Customer Success Story: Finding the Link Between a Locked BOM, Speed, and Performance
At Delkin, many of our customers tell us that one of the key features they consider in choosing our industrial NAND storage solutions is that Delkin offers a locked BOM. “BOM” stands for bill of materials. Having a locked BOM means that no changes will be made to the flash, firmware, or controller of a memory product without a notification being sent to current customers and a new product number being issued.
For engineers and OEMs, this advanced warning is critical. It ensures that they can plan for changes to the memory solution that they are currently using that could impact functionality. In addition, it gives them time to plan for the transition and to certify a new memory product before costly failures occur in the field. It also allows them to place final orders of their existing memory product to use during the transition period. One Delkin customer recently learned about the importance of locked BOMs the hard way. Here is a look at their experience.
A customer of another national memory card supplier came to Delkin in frustration. They had been using memory cards from the other supplier for years in their devices without an issue. However, they had recently begun to experience an unusual number of failures. The failures had reached an untenable level of disruption, and the customer was extremely frustrated.
After working hard to figure out the cause of the failures, it soon became clear to the customer that the problem was not with their devices. Instead, it was due to the SD cards they were using. They couldn’t figure out why the SD cards had suddenly become so unreliable after they had used them without issue for so long. The customer contacted their supplier for help. However, they were disappointed to discover that no one could answer any specific questions about the SD cards and their particular device.
They repeatedly reached out to their supplier and eventually were able to speak to someone who offered a clue. The BOM on the SD cards had changed recently. The customer was surprised that this kind of change had happened without their knowledge. They were even more surprised to learn that the BOM had changed multiple times over the years while they were using the SD cards. The past changes had simply not caused problems with their devices, but the most recent change made the SD cards incompatible.
As soon as the customer started describing their issue, Delkin knew exactly what the problem was. We have encountered this issue many times in the past with other customers. The Delkin Customer Applications team described the differences between unlocked and locked BOMs to the customer to help them understand the issue.
With an unlocked BOM, the manufacturer typically will not inform their customers about the change. They do not need to let customers know about the change. Unlocked BOMs are extremely common for manufacturers of commercial storage products. This is because manufacturers will frequently make tweaks in order to keep the costs of these memory cards down. This approach makes sense for that market, which is driven by price and mainly serves consumers.
The picture is different for industrial memory customers. For industrial applications, reliability is paramount. These kinds of memory cards are used in mission-critical applications found in everything from planes to medical devices. Unanticipated failures are disruptive, costly, and potentially dangerous. Having a locked BOM greatly reduces the risk of these kinds of failures.
Delkin knew this customer would benefit from industrial memory with a locked BOM. The team borrowed a host device from the customer and simulated the operating conditions in which the device was used. This allowed the team to find the memory card that would offer the best performance for the customer.
After finding what the team thought were the best results, Delkin allowed the customer to test out the new SD card in their device for themselves. They couldn’t believe the difference. Not only were the devices reliable, but they saw a dramatic increase in speed and performance. This improvement was thanks to the upgrades beyond a locked BOM that come with industrial memory cards. One of these upgrades is the use of SLC flash memory. This type of memory offers the best available speeds and performance, even in rugged conditions. It can also tolerate extreme operating conditions, including high and low temperatures, shock, and vibration. Since many industrial applications are used in exacting conditions, this additional benefit of choosing industrial memory cards is important.
The customer also learned that Delkin could support them through any transitions to new memory cards that might be necessary for the future. After all, Delkin learns the ins and outs of their customers’ devices and assists with new testing and customizations as needed. The customer agreed that Delkin’s solution was just what they were looking for and placed a sizable order of industrial SD cards.
It is natural to shop for memory cards according to price, but that may not always be the best solution. Customers with industrial applications can benefit from the guidance of knowledgeable suppliers who can help them find solutions that won’t compromise the functionality of their devices while also fitting into their budgets. Because of the huge costs of unexpected failures and the associated downtime, the cheapest memory card may be much more expensive in the long run.
At Delkin, we take the time to understand the needs of each customer, from budget to functionality, and we create solutions that work. Our Customer Applications team can provide customized testing and will walk customers through the benefits of industrial memory solutions, from better speed and performance to the security of a locked BOM. We also offer a wide range of customizations, including labeling, sequencing, conformal coating, and much more.
Let Delkin help you select reliable, fast, and functional embedded memory for your industrial application. Our team is on standby to learn about your project and specific memory card needs in order to help you find the right solution. Contact us today.
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