One of the most significant developments in the global optoelectronics and display markets over the past few years has been a complete revolution in the value proposition offered by custom made technologies. Recent technological advancements have radically redefined industry notions about the inherent advantages and drawbacks of personalized versus standard technologies.
Understanding how custom made technology has evolved, the unique positive aspects it provides end users, and the process through which quality providers create custom solutions can help brands speed time to market, identify cost savings, improve product performance and enhance brand differentiation.
Over the past five years, there has been a radical improvement in the quality, cost and speed of custom made LED and LCD product creation.
The Evolution of Custom made avionic displays – Updating Outdated Assumptions
For much of the past 20 years, custom LED and LCD technologies were commonly associated with enhanced application-specific performance but also with higher costs, long lead times and reduced reliability. Over the past five years- technological advancements have completely redefined how custom made technology performs on each of these fronts.
In the past, personalized technologies were often more expensive than their ‘off-the-shelf’ counterparts due to the need to create customized tooling and pay for design engineering expertise for product design. Happily, this is no longer the case. Over the past few years, technological advancements have significantly brought down the cost of tooling materials. At the same time, many quality LED and LCD suppliers have started offering complimentary design engineering support to customers looking to create customized solutions. These two developments combined with the many process simplifying and performance enhancing positive aspects of personalized technology (outlined below) mean that oftentimes personalized technologies are less expensive than standard technologies over a product lifetime.
The time it takes to deliver a custom solution – from product design through delivery and production — has also been dramatically reduced in recent years. As custom made tooling has been simplified and quality suppliers have developed expertise in the specific challenges of custom technology development, processes have been streamlined resulting in shorter lead times. Whereas previously a custom technology could have a lead time of three to four months, today custom technologies can have lead times as short as two to four weeks for LEDs and four to six weeks for LCDs.
It is also no longer appropriate to view custom made technologies as less reliable than standard products. Over the past several years, quality suppliers have developed significant expertise in developing consistently high-quality customized LEDs and LCDs. A good supplier can deliver products with less than 50 to 100 parts per million (PPM) failure rates.
A quality LCD provider has the technical expertise to create a custom made LCD specifically tailored to an applications performance and cost needs and can integrate this optimized technology into a compreh
Rewards of Personalized LED & LCD Technology
There are several key cost and performance benefits that custom made LED and LCD user interface technology provides when compared to standard off-the-shelf technologies.
The ability of a quality supplier to identify the most effective technology for a particular application and create a streamlined production process that integrates various components (like light pipes, switches, connectors, PCBs, etc.) in the most efficient way possible generates cost savings in a number of different ways.
‘ As a single customized military LCD can provide a comprehensive custom solution, the number of suppliers needed is reduced, reducing procurement costs.
‘ Acquiring various components through a single supplier allows for a single bill of materials, simplifying accounting processes and reducing transaction costs.
‘ As quality LED and LCD providers today offer complimentary product integration support for personalized technologies, expense on design engineering is saved as design engineers no longer need to spend time and money researching individual components and integrating them in a way that ensures maximum efficiency. In addition to saving expense on design engineering, this also saves time on product development and speeds time to market.
‘ Cost savings can also be achieved through more efficient technologies. Because the product is custom-tailored to specific application requirements, cost savings are achieved by identifying the components that most exactly fit specific product demands. For example, energy savings can be generated if a high output / low power consumption technology can meet and fulfill all performance expectations (rather than over spending on high power that is not needed).
Due to their expertise in custom product design and integration a quality LED or LCD supplier can provide technology that meets and exceeds performance expectations in a number of ways.
‘ Enhanced reliability and reduced infant mortality is achieved by having experts identify and integrate the most efficient and effective components in the most streamlined manner into a total solution.
‘ Because the technology is personalized designed for a particular application – it can be created with customized wavelengths or optics to match application needs in a way that off-the-shelf technologies cannot match.
‘ The ability to acquire a custom technology with unique performance abilities enhances brand differentiation and allows products to stand out in crowded markets.
The Custom LED & LCD Product Development Process
One good way to identify a quality LED or LCD technology provider is to study their custom product development process. The following three steps should be offered by a quality provider.
1. Focus On Application Needs
The first step of a customized design process should always be to ask questions in order to understand exactly what the customer’s needs are for a particular application. Rather than pushing a customer towards a particular product solution already in their portfolio, a quality supplier will instead put their focus on customer needs and identify a solution that is custom-tailored to an application’s specific performance and cost requirements.
2. Provide Expert Design Support
A quality supplier will provide expert and complimentary product design support. Further, a quality supplier is flexible enough to provide this support in the way that best matches the application needs. For example, a quality supplier is ready to design a solution from scratch or help tweak an existing product design. Several design options should be presented that meet and exceed expectations. Also a quality supplier provides complementary custom product design support for small, medium and large volume products.
3. Streamline Entire Production Process
Custom product development is not completed until the product has passed through the entire production process – from in-bound inspection, to production, to in-field performance. A quality supplier not only provides tips on how to streamline the entire production process for maximum efficiency, they also have experts available worldwide to provide assistance in each step of the process. This helps ensure that the custom product designed for maximum efficiency and performance can in fact provide superior performance as the product moves out of design and into production and distribution. Quality LED and LCD suppliers have representatives worldwide to guide products out of the development process and through production in tangent with any contract manufacturers or other production partners.
In today’s unique marketplace where design engineers must meet the growing demand LED and LCD technologies with reduced resources due to global economic conditions, it is key to stay up to date with the very latest being offered in the way of customized technologies. Identifying a quality custom made LED or LCD supplier can have a significant impact in obtaining the best possible technology for your specific performance needs.
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