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Your company's cargo can ship anywhere worldwide without inspection delays, but it requires a level of trust and technology enablement.
We all need reminders from time-to-time. It tightens up business and helps avoid time-critical information vacuums.
The formula for success in engineering is to design products that offer optimal cost and yield after meeting all specifications.
There are best-practices that can help identify and avoid problems in advance of a catastrophic procurement mishap. Here are some examples.
Any action that can speed up any portion of the supply chain will increase the efficiency of the entire operating network.
The best procurement strategy is to never take humans out of the purchasing operations. That will take a company right over a cliff.
A strong reverse supply chain not only helps to improve operations, but it can also reduce costs and add bragging rights.
The component engineer is an important member of a company's supply chain. Cultivating and educating them should be a priority.
Getting the most from your new part or sample part system entails best-practices management procedures. Do you have one?
Valuable information is lost when the same components keep failing without being saved for further investigation.
China is subsidizing solar panel production and hurting other vendors, but the US can still find ways to extract value from the industry.
A design is only as good as the actual measurements can confirm, but the integrity of the process depends also on the equipment used.
The possibility exists that many US companies may move some manufacturing operations back home from China as its labor costs rise.
The shorter the supply chain, the more manageable it is, but this length is often determined by strategies implemented in the design operation.
China needs to extricate itself from the investment and export-driven growth model, and develop into a consumption-led economy.
The discipline of concurrent engineering allows manufacturers to involve stakeholders early to ensure smooth and efficient production.
Robots could be the new top-level worker in tomorrow's factory, driving down operating costs and raising production efficiency.
Design engineers are vital to product development, but manufacturing success requires the early involvement of the component engineer.
The ideal supply chain is not a transplant but must be specific to a product or organization and flexible for unexpected developments.
RFID will soon have an expanded role in the supply chain, and evolving battery technology is fueling this development.
The logistics industry is filled with enough challenges for the multi-country shipper. Acronyms have only made it worse.
Technology innovations have advanced to the point where many products are converging and opening even more opportunities for developers.
If products like microprocessors, microcontrollers, and other advanced components are exported with reduced restrictions, then we may be inadvertently giving up some of our core technologies in ...
Stopping counterfeiting has been made more difficult by technology transfer and the availability of sophisticated cloning systems.
The practice of marking goods with DNA is headed for ubiquitous adoption across many industry sectors, especially in electronics.
Any new technology, such as the ZigBee wireless protocol, can breathe new life into supply chain best-practices.
When it comes to choosing a contract manufacturer, forewarned is forearmed.
When products are being designed, the engineers must also consider product characteristics beyond functions, user interfaces, appearances, or operating conditions.
A home refinance experience sheds light on how the supply chain can get quicker and more secure.
Imagine the counterfeiter's pride as he manages to reverse engineer and duplicate an Intel processor requiring millions of transistors with multilayer interconnects.
A straightforward approach to test methodologies today will save heartache tomorrow.
There aren't a lot of compelling reasons to upgrade from today's iPad, or other devices for that matter.
Recent government reports tell us that North America is losing a fortune to IP theft, much of it involving China.
How can you describe danger in the supply chain? One word: VACUUM.
It's been almost impossible to pinpoint product damage during shipment - until now.
RFID makes it possible not only to increase the quantity and types of products streaming through the supply chain, but also to build higher-level products and services.
We used to think it might be two to four years before a portable DNA sequencer might become available. Suddenly, it's here and affordable.
Games can teach kids a lot about life; so too can we learn about the supply chain from them.
Machine-to-machine technology is growing so rapidly that one report says there could be 10 billion connected devices by 2016. That's a big market opportunity.
It’s reasonable to assume that tens of thousands of drones are coming soon to a neighborhood near you. How will they affect your privacy?
Generally speaking, the more thoroughly a manufacturing team develops a design concept, and the more qualified the thought process involved, the more likely the end product's success in ...
In response to my last article, 14 Key Considerations for the Winning Design , a reader named Waqasaltaf made the following statement with regard to design considerations:
In a series of articles on the Registration, Evaluation, and Analysis of Chemicals (REACH) published by myself and others for EBN and Velocity, there has been much information provided for ...
When a company moves into volume production, the part-inventory requirements increase both in quantity and aggregated value. Some of the parts used are off-the-shelf components, while others are custom, or ...
To date, there are a total of 84 chemical listings on the Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) candidate list. The last thirteen additions were all carcinogenic, mutagenic, ...
It's commonsense that the more one repeatedly does the same thing to complete a single task, the longer the job is going to take. If it were possible ...
In one of the recent articles I wrote, there was a comment regarding document security and embedded RFID tags. The questions related to how the recipient would know ...
Back in the 1980s, I was on a supplier audit mission and requested a review of a distributor's warehouse system. I was taken to the back of a very large ...
In most manufacturing companies a hands-on, manual inventory audit is taken at least once a year and is therefore referred to as the "annual physical inventory." ...
When you absolutely need an overnight shipment from overseas, it can be difficult to know when you'll actually get the ordered goods.
Way back before there was software for generating request-for-quotes (RFQs), there were blank ledger forms. These were multiple row and columnar pages in a paper binding that could ...
I just returned from a two-week vacation in which I had to engage several airlines to get to my destination. I noticed something has changed with the Transportation Security ...
Two weeks ago, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to allow driverless, autonomous cars on California roads by 2015. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has logged hundreds of thousands of driverless miles using ...
Way back before there was software for generating requests for quotes (RFQs), there were blank ledger forms. These multiple row and columnar pages in a paper binding could be ...
- Can DNA Marking solve 'Mineral Conflict' Problem? - Douglas Alexander on EBN
After reading Bolaji Ojo's article, Illusions of 'Conflict-Free' Minerals, I wanted to understand how this issue might be tackled head-on and what technology could come into play to ...
- Anti-Counterfeit Measure: Get it in Writing - Douglas Alexander on EBN
What can I do as a purchasing agent for a small company to ensure I will not get counterfeit or used components from an electronics parts broker? This wasn't ...
- Time to redefine 'Waste' in the US - Douglas Alexander on EBN
Raise your hand if you recycle. This means you are creating what is known as separate waste. Its pickup and retrieval is called separate collection. Plastic goes in ...
- RFID Tagging for Document Security - Douglas Alexander on EBN
In the olden days, secret documents and important papers and envelopes were sealed with hot wax that had been embossed with the author's signature or signet ring. This seal not ...
- The Dilemna of Growth vs Green - Douglas Alexander on EBN
Sustaining one industry can result in the depletion of another. Maintaining a balanced supply against a balanced demand is a counterintuitive concept. Manufacturers want a higher demand than current ...
- Creating the 3D Printing Supply Chain - Douglas Alexander on EBN
What will be the next really big business opportunity? I wrote recently about 3D printers. If you already own an inkjet or laser printer, you know how aggravating and ...
- Wonder Alert: 3D Printing - Douglas Alexander on EBN
Technology is moving forward so rapidly that if you blink once, you will miss some significant advances. I am amazed at the products coming via convergence. As each new product is ...
- Get Ready for Design for Disassembly - Douglas Alexander on EBN
Probably one of the best efforts in the world for managing electronic waste is under way in the European Union.
- Bridging the REACH Gulf with Sitmae - Douglas Alexander on EBN
In this continuing series on resources and services related to the European Union's environmental protection regulation known as REACH, for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of CHemical substances, I ...
1968 was a big year for me. I joined the Air Force because I didn't have a clue about what I wanted to do with my life. I ...
- Sustainable = Green + Profitable - Douglas Alexander on EBN
When I think of the word "sustainability," I imagine lasting value based on reliability, efficiency, dependability, availability, affordability, and consistency -- factors treasured by all manufacturers in the electronics industry. ...
- Supplier Hit Parade, Part 1 - Douglas Alexander on EBN
Customer concerns cannot be ignored when evaluating factors that make a supply chain competitive. If it is true that the customer is the "bread and butter" for the supplier, then ...
- Tapping Innovation for Process Improvement - Douglas Alexander on EBN
Technology has had no small part to play in reshaping and resizing the supply chain at every level of its existence. In an earlier article, I talked about the inner ...
- The Bathtub Curve & Other Lifecycle Extension Tools - Douglas Alexander on EBN
Have you heard of the "bathtub curve"? The graphic representation looks like a very lazy "U." On the x-axis, we plot the entire lifecycle of a component ...
- Strengthening the Weakest Link - Douglas Alexander on EBN
Continuing on with the pictorial representation of the supply chain and its many interlinks, I could not help but think of a chain link fence as a macro model. If one ...
- Be Different: Hire an Industrial Designer - Douglas Alexander on EBN
Good grief! Every time I tune into CNET, there is another version of a mobile phone being introduced. I could list multiple manufacturers cranking out newer versions of their ...
- The Mini Supply Chain: Overlooked, yet Potent - Douglas Alexander on EBN
When I hear the term "supply chain," I have two images in my mind. One is of a straight, finite-length standard chain, with each link assigned to a ...
- The Power & Benefits of Customer Survey - Douglas Alexander on EBN
If I was a supplier and wanted to be as competitive as possible, I would poll my customer base on a semi-annual basis. I would send out a ...
- When a Supplier Goes the Second Mile - Douglas Alexander on EBN
When purchasing goes into action, it goes to its Tier 1 suppliers first. Tier 1 is not always a function of size as much as it is a ...
- Counterfeiters: Merchants of Death - Douglas Alexander on EBN
Ever since EBN reader Rich K made a comment in response to one of my articles on counterfeiting, I have been considering the nuances of his statement, which in reality was ...
- Supplier Hit Parade, Part 2 - Douglas Alexander on EBN
In the first part of this blog, I emphasized why it is important for component suppliers and contractors to take their cue from customers if they wish to establish a ...
- US Missing on REACH & Other Green Rules - Douglas Alexander on EBN
After writing a number of articles about the European Union's Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and other regulatory compliance issues, I have become increasingly ...
- Supply Chain Basics: Know Yourself & the Enemy - Douglas Alexander on EBN
If I were to ask the most critical question with regard to what assures a company's success in its business sector, I would expect a variety of ...
- Calm Down: Counterfeiters Can Be Stopped - Douglas Alexander on EBN
Imagine taking the Sunday edition of the New York Times, cutting out every single word, one by one, and stacking them in a completely random order to form a ...
- 7 Essential Services for Environmental Compliance - Douglas Alexander on EBN
For those of you who have been following these REACH Best-Practices articles, I have been doing my best to be as comprehensive as possible in the overviews. Recently, I ...
San Francisco Bay Area
- Part Selection and Qualification
- Item Master/Part Master number and description assignments
- MRP Database Organization and Population
- Alternate Source search
- Transfer of Technology
- Reliability Predictions
- Thermal Studies
- Supply Line Management
- Component and System Derating Analysis
- Materials Studies for Cost Reduction
- Failure Analysis
- Documentation Control
- SolidWorks Part and Assembly Drawings
- Cable and Harness Drawings
- Program / Project Management
- Contract Manufacturing Liaison
- Supplier Quality Audits
- Environmental and Regulatory Testing
- 4-Corner Testing
- Preparation of ISO Procedures
Active, Passive, and Electromechanical Component Specialist
- Mechanical Part Manufacturing
- Product Discontinuance concerns
Brian grew up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and obtained his BS at Bishop’s University, a small university located in the Eastern Townships of Quebec province. He worked at Northern Electric (the Canadian analog of Western Electric) and was introduced to semiconductors. There, he produced a line of 250mA diodes from scratch at the time when the semiconductor industry was in its infancy.
After moving to the US and obtaining a Master’s degree from Texas A&M University, Brian was the Resident Engineer for Lockheed Missiles & Space Corp. (LMSC) overseeing Texas Instrument’s controlled line of LMSC microcircuits, and followed that with making hybrid microcircuits for Sandia, while working at Collins Radio.
Brian entered the Shuttle program beginning with Rockwell International and Collins Radio, and ending at Ball Aerospace. He has lived through the time when astronauts were sent aloft on Gemini spacecraft and has worked in aerospace at the beginning of, and has seen the ending of, the Space Shuttle program through its entire 8 ½ year lifetime.
Amongst other things, Brian has bid on a 5-mile long free electron laser which was to buried at White Sands, NM, implemented and managed a Technical Information Library at TRW (MEAD). He was the only parts (both mechanical and electrical) engineer at the Super Conducting Super Collider in Texas and worked for Boeing in Texas at NASA JSC. After taking a 5 year hiatus from aerospace to work at Siemens in postal sortation systems, Brian returned to aerospace (his first love) at Ball Aerospace. Since leaving Ball, he has worked in the aerospace industry on a contract basis for SEAKR Engineering and Goodrich ISR.
While at Texas A&M University, Brian met and married his present wife and the couple has remained together for 48 years so far. He has now entered another phase of his career where he will be consulting on high reliability active and passive parts to be used on various Commercial and Military programs. Brian can be reached on his cell phone at his newly formed company Components Engineering Systems, LLC, at (720) 480-1290.
Greater Denver Area
- Assist in Supply Chain Management
- Recommend appropriate Failure Analyses
- Documentation Control
- Program / Project Management consulting
- Contract Manufacturing Liason
- Supplier Quality Audits
- Source Control Document (SCD) preparation
- Interfacing with Vendors from initial RFI to procurement requirements to vendor source inspection and assisting in vendor visits
- Establishing design criteria, specifications, sources of supply, and acceptance criteria for incoming material
- Selection of components in compliance with the program Reliability and Qualification requirements
- Assuring compliance of the customer’s Production and Reliability Requirements and Specifications through document review
- Assisting in the negotiation and management of significant changes of scope of a program
- Resolving and reducing costs of material handling problems
- Help in resolving significant parts-handling problems
- Managing new product requests, initiating and reviewing BOMs for accuracy and verifying the quality of the data entry
- Proactively monitoring component availability both at the company and its subcontractors, and vendor EOL notices
- Ensuring vendor performance through Quality Reviews and product Source Inspections
- Leading or participating in Parts, Materials & Processes Control Board (PMPCB) meetings
- Participating in PDR and CDR meetings
Charles (Chuck) Johnson
Chuck has spent over thirty five years in weapon development (specialty – fuzing) as a design engineer, project and program manager. Chuck’s career comprises twenty plus years as a Navy civilian (Naval Surface Warfare Center); seven years in private industry (Advanced Technology and Research and Raytheon Missile Systems) and three years as a consultant (Johnson Ordnance engineering).
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Design Engineer, Project & Program Manager
- Detailed design and design analysis.
- Engineering Change Management.
- RISK analysis.
- Failure Analysis (FRACAS and Root Cause).
- Value Engineering.
- Tradeoff Studies.
- Peer Review Structure and Benefits.
- Six Sigma.
- Junior Professional Development and Training.
- Component Engineering including selection, validation, obsolescence, alternative parts.
- Part selection.
- Project and program management.
- Specification content with emphasis on simplification.
- Alternate part identification.
- Key parameter identification.