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NOVEMBER 2021 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 29 facturers, new co-workers, or contractors; if it is managed properly, it is useful for avoiding problems in the future. But getting to the point where everyone is used to the revision tracking system you put in place can be a long and challenging process. is is why it's best to start the tracking system from the early stages of design, even though that's not everyone's first thought while devel- oping a new product. If you start early enough, by the time you're overwhelmed with the amount of work you must do, documentation becomes second nature. e truth is that this type of discipline and proper data manage- ment can help engineers and companies com- plete their goals and meet their objectives. My philosophy is that we should leave our positions better than we found them. If we move on to another job or company, whoever comes aer us can use the data and files we cre- ated to get familiarized with the job and start running with it right away. is is all achiev- able if you follow the rules that are set forth and make it your goal to not leave anything undocumented. In the end, it really comes down to doing what works best for you and your design team. Develop a data management process, stick with it, and take responsibility and ownership for your portion of the work. ere are many ben- efits when it's done properly and it's definitely better than the alternative. I'd rather struggle a bit in the beginning and take the time needed to get familiar with the system in place than start panicking at the last moment when docu- ments are not up to date, and revisions are not matching up or files are missing. As an anonymous engineer once said, "Con- trol your data; don't let it control you." DESIGN007 Tamara Jovanovic is an electrical engineer with Happiest Baby, a Los Angeles- based developer of smart baby beds. by John Watson When I considered the title for this column, I seriously considered calling it, "From the fry- ing pan into the fire." I thought this because, as I'm sure you've noticed recently, the com- ponent shortage problem has only worsened; we're now seeing other supply lines breaking down. For example, the other day, I made my usual lunchtime run to a fine food establish- ment—the local Sonic—hoping to indulge in my customary Chicago dog. I know it's scary to consider Sonic as "fine dining," but imagine my horror when I heard that they were totally out of stock of hot dogs—of all things! Now I can handle component shortages and not bat an eye, but when something comes between my Chicago dog and me, that's where I draw the line. PCNAlert connected to IHS Markit confirms that EOL notices for components are increasing at an alarming rate. Furthermore, IHS says, "The estimated cost to manufacturers for missing one EOL notice is $20,000 to $50,000." It seems everyone is feeling the pain. Because of my position with Altium, I have the privilege of speaking with customers every day. A common theme I hear is that companies are making a considerable paradigm shift from engi- neering new product lines to supporting and sustaining legacy product lines. Several well- known companies informed me just this week that they have ceased all recent engineering efforts or will delay the release of new products and concentrate solely on keeping the legacy products alive. That is a direct result related to the component shortages. Keeping those leg- acy products lines viable is key to whether a company will survive. To read this entire column, which appeared in the Design007 Week newsletter, click here. Elementary, Mr. Watson First, Component Shortages, and Now Hot Dogs?

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