Tips for Engineers to Avoid Hidden Development Costs and Delays

I have yet to meet an engineer who enjoys seeing costs pile up during the design and development process.

And unexpected costs are definitely unwelcome visitors in the drive for product commercialization.

If you’d like some new, actionable ideas for getting a new product to market quickly and without those unexpected, expensive guests, here’s a suggestion for you…

Attend ‘How to Avoid Hidden Costs and Delays in the Product Design-to-Commercialization Cycle’ next week at PCB West in Santa Clara.

How to Avoid Hidden Costs and Delays in the Product Design-to-Commercialization Cycle: Creation Technologies Technical Workshop at PCB West

In this two-hour, technical workshop, Todd Dierking, Creation’s Director of Design Services and Todd Baggett, Creation’s EVP of Integrated Services, will share their engineering and component expertise to help you:

  • Get the right tradeoffs between Time and Money
  • Assess and define requirements to meet design controls, minimize costs, and still bring your creativity to the project
  • Simplify the prototyping process with some cost-effective technical techniques, as well as a checklist for commercial considerations that will help you make the best choice for each stage of prototyping
  • Uncover the ‘hidden costs’ of designing in the wrong materials

While you’re there, drop by Booth #216 and meet a team from Creation–San Jose, our rapid prototyping/manufacturing facility that’s about 10 minutes from the Santa Clara Convention Center.

Hope we’ll see you there!

More information here in our recent press release.

Future of the EMS Industry: San Jose State University Robotics Class Tour

Students from San Jose State University during EMS Industry information session hosted by SMTA Silicon Valley and Creation Technologies
Students from San Jose State University during EMS Industry information session hosted by SMTA Silicon Valley and Creation Technologies

Knowledge is power, they say.

And education leads to knowledge.

So it only made perfect sense to the SMTA and Ela Pannerselvam, one of our Process Engineers here in Creation – San Jose, to help provide education to San Jose State University (SJSU) students about the great things going on in the Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) industry.

EMS Industry Advocacy and Collaboration

For those not familiar with the organization, the Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) is an international network of professionals who “build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in electronic assembly technologies, including microsystems, emerging technologies, and related business operations”.

Ela has been an SMTA member for over 7 years and was an officer for the Silicon Valley Chapter, but he first joined when he was a student.

Like most students in college, Ela explored his options to find out what interested him. He found support, friendship and like-minded people in the SMTA, and the organization enabled him to reach out to professionals that are passionate about the EMS industry.

Ela considers it crucial to his career success that he grasped the early importance of getting to know the EMS industry and networking. Today, as a successful professional with knowledge to share, Ela’s able to help the SMTA return the favor to new people to the industry.

When the Silicon Valley SMTA Chapter proposed an onsite session to expose the future generation of engineers to the fairly unknown EMS industry in the college community, Ela volunteered Creation Technologies – San Jose as a great place to host an exciting joint event.

A Peek inside a Successful Silicon Valley EMS Provider

The SMTA-Creation event was held on a lovely Wednesday night in the Valley.

This wasn’t the first time either of our Creation manufacturing facilities in Northern California has opened our doors for students, (we love our “Bring-Your-Kids-to-Work Days”)! But this was the first time we’d opened our facility for College students.

Professor Winncy Du and her SJSU Robotics class joined us for a short introduction to learn the basics about the EMS industry and a little about Creation Technologies. A lot of the students had heard about the EMS industry, but they didn’t possess much knowledge beyond a few facts and some theoretical concepts.

Following the intro came a tour of our manufacturing facility, and we were excited to show the theory in action to our visitors and give them a first-hand look at the EMS industry’s strong presence in California.

During the tour of our production floor, the SJSU students were very enthusiastic and had many questions on a variety of topics such as solder applications, 5DX/AOI and validation/verification.
These were answered by our own group of dedicated SJSU engineering alumni—Khalid Mahmood, Shuo Cao and Steven Chun.

Following the tour, our San Jose General Manager, Eldon Regua, was on hand for a discussion session and some words of wisdom.

Was the event successful? I believe so!

We were able to open up the doors to these future leaders in our industry, both literally and figuratively, and learn from them what might drive new passion in the next decades.

We hope the SJSU Robotics class will consider Creation Technologies and the EMS industry in general as exciting career paths when they graduate.

With such a successful first event, we’d love to host next year’s SJSU class, too!

Similarly, we want to reach out to other colleges and universities out there in the Bay Area. Are there other institutions who’d like their students to get some hands-on knowledge and excitement from the EMS sector? Let me know!

Students are part of the next generation that shapes the fabric of our industry. As business leaders, it’s our responsibility to look for ways to build and cultivate our relationship with academia.

What are other ways we can connect to the student community?

“Why Did You Become A…?” A Series on Inspiration & Motivation

Why Did You Become...?

The other day I happened across a great post over at Design News. (If you’re at all interested in Design Engineering, you should give the site a look).

“Why Did You Become an Engineer?”, was the question Design News posed to their System & Product Design Engineering group on LinkedIn. The roundup post by Alexander Wolfe tells some of the group’s stories, giving us a peek into the mind of the weird and wonderful specialist that is the Design Engineer.

Though I’m not a Design Engineer, I can certainly relate to the moments and people in my life that captivated and motivated me. It’s also human nature to seek out social connection and to wonder “Why?”, and so it’s always interesting and inspiring to read the personal stories that people are willing to share.

I thought the “Why Did You Become…” idea was one worth spreading, and started asking people at Creation, “Why?” Luckily, we have great people and they were happy to share.

Here’s our first story, from Perry Nader, the Supply Chain Leader in our Dallas business unit.

It will surprise you.

“In the late 70’s I moved from Ottawa, Canada to San Francisco, California. An old friend and I had decided to open a small restaurant in San Francisco’s financial district.

The restaurant was a cute little breakfast-and-lunch diner, called MARAZCEK’S after a fictional character in a book that my friend had read in his childhood.

We were both the cooks and also managed all the suppliers, inventory, registers, employees etc. The restaurant was located right in front of the big old Mamma Bell (AT&T) building, and at lunch time we practically had people lined up 3-deep along the sidewalk.

Life was good until the early 80s, when a court decision forced Mamma Bell to break into a bunch of little Baby Bells, and the big building with all of the ‘lunch bunches’ went poof!!

We filed bankruptcy and lost every penny we had.

I practically became homeless.

I was lucky to have another old friend who lent me a hand and took me into his house in a suburb of Los Angeles.

My friend attended a university that catered to government employees and aviation professionals, and I was able to get a part-time/on-call job at the university’s cafeteria. I was hopeful that once I showed them my skills, part-time would turn into full-time and maybe I could even manage the place.

That year at the cafeteria, I met Janice. Janice was the Secretary, (yes, in those days that was the proper title), to Dean of Government Sponsored Educational and Training Programs. She and I became very good friends.

I often went to visit Janice in her office while she was on her break. One day, I started telling her the story of the restaurant and of my past. As I was talking, the door to the Dean’s office opened and the Dean stepped out.

“May I see you in my office please?” he said, pointing. Of course I said yes.

The Dean told me that there was a government grant for re-training of government employees on Closed-Loop Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II). He took the time to explain it to me, referred me to the work of Joseph Orlicky and Oliver Wight, and invited me to meet with him again.

After a few more meetings he told me that based on my basic knowledge of procurement and inventory management, he thought that I could qualify for the training. Two months later I got the grant approval and training acceptance letter.

The program was 12 months, full-time, not only for MRP II but also some government-specific manufacturing process training. Our first project was setting up the entire planning process for a garage door opener.

We entered the BOM and routings in an ERP system, configured, planned, scheduled, managed inventory, sales orders, A/P, A/R, G/L… You name it, we did it. This was cutting-edge stuff.

Six months into training I received my advanced certification.

It’s funny how life works.

Several years before coming to Creation, 30 plus years after starting my career in supply chain, I was working as Director of Supply Chain and Operations for one of the divisions of a company called Chamberlain….one of the largest manufacturers of residential garage door openers in the world.”


How have you been inspired by the experiences of others?

What are some of the great ways you’ve seen these experiences change people?

And of course, why did you become an engineer, supply chain professional, teacher, historian…wherever your career led you?

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