Features

Three Steps to Cost Control: Addressing the Root Cause of Unexpected Product Costs

By Eric LarkinChief TechnologyOfficer and Co-FounderArena SolutionsFoster City, CAWe often hear a common story from small and mid-size manufacturers. The VP of sales nails a really big order that will secure the company’s future — if the company can deliver. The challenge ignites chaos, and it’s a frenzy of frantic phone calls and sleepless nights to get the product built. The company fulfills the order, and everything is great in the end. Right? Usually not. When the final numbers come through, the big deal often does not mean big profits. No bonuses because cost overruns have eaten into the margins, and everyone tries to place blame. It’s a virtually impossible task to manage thousands of parts in a multimegabyte, multicolor, and multi-worksheet spreadsheet-based bill of materials (BOM). And when those spreadsheets are e-mailed, suddenly multiple different “official” versions result. The steps that then get taken to make sure the factory builds the right revision can be downright embarrassing. The problem, so common at companies racing to get products to market, is that they rely on old ways to save time and money. But using trusted shortcuts like spreadsheets for managing company BOMs and “free” tools like e-mail for communicating critical manufacturing data almost always reduce profitability. Spreadsheets grow complicated and unmanageable so quickly that profits are eaten away. Additionally, delays from out-of-control change processes — and steps to recover from delays — create unbudgeted overhead costs that further undermine remaining profits. Three steps can help companies get the right systems in place to control their product information and their costs: Step 1. Control your CAD data. Take the time to configure a product data management vault to keep data secure, revision-controlled and accessible by downstream applications. Step 2. Manage your BOMs. Invest in a collaborative BOM management system to ensure all parties are working from the accurate version of the product record. Make sure the BOM management system can accept CAD data, manage documents, control change processes, and integrate with other applications like ERP. Step 3. Imagine no shrink-wrap. Companies often find they’ve pushed the limits of shrink-wrapped software for functions such as accounting and materials planning. Anticipating that, plan for growth into business applications such as ERP and MES, and be sure the ones you choose are compatible with your BOM management system. Sometimes companies just have to get product out the door, forcing them to bank success on shortcuts and traditional processes. But not all traditions can handle the stresses and speed of modern manufacturing. Shortcuts like relying on spreadsheets to manage BOMs can introduce delays, unnecessary complications, and miscommunications that cost time and money throughout the project and into the future. By carefully selecting systems, companies can control costs by eliminating risks associated with manual, error-prone, and time-consuming processes.More Information For more information on Arena’s collaborative bill of materials and change management software, visit http://info.hotims.com/22920-122.

Posted in: Articles

Read More >>

Wafer Level Camera Technology

Film cameras were traditionally manufactured by discrete assembly, which means each component was fabricated as an individual item, tested if necessary, and then assembled into the final working product. The advent of solid state imaging did little to change this approach. The film was merely replaced by a light-sensitive electronic component. The only significant change was that the mechanical shutter was rendered obsolete and its action generated electronically within the imager die.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics

Read More >>

OpenVPX

Putting a New Spin on an Old Standard For 25 years, the VME architecture defined COTS systems that met the demand for increases in computing and connectivity. Successive generations of new processors provided more and more compute cycles, while VME bandwidth evolved in a similar fashion from 40 Mbytes/s on the original VMEbus to 80 Mbytes/s, then 160 Mbytes/s and finally 320 Mbytes/s on 2eSST.

Posted in: Articles, Articles

Read More >>

Secure Software Flashing

More and more devices in our modern world come with a multitude and variety of embedded systems. An obvious example of this trend is today’s vehicles, which have dozens of electronic control units (ECUs) that control everything from the air conditioning and electric windows to the engine and brake system. Several ECUs allow downloading of updated program and data code via a boot loader. Such software might be a control unit firmware update for fixing bugs, for improving features, or for downloading data such as additional multimedia files. The first case is also called a software download or simply flashing (since flash memory is updated). The download might be performed directly over a diagnostic channel or another available communication channel such as Bluetooth and GSM.

Posted in: Articles, Articles

Read More >>

Cloud Computing: What Are the Networking Implications?

The growth of data centers and the concept of infrastructure as a service is leading to significant focus on cloud computing architectures. Pundits have proclaimed cloud computing as the ultimate merger of information technology with communication. The promise of cloud computing is immense — it aims to create a virtual world of applications, giving the user an unparalleled computational power using a simple front-end and a decently fast broadband connection.

Posted in: Articles, Articles

Read More >>

Designing the First Fully Sustainable Block in the U.S.

In the near future, a crumbling parking lot in downtown Dallas, Texas will be the location of the first fully sustainable, urban square block in the United States. Re:Vision Dallas is the sixth competition in a series from the San Francisco, California-based organization, Urban Re:Vision – a group of people focused on changing the urban landscape by re-imagining the components which make up a city block.

Posted in: Building Technologies, Features, Articles, Geothermal Power, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power, Remediation Technologies

Read More >>

NASA Geostationary Coastal and Air Pollution Monitoring

The Geostationary Coastal and Air Pollution Events (GEO-CAPE) mission has been recommended for launch in the 2013-2016 time frame by the National Research Council. The mission’s purpose is to gather science that identifies human versus natural sources of aerosols and ozone precursors, tracks air pollution transport, and studies the dynamics of coastal ecosystems, river plumes, and tidal fronts.

Posted in: Pollution, Features, Articles, Environmental Monitoring

Read More >>

White Papers

Engaging stakeholders in the home medical device market
Sponsored by bsi
Heavy Duty Shaft Coupling Strategies
Sponsored by ringfeder
Ultra Low Thermal Resistant Adhesives for Electronic Applications
Sponsored by master bond
Silicones Meet the Needs of the Electronics Industry
Sponsored by master bond
How Do You Assess Image Quality?
Sponsored by basler
Hermetic Feedthroughs Safeguard Mission-Critical Electronics
Sponsored by douglas electrical components

White Papers Sponsored By: