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70 SMT Magazine • November 2015 in a warehouse close to the OEM, even a respon- sive contractor may need two to three days to get product from the factory to the OEM. Cul- tural issues can be another problem. In many cultures it is considered rude to disagree. Consequently, when a request is received that can't be done within the time requested, an offshore program manager may not tell the OEM that the request isn't achievable. Instead, the date will be missed and the program man- ager will tell the OEM that he or she tried really hard to make the date, but couldn't do it. Comparatively, the U.S. program manage- ment model stresses responsiveness. Even con- tractors working at some distance from their customers have overnight shipment options, and Kanban stocking options are less costly since it is often feasible to do at the factory vs. a separate warehouse. Company culture should focus on looking ahead to address issues before they become issues and to offer customers op- tions that help better align forecasts with de- mand or address issues that otherwise could contribute to missed deliveries. Using an offshore contractor for high vol- ume, mature product with little or no change does save money, particularly if labor content exceeds 30%. However, new products, projects with variable demand or high-mix configura- tion, or projects that require frequent commu- nication with the contract manufacturer may be better served by manufacturing domestical- ly. In those cases, the "what if" part of contract manufacturer selection should include strong focus on areas likely to drive hidden or surprise costs. OEM selection teams should look for con- tractor experience with projects of similar com- plexity and ask questions about how demand variability, manufacturability feedback, engi- neering change requests and quality issues were addressed. Developing a better picture of how a contract manufacturer deals with exceptions can help in better analyzing the surprise costs not likely covered by the quotation. SmT mADe IN USA AND ToTAL CoST: SIx WAyS U.S. SoUrCING SAveS moNey Gary burnett, Jr. is director of business development at burton Industries, Inc. To reach the author, click here. capacitors are now key components of portable electronics, computing systems, and electric vehicles. but in contrast to batteries, which offer high storage capacity but slow de- livery of energy, capacitors provide fast deliv- ery but poor storage capacity. now, a group of researchers at the univer- sity of Delaware and the chinese academy of Sciences has successfully used nanotechnology to improve the energy density of dielectric ca- pacitors. The work was reported in the paper "Di- electric capacitors with Three-Dimensional nanoscale Interdigital electrodes for energy Storage," which was published in Science advances, the first open-access, online-only journal of AAAS. "With our approach, we achieved an en- ergy density of about 2W/kg, which is signifi- cantly higher than that of other dielectric ca- pacitor structures reported in the literature," says bingqing Wei, professor of mechanical engineering at uD. one of the keys to the success of the new capacitor is an interdigitated design—similar to interwoven fingers between two hands with "gloves"—that dramatically decreases the dis - tance between opposing electrodes and there- fore increases the ability of the capacitor to store an electrical charge. "We expect our newly structured dielectric capacitors to be more suitable for field applica- tions that require high energy density storage, such as accessory power supply and hybrid power systems," Wei says. Capacitor Breakthrough arTIcLe

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