Getting On Board with Product Evolution

by ADL Technology

Many products have become “smart.” A great example is vacuum cleaners, they have sensors that tell you when a canister needs to be emptied or automatically adjust to the floor surface. Fully autmoated systems will actually learn the layout of your space so they can clean up virtually automatically.

Even the simplest of tools we use today are increasingly complex.  Consumer, industrial, medical, transportation, and military tools are becoming smarter and more easily managed, even from a distance.  For example, we expect:

  • our vacuum cleaners to learn our house’s layout, our fridges to tell us when we need milk, or the lights to come on automatically when it is dark.
  • shop floor manufacturing devices to alert when tasks are done, when they need maintenance, and how many pieces have been completed.
  • Medical devices to send patient data to remote providers, facility doors to open with a wave of the hand, and medical carts track medications and supplies that have been dispensed.

All of these applications are the results of taking basic tools and adding functionality and these product enhancements require printed circuit boards assemblies aka PCBAs.  PCBA’s serve as the products brain; connecting the electronic components in these devices such as sensors, cable assemblies, and software so they can store and transmit data.  Whether the data provided is a convenience or mission critical data it is truly amazing how many items contain Printed Circuit Boards and how much we have come to rely on such tools at home and at work.

ADL’s surface mount machine allows ADL to optimize the process to build multiple printed circuit board assemblies at a time.

The ubiquity of smart devices comes at a cost.  Just like any other industry, there is a tremendous range in quality of the printed circuit boards and components in the products around us. One of the choices manufacturers’ make is the level of quality needed for any given device.

At ADL the boards we create go into products used in anything from healthcare to industrial tools.  That is why our boards go through both visual, automated and functional quality checks throughout production.  We also provide design support from prototyping through production to ensure that the boards meet your specifications and product requirements.

For more information,  contact us today for a  Quote for your next project.

 

Dealing with Manufacturing Hurdles

by ADL Technology

With the impact of the pandemic across the globe, consumers and manufacturers are both feeling the pinch of the decreasing availability of products and services.  For example, I wanted to upgrade a bicycle sprocket set on my road bike and I received an estimate of approximately 500 days!   In the world of Electronic Manufacturing Services, the pinch is just as real.  These hurdles can affect lead times and the pricing of electronic components in nearly unfathomable ways.

  • Lead times have seen increases of sometimes 4 and 5 times from what they were, if you can even find the electronic component you are looking for.
  • The law of supply and demand has seen increases in component prices of 500% and more!

At ADL Technology, one of our solutions is to let our our customers know of possible component shortfalls.  This is more than just good business, it indicative of how we view our work as a partnership. We take the time to:

  • review a customers’ Bill of Materials to identify components that are potentially at risk
  • make our customers aware of any potential issues

This project-specific component research allows our customers to review their sales forecast and manufacturing requirements.  The company can then determine if an early buy of the assembly or at-risk component should be considered.  This can save time, money and frustration for components with long lead times or anticipated shortages.  While some EMS providers or brokers have gobbled up parts, there is an argument both financial and ethical for doing this selectively.  For the purpose of this article, we as electronic manufacturers have a great opportunity to be the “partner” we truly want to be through with research and strategic planning  for specific projects. By taking a little extra time on the customer’s behalf and thinking as we should as if were on the staff of the company, we can smooth out the sales cycle.  Considering things from our partner/clients perspective makes for happier customers and less hair pulling moments for our production managers!

There are still hurdles to cross, but ingenuity, hard/smart work, and the will to “return to normal” will result in back to normal behaviors.

Let’s continue to do our part and see success for all.