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PCBD-Nov2016

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November 2016 • The PCB Design Magazine 61 anyone else." Now we're down to online 5 mil space and trace. Ten to 12 years ago some of the capabilities we have would have been unthinkable. This is actu- ally interesting because RF is a lot tighter tolerancing; it's actually enabled us to improve our processes and tighten up our capabili- ties for tighter tolerances for our previously existing product offering as well. Matties: Across all the pan- els, which is great. Warren: Definitely. Matties: As I'm sitting here thinking about this, RF is new in a lot of areas, right? We're seeing it in automotive and places that you've never re- ally seen it before, and it's starting to trickle down into household appliances even. There's probably a large sector of customers who have never really had to purchase RF boards before. To me, that would be my strategy. Where are the ones that are birthing into this right now? Because then you can grow together. Warren: We have support staff in place that can take an RF concept drawn on a napkin and help the engineer get what he or she is looking for. Matties: They don't have the history of another manufacturer, they're looking for knowledge, they know that they need to evolve their product, and to me, that might just be the lowest hanging fruit while you're climbing up this hill. It's not the tier 1's. You might be dealing with tier 3, but that hill climb gets you to tier 1. Warren: A lot of the business we have is from word of mouth from our initial set of custom- ers to reach out to that existing supplier base and go through the qualification process to get the opportunity to work with them. It's been a steep learning curve, I'll ad- mit that, but I think when you look at it that there's a lot of products out there, industry-wide, that people haven't even thought about the application for RF yet. Matties: Maybe it's just edu- cating them on the concepts of what's available with RF versus specific product de- sign. Warren: That's true too, because there are a lot of customers of ours that have never really thought of RF before. It's all new to them. Matties: You're in a great po- sition to be a teacher as much as you are a student. Warren: That's why I always tell our sales and customer service teams that they've got to be a resource. You're not always going to get the sale the first time you talk to a customer, but if you prove yourself as a valuable resource, they're going to come back. Matties: It circles back. A "no" is simply not now. Warren: I'm a firm believer in that. Matties: So am I. How long have you been in the industry now? Warren: 30+ years. Matties: I'm right there. I started in '84. Warren: '81 for me. Matties: David, thank you for taking time to speak with me today. Warren: My pleasure. PCBDESIGN SUNSTONE CIRCUITS MAKES SHIFT IN STRATEGY, OFFERINGS

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