less-skilled operators.
- Equipment maintenance requirements.
- Raw material prices.
- The reputation of your equipment vendor.
In-house coating tends to offer the best results when performed by manufacturers with significant coating volumes and those with consistent requirements in terms of part shape and complexity. Users will need to determine if the cost and investment of setting up an in-house operation are justified by the benefit of the parylene coating and the reason for doing it in-house. These reasons might include security benefits, high transportation costs to a different facility or the risk of contamination for sensitive materials.
Whatever the reason, cost analysis is essential to ensure that the in-house parylene coating benefits outweigh the investment.
Pros and Cons of In-House Parylene Coating
Some of the benefits of in-house parylene coating include:
- Greater control: A company running parylene coatings in-house has more control over its production line. They have full visibility over the system and can control many aspects of the coating process, such as speed, inspection standards and materials use.
- Faster response time: Coating needs can fluctuate, and one part of the in-house vs. outsourcing parylene coating debate is that in-house setups allow users to react quicker. You can make changes to the process and initiate production right away rather than waiting to get the information and parts sent over to a third party.
- Reduced transportation costs: Sending parts from one side of the shop floor to another is much less costly than packing and shipping them elsewhere. In-house coating allows you to virtually eliminate transportation costs.
Some of the cons of in-house parylene coating are as follows:
- High investment costs: The cost of everything listed above can add up significantly as a capital expense. It will also take a while to recoup that investment with an in-house setup.
- Scattered expertise: Most in-house operations are not going to have the same level of expertise that you’ll find in outsourced organizations. You may need to rely on a team that doesn’t know the details of parylene coating very well.
- Poor efficiency: For the above reason and the lack of dedicated resources, in-house organizations are often less efficient, leading to a higher cost per part.
- Poor flexibility: In-house coating is best for consistent operations. If you have a change in demand or sudden issues to fix, these setups can be difficult, if not impossible, to adjust.
Outsourced Parylene Coating
If you’re outsourcing your parylene coating, you’ll only be responsible for sending it off. A third party handles the entire process, from engineering to inspection and shipping.
One of the primary advantages of outsourcing parylene coatings is that it gives you the expertise of a well-trained team with a range of resources and technology dedicated to the quality and efficiency of their parylene coatings. They usually have a broad knowledge base across the entire process. In-house operations are less likely to have the expertise required for in-depth knowledge at all stages of the process. Established, precise work practices, process controls and documentation help to make the experience especially reliable.
Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Parylene Coating
Outsourcing parylene coating has an array of pros:
- No investment requirement: Since the provider has all of the materials, parylene coating services don’t call for significant investment from the buyer. You can pay for your parts without needing the equipment and the team to perform the coating.
- Stability and flexibility: A third-party service can typically meet sudden capacity demands and allow you to adjust production as needed. If your production isn’t very consistent, this flexibility can be a significant advantage.
- No staffing needs: Staffing can be a complicated process — not to mention a costly one. By offloading the staffing requirements onto a third party, you can enjoy a smaller in-house team that’s easier to manage and save on the human resources costs.
- Experience with industry specifications: Many users of parylene coatings are in highly regulated industries, like defense and healthcare. Parylene coaters have extensive experience meeting specifications like those from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). A third-party expert can help you ensure you have compliant parts.
- Efficiency: Because of their dedication to the operation and use of resources, these third parties are generally much more efficient and can lower the per-part cost of parylene coatings.
The cons of outsourcing parylene coatings include:
- Less control: While you’ll have a little less control over the process, you can typically trust these service providers to do the job with your business needs in mind, using their extensive resources to your advantage.
- Transportation requirements: If your parts are difficult to transport, whether due to size or security concerns, transit to a coating service could be cost-prohibitive. Do some calculations to determine the savings it could offer.
How to Decide Which One Is Best for Your Company
If your production calls for parylene coatings, choosing the right way to get them can be difficult. Consider the various factors involved in your setup, including:
- The consistency of your production needs.
- Characteristics of your parts — weight, masking requirements, etc.
- The level of expertise required.
- Security and transportation concerns.
- Your organization’s staffing ability.
- Available resources for an in-house operation — capital, space, labor, etc.
- Necessary industry specifications.
Identify and combine that information with what you’ve learned about these two methods, and you should have a much easier time determining which is right for your organization.
Diamond-MT’s Parylene Coating Services
If you find that outsourcing your parylene coating is the right move, Diamond-MT is the trusted provider for many industries, such as defense, electronics, medical and automotive. Our facilities in Pennsylvania and Florida use state-of-the-art coating technology with a variety of methods. We deliver high-quality products with a fast turnaround and adherence to some of the best industry standards out there.
To learn more about our parylene coating services, please reach out to a representative today!