Delkin Blog

Technical Success Stories: Upgrading to New Rugged SD Cards

Background: Delkin recently heard from a customer who was frustrated with his new SD cards purchased through another supplier. This customer had purchased the same SD cards for years without any issues, but suddenly, the same product seemed to be working differently. He couldn’t understand why the SD cards that worked in his host for years were no longer working and were holding up his entire project.

Customer Story: We have been ordering this commercial SD card for years from a national supplier. The brand is well recognized, and we’ve placed multiple orders without any issues. We chose this SD card after testing several other commercially available versions and found that it was the most reliable with our application. We have always assumed that ordering the same cards meant that we would be getting the same product, but this last shipment simply wouldn’t work.

At first, we assumed the problem was with our host software or hardware. It didn’t take us long to realize that no OS change had occurred and that our system was completely up to date. The problem could only be the SD cards. We contacted the manufacturer and struggled to find someone who could actually answer technical questions about the product. When we did, we found out that the Bill of Materials (BOM) was tweaked to save money in the manufacturing process. The BOM had actually been changed several times while we were using the product without our knowledge, but the most recent change was the one that rendered it useless for us. Since the product was consumer-grade, there was no record of the changes or when they occurred. We were surprised to realize how unreliable this product was and we immediately started looking for a new rugged SD solution.

Delkin Discovery: At Delkin, our Customer Applications Engineering Team discussed the customer’s needs and used a borrowed host to recreate the customer application environment to determine the required performance specifications. Our team developed a customized rugged SD card solution for the customer, and after a few days of testing on his end, the customer placed a volume order that was built in our Poway, CA manufacturing facility. Our rugged SD card fell within the customer’s budget, making it the perfect solution.

Delkin Solution: Our rugged SD cards provided something that the customer’s former cards did not: a controlled BOM. Our BOM is linked to a parts number that covered multiple components, including the flash, controller, and firmware. That BOM is locked as long as the part number is active. We were further able to ensure the customer that the part number would be active until there was an unavoidable firmware change and that we would follow a process for changing the part number that involves advanced notification, so that the customer could execute a final purchase, if desired.

Lessons Learned: Consumer-grade products have open BOMs that are changed frequently in order to conserve costs, and these changes are neither announced to customers nor tracked. Industrial grade products, like rugged SD cards from Delkin, are designed with an emphasis on controlled BOMs. Industrial rugged SD cards provide greater stability to customers.

Delkin’s Technical Team Is on Your Side: Don’t let issues with rugged SD cards and other host storage issues sidetrack your company. The Delkin Customer Applications Team has helped customers solve countless host failures and is on standby to help your company with rugged SD, along with all other industrial flash storage solutions.

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