Technical Success Story: Locked BOM Maximizes Performance and Speed
A locked BOM, or bill of materials, is one of the key advantages to purchasing industrial grade memory from Delkin. A locked BOM means that the flash, firmware, and controller will not be changed on a memory card without advanced notice and a new product number being issued. This notice gives engineers and OEMs a warning about changes to their storage systems that could impact the functionality of their devices. It also allows them to place any final orders for their usual memory cards while they are still available and allows them to make plans for the transition to the new format. Without a locked BOM, failures in the field are common, and can be extremely disruptive and costly—as one Delkin customer recently discovered.
A customer came to Delkin in search of answers about their SD memory cards. This customer had been working with another national SD card supplier for a lengthy period of time, but had recently begun to experience failures of their application at unprecedented levels.
They were frustrated by these failures because they were having a great deal of difficulty pinpointing the cause. They couldn’t find any issues with their devices, and eventually, it became clear that the problem was with the SD cards. The customer couldn’t figure out why the cards had suddenly stopped working. When they contacted the card supplier for assistance, there was nobody who was capable of answering specific questions about their device and the cards. Eventually, someone at the supplier was able to let them know that the BOM for the card had recently changed. The customer was surprised to learn that the BOM for the card had actually been changed multiple times over the years, but it just so happened that none of the previous changes had caused any problems for their application. This time, the change was an issue.
As soon as Delkin heard the customer’s story, they knew exactly what the issue was. The customer applications team explained the difference between unlocked and locked BOMs to the customer. If a BOM is not locked, manufacturers will frequently change it in order to cut costs. This is a common approach for commercial grade products, since price is the leading concern for most commercial customers. However, for industrial users, these kinds of changes can lead to significant expenses caused by device failures. These customers benefit from having industrial SD cards with locked BOMs to prevent these kinds of problems.
The Delkin team borrowed a host device from the customer and recreated the environment in which the application is typically used. This allowed them to determine the best kind of memory card for the customer in terms of performance and speed.
When the team was happy with their results, they offered the customer the SD card they had tested to try for themselves. The customer was thrilled with the outcome. Delkin explained the importance of a locked BOM for reliability, performance, and speed for industrial applications. The customer agreed with Delkin’s findings. They placed a bulk order for SD cards without the need to change their budget for memory cards at all.
The customer was pleased to know that Delkin would help them through the transition process to a new memory card if the current design they chose was ever discontinued in the future. The Delkin team explained that they would give the customer advance notice so that they would be able to order more before they were gone. After that, our team would assist in selecting a new card and perform any customized testing that the customer required. With this careful management, the customer would never be surprised by a failure of memory cards again.
Without guidance, many developers choose the lowest priced memory cards that they can find. Typically, this means commercial grade cards. Although this may seem to be a smart budgetary move, in reality, it leaves industrial users vulnerable to costly failures. When industrial applications fail in the field, the outcomes can be disastrous. Investing in an industrial card with a locked BOM means that unexpected downtimes will not be an issue.
Further, industrial grade products come with performance benefits. They are designed with SLC NAND flash, which is the fastest and most reliable form of flash memory available. In addition to getting the advantages associated with a locked BOM, customers who choose industrial grade memory cards will see a significant increase in speed, longevity, and overall performance, even in rugged conditions.
At Delkin, our customer applications team is here to help you get the exact right kind of embedded memory you need. After all, we understand that a memory failure could bring your operations to a screeching halt. With the help of our team, you can learn what is putting your device at risk and find out how to achieve better uptime and more predicable performance. Contact us today for more information.
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