Posts

Relatable Manufacturers That Could be Your Best Friend

As we continue our blog series on American Manufacturers in the Movies, today we discuss “Movie Manufacturers That Could Be Your Best Friend.” You know the type. Characters who are outrageously funny, lovable and a bit on the crazy side. Those individuals who bring energy, excitement and lots of laughter into your life.

We narrowed down our selection to three movies that particularly that fit the bill. In each case, the protagonist encounters many challenges along the way. Yet, they find a way to succeed in the end. Enjoy!

Movie Manufacturers That Could Be Your Best Friend

  • Tommy Boy

Tommy Callahan III (Callahan Auto)

Relatable Manufacturers That Could be Your Best Friend: Tommy Callahan III

The first of our favorite relatable manufacturers is Tommy Callahan III. Tommy is a slacker who works in his family business, an automotive component manufacturer. However, after his father passes away, right after remarrying, Tommy is left with a decision.

He has to choose to either fight for his father’s company or let a rival company take over and lose everything. Therefore, Tommy chooses to make a deal with the bank holding his assets. Tommy is forced to get creative with meeting the requested goals. Furthermore, Tommy has to battle with his new family members who are plotting against him and who are not who they claim to be.

  • Gung Ho

Hunt Stevenson (Assan Motors)

Relatable Manufacturers That Could be Your Best Friend: Hunt Stevenson

Another favorite relatable manufacturer is Hunt Stevenson. Hunt is facing a predicament that will affect his entire town. The automotive plant where most of the townspeople work has been closed for 9 months. The town is officially getting desperate. Therefore, Hunt feels like he has to do something. However, Hunt’s efforts don’t come without a price.

While the plant reopens there is a lot of sacrifices. New Japanese ownership brings cultural differences as well as many challenges. The workers that are brought back are forced to work longer hours for less pay. Also, they are asked to perform crazy exercises with their new Japanese coworkers. The American workers and their new coworkers and bosses do not see eye to eye on a lot of things. Also, due to the American workers’ lack of a work ethic, the new plant owners and Hunt try to make a deal.

If Hunt can convince the workers to meet the Japanese owners’ goal they will change how they run the plant. However, after the workers find out that Hunt lied to them they stage a walkout and all seems lost. Not only will the plant not survive without the workers coming back but neither will the town. With nothing else to lose Hunt goes back to work. To his surprise so do the rest of his coworkers.

  • Christmas Vacation

Clark Griswold ( A Chemical Company)

Relatable Manufacturers That Could be Your Best Friend: Clark Griswold

Clark Griswold is one of the most well-known relatable manufacturers on our list. He works for a chemical company that produces food coloring and additives (but not preservatives). As Christmas approaches Clark is preparing to celebrate with his family. However, after unexpected guests arrive and share their hardships with Clark he feels the need to help them out.

However, after the Griswold’s discover that Clark did not receive his yearly bonus all of his plans come to a crashing halt. He already put down money on a grand present for his family. Also, he helped his relatives with presents for their children. Therefore, Clark does not take the news of not receiving this extra money well.

Due to Clark’s determination to get his bonus he kidnaps his boss. However, he is unaware that his boss’s wife has called the police. Therefore, Clark has to explain his actions not only to his boss but to the police as well. Luckily, after explaining the situation, his boss grants him the bonus.

 

Connect With Us!

Check out our previous blogs on our Movie Manufacturers series!

You can read more of our blogs here!

To learn more about Falconer Electronics Inc. check out our page!

Also, you can learn more about our Wire Harness Manufacturing here!

Do you have a need for custom wire harnesses or Ground Straps for a project? We can help you! Check out our Wire Harness Estimator! You can also custom build Ground Straps Here!

Lastly, let’s get social! We would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

As we continue our blog series on American Manufacturers in the Movies, today we take a look at movie characters who became “Accidental Manufacturers”.

What do we mean by “Accidental Manufacturers”? Those who stumbled into manufacturing by accident. In some cases, they actually created accidents with their manufactured products. Read ahead and you will see what we mean.

We selected three classics that you are most likely quite familiar with. The clips below might even inspire you to go home tonight, fire up some popcorn and enjoy one of these movie adventures!

Accidental Manufacturers

  • Back to the Future Series

Doctor Emmett Brown (The Time-Traveling DeLorean)

Accidental Manufacturers: Doc Brown

The “Back to the Future” series is well-known for their use of the now famous DeLorean. However, the DeLorean is not just a car in these movies. It is a time-traveling machine that not only brings people to the future but also the past. Doc Brown is the brains behind the time-traveling DeLorean. Along with his trusty dog Einstein and their friend Marty they manage to do the impossible. They travel through time.

Doc Brown becomes one of the “accidental manufacturers” when he creates this time machine and then comes up with some unique ways to make it work. With the use of lightning and going the specific speed of 88 miles per hour, Doc, Marty, and Einstein are able to travel back in time to meet Marty’s parents. Before they were his parents of course. This is just the first movie in the series.

In the rest of the series, Marty and Doc take on other adventures. Traveling to the future and even further back in the past to the wild west. However, during each of these adventures, there are situations that they can’t control. Each of which changes their lives.

  • Forrest Gump

Benjamin Buford (Bubba) Blue and Forrest Gump (Bubba Gump Shrimp)

Accidental Manufacturers: Bubba Blue

Forrest Gump is the lovable well-meaning main character who not only narrates his story but lives each of the exciting adventures. However, he can’t do it all on his own. Much like any good movie, there is a strong friendship. Forrest befriends Bubba Blue and they eventually decide that they should go into business together.

Bubba loves shrimp and along with his best friend, he believes he will live his dream. However, before Bubba is able to make this dream a reality he is killed during The Vietnam War. Forrest knowing that he wants to carry out his friend’s dream starts the shrimping company in Bubba’s memory. Therefore, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is born and Forrest becomes one of our favorite “accidental manufacturers”.

  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Wayne Szalinski’s (The Shrinking Ray)

Accidental Manufacturers: Wayne Szalinski

When every attempt goes wrong with his invention, the shrinking ray, Wayne Szalinski is on the verge of giving up. However, his children accidentally prove that his invention does work. They prove this by shrinking themselves and their neighbors. Furthermore, it takes some time for Wayne and his wife to realize that their children are not the size they should be.

After discovering what has happened to them, all of the children realize that they have to work together in order to not only become their normal sizes but to also survive. It is not easy being tiny specks in a busy world. Therefore the children have to avoid different types of obstacles ranging from escaping a deadly lawnmower to swimming in a cereal bowl. In the end, they are able to return to their normal heights and their families are reunited. However, this is just the first time that one of Wayne’s inventions cause mayhem. There are still many more adventures to come with the Szalinkski family in the rest of the series movies.

Connect With Us!

Check out our previous blogs on our Movie Manufacturers Series!

You can read more of our blogs here!

To learn more about Falconer Electronics Inc. check out our page!

Also, you can learn more about our Wire Harness Manufacturing here!

Do you have a need for custom wire harnesses or Ground Straps for a project? We can help you! Check out our Wire Harness Estimator! You can also custom build Ground Straps Here!

Lastly, let’s get social! We would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Real-Life Manufacturers

Last week we kicked off our blog series on American Manufacturers in the Movies. We started our series by identifying movies featuring Millionaire Manufacturers (who are most likely billionaire manufacturers by now). These fictional characters created incredible wealth in manufacturing. This week we discuss three movies based on Real-Life Manufacturers who also found massive success in manufacturing.

Real-Life Manufacturers Who Made an Big Impact

The Founder

Ray Kroc (McDonald’s)

Real-life Manufacturers Who Made an Impact: Ray Kroc

McDonald’s is an international franchise giant. However, if you are a millennial like myself, you may not know the name, Ray Kroc. Ray Kroc is one of the Real-life Manufacturers who truly changed the American landscape.

Why did we select a restaurant franchise as a manufacturer? Glad you asked. Ray Kroc and the team at McDonald’s perfected the art of mass production of the hamburger.

Ray Kroc saw potential in a small California restaurant run by the McDonald brothers. He, in turn, took that potential and created something massive. The McDonald brothers had instituted an assembly line concept similar to that of Henry Ford with the Model T. By manufacturing something as small as hamburger, McDonald’s was able to create an incredible legacy.

While McDonald’s has expanded around the world there are some differences from the McDonald’s we all know. Other countries were leery at first of McDonald’s. In some countries, they have had to redesign certain foods that they are famous for. Particularly their hamburger. There are countries where eating beef is not acceptable. So, in order to prosper in those countries, McDonald’s had to replace that particular ingredient. By working with locals, they were able to come up with more acceptable replacements. Some of these replacements included vegetarian options with local spices along with a chicken version of the Big Mac we have in the USA.

However, there are things that did not change no matter the location. Along with the golden arches McDonald’s has created an image that even small children recognize. They have well-known mascots and the brand recognition that other companies wish they could achieve.

Jobs

Steve Jobs (Apple Inc.)

Real-life Manufacturers Who Made an Impact: Steve Jobs

What leadership is, is having a vision, being able to articulate that so that people around you can understand it, and getting a consensus on a common vision. – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs had a vision for what he wanted Apple to become. Steve Jobs is one of the most well-known Real-life Manufacturers. Even since his passing the brand has stood strong. They have new developments and a following of customers who are deeply loyal to the Apple brand.

The greatest people are self-managing. They don’t need to be managed at all. What they need is a common vision, and that’s what leadership is.- Steve Jobs

With all of Steve Jobs’ hard work he never could’ve planned Apple‘s success to be what it is today. Much like many entrepreneur manufacturers, Jobs began with an idea. He then found a way to make it become reality. However, seeing what they have become it is hard to imagine that it all started in a basement. However, as the business grew so did his managing skills.

The Aviator

Howard Hughes Jr. (Hughes Aircraft Company)

Real-life Manufacturers Who Made an Impact: Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes was a manufacturer of aircrafts. He also piloted his own aircraft. However, Hughes’ beginning was in the film industry. His original dream was to make movies. However, Howard chose to follow in his father’s footsteps of being an inventor. Howard Hughes did not only create planes that broke speed records. He also created planes and helicopters for the military.

All of Hughes planes were impressive. However, one stood out from the rest. The Spruce Goose is still the largest plane to ever be built. Also, it was built using a surprising material, wood.

Hughes was well-known for pushing the limit. He broke many of his own speed records. Also, Hughes did what others viewed as impossible with his wooden plane. Along with all of his work with aviation he also opened the door to new explorations of space. While aviation was not Howard Hughes first choice of careers, he had many achievements. Especially with the otherwise impossible.

Connect With Us!

Keep a lookout for our continuation on our Movie Manufacturers series. The next blog will be on Accidental Manufacturers.

You can read our first instillation of this blog series here!

You can read more of our blogs here!

To learn more about Falconer Electronics Inc. check out our page!

Also, you can learn more about our Wire Harness Manufacturing here!

Do you have a need for custom wire harnesses or Ground Straps for a project? We can help you! Check out our Wire Harness Estimator! You can also custom build Ground Straps Here!

Lastly, let’s get social! We would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Lovable Millionaire Manufacturers

Ever take note of the number of movies with characters in American Manufacturing? In particular, highly successful entrepreneurs. There are lots! Due to this interesting observation, we have compiled our favorite movies that include America Manufacturing. For this post, we discuss those lovable Millionaire Manufacturers who win over your heart.

Lovable Millionaire Manufacturers

Our team at Falconer Electronics works extremely hard during the work week. To blow off steam on weekends, we love catching up on movies. During a recent conversation on our favorite movies, the discussion led to the number of movies that include characters with careers in American Manufacturing. As a matter of fact, we thought of so many movies involving manufacturing, we decided to put together a blog series on the topic.

To kick off our “American Manufacturing in the Movies” blog series, below includes our selection of the Top 3 Movies with Millionaire Manufacturers (actually, probably billionaires):

**Spoiler Alert: Beware that there is a short synopsis of the movies within these descriptions. Therefore, if you have not watched them and intend to, you may encounter some spoiler material.**

  • Iron Man Series and The Avengers Series

Tony Stark (Stark Industries)

 Lovable Millionaire Manufacturers: Tony Stark

Tony Stark is one of the most well-known millionaire manufacturers. His main claim to fame is Iron Man. However, as CEO of Stark Industries, he is no a stranger to the spotlight. Before he was known as Iron Man, Tony was seen as the rich playboy who happened to be good at inventing things.

Most of his inventions were for defense contracts. However, Tony also took the time to manufacture an electronic personality named Jarvis. Jarvis quickly became Tony’s most important creation.  Not only does Jarvis have control of the Iron Man suit but he also has control of Tony’s other devices. Therefore, without Jarvis Tony would not be able to perform half of the tricks and rescues that he performs.

  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka (Wonka Chocolate Factory)

Lovable Millionaire Manufacturers: Willy Wonka

The main character, Willy Wonka is the most well-known millionaire manufacturers of candy. His specialty, of course, is chocolate. However, he does have other favorites to choose from. He creates amazing candies like edible wallpaper and everlasting gobstoppers. Furthermore, these treats could only come from a strong imagination.

While touring the factory a group of children experience all of Wonka’s creations. However, not all of the children enjoy the tour. One girl becomes a blueberry due to her inability to follow instructions. Also, a boy becomes part of a television. Throughout the tour, you begin to see a pattern develop. The children who disobey or believe they deserve everything for themselves begin to disappear. Meanwhile, a young boy, Charlie, who was just happy to be a part of it all gets the ultimate gift in the end.

  • Richie Rich

Richard Rich Sr. (Rich Industries)

Lovable Millionaire Manufacturers: Richard Rich

A lesser thought of of the millionaire manufacturers is Richard Rich Sr. He runs a very successful company, including United Tool, an American Manufacturer. However, the story does not focus on Richard Rich Sr. but rather his son Richie. Richie is missing something very important. He has no friends other than his dog Dollar and the butler Cadbury. Therefore, Richie desperately wants to make friends with kids his own age.

Richie gets his wish for friends. However, he soon realizes that his life is not as simple as he likes to believe. Everyone knows that with success comes threats and Richie finds that out. Furthermore, while trying to protect his family and their business he gets to know who his real friends really are.

Connect With Us!

Keep a lookout for our continuation on our “American Manufacturing in the Movies” series. The next blog will be on Real Life Manufacturers who Made an Impact.

In addition, check out this link to learn about Wire Harness Manufacturing.

Also, do you have a need for custom Wire Harnesses or Ground Straps for a project? We can help you! Check out our Wire Harness Estimator! You can also custom build Ground Straps Here!

Lastly, let’s get social! We would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

safety certifications

Safety and Certifications Importance

As we continue our series on New Product Development, the next stage includes obtaining certifications for product safety. Safety and Certifications are an important aspect of any business. Not only to the customers but also to the company itself. Certification of electrical products is crucial to the safety of products. As a result, product certification is a stamp of superior quality. Regulation of electrical products is to ensure not only safety but also environmental obligations as well.

The Three Agencies

In electronics manufacturing, there are three main safety and certification agencies. A close relationship with these independent certification agencies ensures that products and projects comply with rigorous testing requirements. These agencies work with companies to help make products safely. They provide the proper testing procedures in order to qualify for the needed compliance. 

Electronic Safety Certification Agencies 

 CSA marks on products help consumers to know that that specific product has been tested and is meeting all standards and requirements. There are many different types of products that these marks are found on. Some of these include electrical products, gas-fired, plumbing, and personal protection equipment. However, these are not the only products that CSA marks can be found on. There is encouragement to consumers to always check products for certification markings from CSA, UL, or ETL.ETL Listings through Intertek  CSA Certification

UL (Underwriters Laboratory)

  • Began in 1894
  • The standard for testing electrical products
  • The standard for inspecting electrical products
  • Also educates and guides businesses in required safety requirements
  • Global certification possibilities

ETL (Electrical Testing Laboratories)

  • Established in 1896 by Thomas Edison
  • Provider of testing and assurance services
  • Highly regarded for their knowledge and expertise
  • Therefore, ensuring minimization of health, safety, and security risks by reducing cost
  • Also globally accredited and recognized

CSA ( Canadian Standards Association)

  • Established in 1919
  • Official certifications for all electronic products in Canada
  • Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) for the US
  • Additionally, CSA has authorization in energy efficiency testing
  • Global certification possibilities

UL (Underwriters Laboratories)

UL Certification Lab

In 1894 William Henry Merrill founded Underwriters Laboratories or UL. Since then, Underwriters Laboratories has become the best known and recognized independent testing lab in the world. Businesses recognize UL for their education and guidance on safety requirements. Therefore, they perform testing on a range of products. Their testing procedures assess the quality and safety of the individual product. Also, their procedures are viewed as the standard for the testing and inspecting of electrical products. UL’s experience and rigorous standards are why Falconer Electronics Inc places trust their certification process.

According to their website, “UL certifies, validates, tests, verifies, inspects, audits advises and educates.” They do all of these through the testing services they provide. UL does all of these for companies looking to ensure their products comply with regulations and safety just like FEI and other manufacturers like us.

Products within the United States are not the only ones certified by UL. UL also studies international certification standards and practices. Companies worldwide recognize UL’s certifications. Due to this recognition, there is the same level of safety for products in the U.S.A. as those going outside of the states. UL has made a strong effort to standardize safety requirements, protocol, and certifications around the world.

2016 UL Accomplishments

In 2016 UL was recognized in over 100 countries. There were also over 20 billion products baring a UL mark. The numbers do not end there, however. In addition to their work in the United States UL also has over 1 billion consumers in Asia, Europe, and North America. UL reaches each of these consumers with their safety messages.

UL has had involvement with approximately 96000 product evaluations. There are over 11000 employees at UL. These employees work out of 170 facilities spread across 40 countries. Each employee plays a part in providing services to their large number of customers.  The publication of over 1500 current safety standards is a large part of the UL family’s accomplishments.

Along with the numerous products and services that UL evaluates they have to be adaptable to the ever-changing world of technology. New technology has led to new advancements in safety. In this changing time, UL has had to adjust certain standards while also developing new ones for newly developed products. These adjustments and new standards will help to ensure that the testing UL is performing is of the highest quality and continues to be relevant to current times.

UL is a Testing Lab Not an Approval Lab

Finally, there is an important distinction that UL is adamant about clarifying. Something UL wants well expressed is that they are a testing lab, not an approval lab. Also, they are not a government agency that has the right to approve any product for a consumer. Due to the view that their process is of the highest level, the government takes their certification into account during the approval processes.

 ETL Certification Benefits 

ETL Certifications

Intertek offers many benefits through its ETL certifications. Much like UL, ETL certifications do not just certify products. They also provide “Total Quality Assurance” to the industries that they work with. Through ETL, Intertek certifies products based on energy efficiency, their performance, and also for the safety of the product.

Thomas Edison is the most notable contributor to ETL. In 1896 his company, The Edison Electric Illumination Company were vital in the legacy of high standards that ETL continues to deliver today, well over a century later. Due to these high standards, companies that are obtaining an ETL listing for the first time may find the process daunting. However,  the Intertek team prides themselves on the amount of assistance they are able to offer to companies throughout the certification process. ETL doesn’t just certify a product and wash its hands of that company. They also do follow-ups and continue involvement in changes within that certified product.

World Wide Representation 

Intertek is a global industry. With their global coverage, Intertek has recognition in countries such as Argentina, China, Germany, Italy, and Mexico as well as the United States and Canada. Throughout 100 countries Intertek has 1,000 locations. Each of these locations is there for the convenience of the businesses that need Intertek’s involvement with their products.

Due to their large number of locations, there is also a need for a large number of employees. Within their 1,000 locations, Intertek employs over 40,000 workers. This large number of employees helps to ensure the best work possible for all of the companies that need Intertek’s help in the certification of their products.

Benefits of ETL Certification

There are many benefits to working with Intertek to get a certification. Intertek offers a step by step process to achieve their certifications.

The Steps
  • The assurance that you receive:

Intertek aims to help companies identify any risks that they have before certifying a product. They help evaluate operations, supply chains, and management systems.

  • Testing:

This step helps to see where a product stands in all the standards they uphold. Therefore, if a product does not perform in quality, safety, sustainability, and performance it will have to go through redesigning.

  • Inspection:

This step is very important to the certification process as it not only affects the final product but each individual aspect that creates the final product. All of the individual pieces and products that go into a final product will go through inspection during this step.

  • Certification of the product:

During this step, a product goes through its final confirmation to ensure that it is meeting all standards.

 

Thomas Edison Founder of ETL Certification

Thomas Edison Founder of ETL through Intertek

 

 

CSA Certification

CSA Certification

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) was founded by Sir John Kennedy in 1919. Sir Kennedy was chairman of the Civil Engineers’ Canadian Advisory Committee. Due to this, CSA had the original name of The Canadian Engineering Standards Association. CSA did not change their name until the 1940s. As CSA’s recognition grew as they became the official agency for any piece of electrical equipment that is for sale or already in use in Canada. CSA became globally recognized in the 1950s. Furthermore, CSA has become accredited by U.S. OSHA as a “Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory”. Since the U.S. OSHA accreditation CSA has gained global recognition for the services they provide.

CSA Certification Goals   

There are many benefits to acquiring a CSA certification. Much like the other two types of certifications, CSA helps to ensure product quality and safety. CSA works with businesses to achieve their certification by helping them reach the following goals:

  • Developing a Strategic Alliance
  • Utilization of Technical Experts
  • Globally Recognized Certifications
  • Fast and Reliable Delivery of Services
  • Customized Support Throughout the Certification Process
  • Product Protection Supported by the CSA Certification

CSA Types of Certification

The Canadian Standards Association has five different types of certification available. Model certification, witnessed manufacturer’s testing for certification, supervised manufacturer’s testing certification, category program for certification, and finally the field certification program. Below are the descriptions of each type as stated by the CSA website:

Certification Types
  • Model Certification

Your product samples are tested at our facilities for safety and performance. If the product meets the applicable standard, a certificate of compliance is issued, and the CSA mark can be displayed.

  • Witnessed Manufacturer’s Testing for Certification: 

Product testing is performed at your facility under the observation of a CSA Group technical expert who documents the results. If our requirements are met, a certificate of compliance is issued along with CSA mark approval.

  • Supervised Manufacturer’s Testing for Certification (SMTC):

Product testing and certification reports are provided to CSA Group experts by the manufacturer. Through data validation and spot-checks, results are confirmed prior to issuing a certificate of compliance. Before qualifying for SMTC, your testing facility and proposed testing process need to be audited.

  • Category Program for Certification (CPC):

This option allows you to conduct your own testing in a product category, once you’ve received a certificate of qualification. Product testing and validation is performed at your facility, then evaluated by CSA Group experts, who issue a certificate of standards compliance to market-ready products.

  • Field Certification Program: 

Our field certification service is intended as a means of “one-time” certification of product to Canadian or U.S. requirements, for a specific number of units and is not meant to be an alternative to regular certification. This service may also be used where a CSA certified product has been shipped without the CSA mark or has been field modified and needs to be labeled. Tests are carried out by CSA Group to the applicable standard and a certificate of compliance is issued for products that meet the requirements (depending on your location, certain regional requirements may also apply). Gas-fired products will receive the CSA Star label and/or CSA Flame label. Electrical and plumbing products will receive the applicable CSA label.

Why is CSA Certification Important?

CSA has the experience of creating standards and certifications for products of all sizes. To date, the CSA mark is on billions of products all around the world. Also, this number is always increasing as CSA is certifying new products constantly.

CSA has recognition from numerous organizations. Some of which include OSHA and the American National Standards Institute. Therefore, CSA certifications give businesses the peace of mind that their products are of the highest quality and will perform their duties safely.

CSA marks on products help consumers to know that that specific product has gone through testing and is meeting all standards and requirements. There are many different types of products that these marks are found on. Some of these include electrical products, gas-fired, plumbing, and personal protection equipment. However, these are not the only products that CSA marks can be found on. There is also an encouragement to consumers to always check products for certification markings from CSA, UL, or ETL.

Certifications are Crucial

Certification of electrical products is crucial. As a result of a product being certified, it is guaranteed to be of superior quality. Therefore, the regulation of electrical products is to ensure safety and environmental obligations. Additionally, there are three main safety certification agencies that are recognized in electronic manufacturing. Each agency has their own specific purpose.

A close relationship with these independent certification agencies ensures that products and projects comply with rigorous testing requirements. Most noteworthy is an in-depth knowledge of how these different agencies work and what they are looking to achieve during the testing process. These agencies work with companies to make products less likely to need adjustment throughout the testing procedures in order to qualify for the needed compliance.

More Information

Want to learn more about these certifications? You can visit each of their websites below!

Underwriters Laboratories (UL)

Intertek (ETL)

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA)

Thank you for reading our blog on Safety Certifications as we continue our series on New Product Development.

Check out our  Shop product page.

Let’s Connect

Also, please connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Wishing you an ELECTRIFYING DAY!

 

 

 

 

 

Grounding

Grounding

Grounding? You mean I’m grounded?! The word “grounding” is certainly never one you want to hear as a teenager. Especially from your parents. Grounding means no car. No smartphones, tablets or other devices. No sleepovers. You are basically under house arrest. Oh, the humanity! It certainly pays to mind your manners. In other words, try to stay out of trouble.

Anyway, the term “Grounding” for this discussion refers to safety. Phew! Great stuff to discuss when it comes to electrical products. Grounding returns live electrical circuits to the earth or ground. This keeps individuals safe from live wires or currents.

Grounding = Electrical Safety

Grounding wires prevent electric shocks, fires and even fatalities. It sends the current back to the ground making it harmless. Ever blow a fuse or trip a circuit? That “inconvenience” just saved you from a potential disaster.

So next time a circuit breaker pops, be grateful. Sure it stinks to stop what you are doing. Especially in the middle of making dinner or some other important project. As you go searching for which circuit to flip, take a moment to appreciate that the safety feature worked causing no harm to your household.

When you look at any outlet at your home or office, notice that there are three openings? Ever wonder why? Well, the left slot serves as neutral. The right slot means HOT. The third hole is for the ground plug. Any electrical device with three prongs means that product includes a ground cord.

Safety Tip: NEVER cut off the ground plug to fit an outlet. Not a good idea under any circumstance.

Without the ground cord, the electric current could flow through your body to find gound. Certainly, not a welcomed experience.

Grounding

You can always visit our blog for more information on electrical products and safety. Also, you can check out product information on grounds straps here.

Lastly, let’s get social! Please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

lead-free

Many electronics use solder as the “glue” to attach components to circuit boards. Whether lead-free or lead solder, the function is the same. Lead-free and lead solder do perform the same function. However, different products and applications will use different solder.

Why Do We Need Lead-Free Solder

When manufacturing specific products, they must use lead-free solder. This is due to new regulations by RoHS.  The main reason for the introduction of these regulations is the need to reduce lead in the landfills, mostly in Europe. However, American industries are now sharing these views.

With the increase of popularity of electronics in every home and businesses the need to reduce lead is becoming more important. On circuit boards, solder attaches components and wires, as previously stated. Solder is also a part of manufacturing wire harnesses. Electrical devices wear out over time and therefore need to be disposed of.  There is an increased amount of lead being removed from landfills and other disposal areas by reducing the amount of lead solder within these electronics.

What Are the Uses of Lead Solder

Most hobby solderers still use lead solder for their projects. Due to these projects not being publicly or commercially used they don’t have strict regulations of RoHS to follow. Hobbyists will often choose lead solder for their projects because of its high melting point and therefore the decreased heat required. Also, with a higher melting point, the cooling time required for the solder is lower and can mean a decreased chance of cold solder joints. A cold solder joint can mean that there is not a good connection of the component to the circuit board. This bad connection can lead to a project failure.

Also, hobbyists do not use the amount of solder that commercial manufacturers do. The decreased use is the main reason why there are not as many regulations on hobby electronics. Due to this decreased use, there is also a decrease in the waste from the lead solder. A hobbyist will not use the amount of solder that a commercial manufacturer will in a year’s time.

Here is a helpful video on soldering from STC (Soldering Training & Certification):

For more info on electronics manufacturing please check out our weekly blogs. Also, please connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

 

 

RoHS

What is RoHS?

The abbreviation RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. In the beginning, RoHS was put in place, to restrict the use of certain materials in Europe. This was due to their hazardous nature. Therefore, the use of these restricted materials was regulated within electrical devices. Since July 1, 2006, every electrical device in the European Union must pass RoHS mandates.

What does RoHS Mandate?

There are specific materials that RoHS has banned due to them being hazardous.

The main hazardous materials include:

  • Lead (Pb)
  • Mercury (Hg)
  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Hexavalent Chromium (CrVI)
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB)
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE)
  • Finally some Phthalates
    • DEHP
    • BBP
    • DIBP

Due to the materials effect on the environment, they have been banned. This banishment is a result of their pollution to the landfills. Also, these materials can be harmful to any workers who work with electronic equipment that contains them.

Product Testing 

When RoHs tests a product for compliance, they use two analyzers. These two analyzers check and confirm that products comply with restrictions. These two analyzers are X-ray fluorescence along with XRF metal analyzers.

Who is Responsible for Compliance?

Originally compliance to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances was in Europe. However, as the United States exports electrical products to European countries, they started to adapt to the same restrictions. Therefore, responsibility for compliance falls on any business who not only sells electronics, it also falls to the companies who assemble electronic products. In addition to the fully assembled devices, components and early assembly of the electronic products are subject to restrictions.

More Info:

Look at the compliance guide to learn more about Restriction of Hazardous Substances   Related image

To learn more about our Wire Harnesses check out our Wire Harness Assembly page.

Also, check out our line of e-commerce line of products at Shop Our Products.

For more info on electronics manufacturing, please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Custom-Commercial-Power-Strips

Custom Electronics Manufacturer in the U.S. Since 1985

Falconer Electronics, Inc (FEI) has proudly served its community as a U.S. Custom Electronics Manufacturer since 1985. Our customers love the convenience and flexibility of working with a domestic manufacturer.

There are tremendous benefits gained when working with a domestic manufacturer. Especially since partnering with a U.S. Custom Electronics Manufacturer drastically reduces costs and lead time.

The three areas that FEI specializes in include:

  1. Wire Harness Assembly
  2. Commercial Outlet Strips
  3. Printed Circuit Boards

Benefits of Partnering with a Custom Electronics Manufacturer in the U.S.

Outsourcing your Wire Harnesses, Commercial Outlet Strips or Printed Circuit Boards to a U.S. Custom Electronics Manufacturer provides a list of competitive advantages for your company:

  • Time zone challenges do not exist – We get up super early and start our day at 6:00 am est.
  • Quick and easy communication where language barriers do not exist (except for our goofy accents).
  • Shipping charges are much cheaper.
  • QUICK turnaround time – we work fast!
  • Over 30 years of experience.
  • We lobby all of our tools, resources, and expertise to provide an outstanding customer experience.
  • “Made in the USA” is a symbol of pride and high quality. Hard working Americans at work producing incredible products.
  • Fast and convenient shipping options
  • Inventory management and control
  • Our purchasing power lowers your costs
  • Long-term relationship with vendors
  • Keeping our overhead costs as low as possible to pass savings on to our customers.  We are frugal! We consider ourselves part of your team and work relentlessly to keep prices down and dirty.
  • Accessibility – many of our customers visit our facility and we consider it a privilege to go on tour to visit our customers as well.
  • Supply chain efficiencies

Custom-Commercial-Power-Strips

Our experience, expertise, tools, knowledge, and resources become an extension of your business allowing you to do what you do best – Make your outstanding products and produce profits. One of the keys to the long-term success at FEI is our deep commitment to driving profits for our customers. The greater the ROI each customer enjoys from our products the better.

 

Thanks for reading our post and check out our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

There are times when an American business is the supplier of products in other countries. When working with a foreign company there can be some difficulty with achieving the final outcome. A few of the issues that can arise are the misunderstanding of what is needed, instructing for installation, and  the difficulty of repairing products once they have left the U.S.

Communication Issues in Doing Business

Sometimes when working with other countries there is a large communication gap. Whether the communication is happening through emails or even over the phone there can be a lack in the understanding. These communication barriers can prevent the American company from fully understanding the needs of the foreign company.

They can also cost the foreign company more money on materials. This can happen if they don’t know how to ask for what they need. Sometimes in these cases the American company may make assumptions based off of older models of the product. However, if those assumptions are incorrect the entire product could be wasted. It can be difficult to bridge the gap of communication and can cause a lot of extra time and money.

Installation Issues

Another issue that can go along with that of communication is the problem of giving installation instructions. If there is a gap in communication there is also a large chance that there will be difficulties instructing the foreign country how to install the product. If the instructions get lost or translated incorrectly the foreign business will have a difficult time using the product.

When there is an issue with instructions there is often a need for a representative from the American company to go to the foreign location. Depending on the distance away from the American business this travel can have a high cost. Traveling will also take up valuable time that could be used to work on other projects. Instructional issues can all be traced back to the main issue of communication.  Both companies would be able to achieve all the stages of the production if there were no communication gaps.  

Repair Issues

Another issue that can come from communication issues is damage. Some damage may occur during installation. If the foreign company is not accustomed to working with a product and they attempt repairs the situation could be made worse. It is difficult to troubleshoot a problem when you are not in physical proximity to it.

Repairs for goods damaged in shipping will be something that can’t be planned for. If there are damaged pieces that no longer work in the product they need replaced. There is no guarantee that the receiving company would be able to preform these tasks or have the product line in house to change out broken pieces. This can be a difficult situation to fix with the manufacturer being in a different country.

Communication, Installation, and Repair issues are problems that can happen when doing business outside of America. Communication is the basis for the other two issues. When there is a language difference it is difficult for everyone to understand solutions to problems.

Offshoring occurs when a company chooses to perform some or all of their production in a country other than that of the United States. A company may choose to move their production elsewhere. This is under the understanding that their costs, mainly, concerning labor will be lower than that possible by staying in America. These companies don’t always understand the effect their actions will have on the country as a whole.

Offshoring Effects the Economy

When production is moved out of the United States the effect on the economy will not be noticed right away. In some cases a company can offshore their business in stages. These stages happen slowly. Moving the company to another country and leaving small pieces in America. However, when a company begins to offshore their production line it can affect the local economy of its original business.

Offshoring Decreases Jobs

There will be a decrease in American jobs in favor of a workforce that is more cost effective. Companies are forced to terminate some or all of the positions that their American workers hold. The termination of workers can increase the unemployment rates for that county. This increase in unemployment rates is not an ideal approach. It decreases the amount of monetary flow in smaller counties which will eventually affect the entire country.

Offshoring production heightens the economy in other countries. These employees spend their earnings in the other countries and those funds are not circulating throughout the U.S.. That decreases the amount of money that is available for use within our own country. This lack of circulated money doesn’t just effect the larger companies in the country. It will also make it more difficult for smaller, local businesses to thrive.

The residence will be less likely to spend their money on a more expensive product that is made locally if there is less money circulating around a county. Money is more likely to be spent on a product that is lower in quality, more importantly, lower in cost. The local businesses with dependence on the local traffic will be forced to shut down and increase unemployment in the community.  

Offshoring Effects Local Businesses

Offshoring does not just affect the larger businesses who move out of the country. It also affects the businesses that are still here. The flow of money connects all businesses and if that flow is moved elsewhere, over time there won’t be any more businesses in the United States. The American economy is dependent on keeping businesses and their employees here. By companies moving to other countries our own country is suffering.  

Falconer Electronics Inc. is seeing a strong upward trend in onshoring custom manufacturing. As a United States based contract manufacturer for over 30 years the company knows what works and what doesn’t. However, there are numerous challenges and threats to outsourcing manufacturing operations. Therefore, these threats increase when you outsource to foreign countries. Also, there are many hidden costs associated with outsourcing. These determining factors include the heavy cost of monitoring operations as well as quality control. There is also a lack of intellectual property protection. Along with an extended supply chain. Consequently, these are all reasons a company would be better off onshoring custom manufacturing of their products instead of offshoring them.

Benefits of Onshoring Custom Manufacturing

These positive trends with manufacturing operations returning to the US hold great promise. Especially for US manufacturers. The outsourcing of production abroad to foreign countries have negative trends. Therefore, terms such as onshoring, reshoring, and redesign manufacturing are generating a new buzz. Onshoring drastically improves lead times. It also cuts inventory levels. For us, at Falconer Electronics Inc. it is crucial to be located close to our vendors as supply chains shrink.

Like Falconer Electronics other companies in the US are finally realizing the many benefits to manufacturing products stateside. However, this is after decades of losing US manufacturing jobs. The majority of which went to lower cost countries such as China. Wage gaps are also shrinking between China and the United States. Right now the US offers a superior infrastructure. Also, the US is superior in terms of automation, education, information technology, and transportation.

Perks of Onshoring

Cutting Back on Concerns

The products and services an onshoring custom manufacturing business offer effect every aspect of the company. Everything from their strategy, supply chain, staffing, and operations are affected. Control over the protection of intellectual property is another one of the many concerns. Also, there is a huge vulnerability by relying on foreign suppliers. Meanwhile, there is also the threat of stolen proprietary information and processes. Therefore, causing devastation to a company. However, a company has more control to all of these aspects when they choose onshoring compared to offshoring.

No Heavy Cost of Monitoring Operations and Intellectual Property

You still want to be sure that the work is getting done correctly and on time. Especially when you are not in the same area as your operations. Also, you want to ensure your intellectual property is safe. How do you do this when offshoring? You will have to ensure you know what is being done there. This can mean hiring someone that you trust to run the offshored facility. It may also mean you will have to run the facility yourself.

Therefore, you would have to spend the extra amount to get a manager into that facility. Or at even greater cost moving your entire life to the new area. Whereas if you had your operations in the same place you are located you could save either of those costs.

Quality Control in Manufacturing

Quality control is another serious issue. Separating manufacturing and product development can be extremely detrimental. Managerial focus when operations are halfway around the world is a significant disadvantage. At Falconer Electronics, we pride ourselves on producing top quality printed circuit boards (PCB). We also take pride in our wire harness assembly.

Reliable Skills and Knowledge

We have had many clients experience unacceptable products from foreign suppliers. Therefore, failing to meet our customer’s standards. Falconer Electronics has a history and in-depth knowledge of Circuit Boards. We also have a long history with electronic assemblies from subsystems to complete systems assemblies. Our customers have been able to rely on us. Furthermore, we have a history of repairing products that have been imported. By repairing these products, we are able to show our superior knowledge and skills. Even when working on pre-existing products. We have found that our customers greatly cherish the reliability and high quality work our team provides.

Onshoring Custom Manufacturing: Circuit Boards