Technical Success Story: Avoiding Failures in the Field with a Controlled BOM
Background: A customer contacted Delkin when the SD cards he had been purchasing from the same supplier for years suddenly stopped working. The customer didn’t understand why the cards were now a problem, but he was frustrated since the issues were interfering with his work.
Customer Story: The customer explained that his company had been ordering SD cards from a well-recognized national supplier for years without any problems. They had specifically chosen this SD card after trying several commercially available versions and discovering that it was the best fit for their program.
They assumed that they would be getting the same cards with every order, and when the cards stopped working, they initially assumed that there was a problem with their host hardware or software. After realizing that there was no OS change and that everything was up to date, they determined that the card had to be the issue. They called the supplier and were surprised that they had a hard time finding someone who could answer their questions. When they did, they found out that the card’s BOM had been changed to reduce manufacturing costs—and that this had happened multiple times in the past without their knowledge. This was simply the first time that a change caused an issue. The SD cards were consumer grade, so there was no record of what had been changed or when. The customer’s company knew they needed a new SD card with a controlled BOM immediately.
Delkin Discovery: Our Customer Applications Engineering team went to work with a borrowed host in order to recreate the application environment and determine the necessary performance specifications. Using this information, the team was able to customize a SD card with a controlled BOM for the customer to try. After testing the card, the customer placed a bulk order of cards that were manufactured at our facility in Poway, CA, all within the customer’s budget.
Delkin Solution: Delkin’s SD cards provide a controlled BOM, unlike the previous commercial design that the customer was using. With the controlled BOM, the flash, controller, and firmware are locked. When changes are necessary, Delkin follows a process that involves advanced notification—so that final purchases can be made—along with careful management of the transition process.
Lessons Learned: Consumer grade products often come with open BOMs that can be changed without any kind of notice in order to reduce costs. Industrial grade products, like Delkin’s, always have controlled BOMs so that industrial users can avoid these types of problems.
Delkin’s Technical Team Is On Your Side: Problems with rugged SD cards and other forms of host storage can make your operations grind to a halt. Our Customer Applications team has helped customers solve a long list of failures, and we’re here to help with rugged SD and other storage needs.