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Blog - Author Archives: Darrel Baker
Darrel Baker

“How much does it cost to build one of these?” It depends… When an aerospace customer needs a new printed circuit assembly built for a legacy system, invariably their first question is “how much will it cost?” Building a new assembly can be relatively straightforward—or impossible—to accomplish. It depends. Is it build-to-print? Assuming the engineering dataset is complete, and you can wrestle it to the ground, build-to-print can be cost-effective. Reverse engineering, or reproducing the engineering data set and getting regulatory acceptance, is by far the costlier path. Here I’ll address some of the challenges of build-to-print for legacy circuits.     New Old Stock. The first consideration is whether the components called out in the drawing package are still available. And make sure the available stock is actually new, … Read More +

Darrel Baker

Since its release last June, the Tesla Model S has accumulated a significant collection of industry recognitions, including multiple 2013 Car of the Year awards. I had a chance to test drive one recently, and can say from firsthand experience that these accolades are well deserved. This isn’t just an amazing electric car; it’s an impressive car that happens to be electric. From an engineering standpoint, it also represents a radical push for innovation. Take a look at this list of some of the patents filed by Tesla since 2008—over 250 active ones related to the development of the Model S alone, and more are still pending. The Model S represents as much a paradigm shift in automotive engineering as it does in our collective opinion of EVs. Though most … Read More +

Darrel Baker

Here’s an interesting article on Engineering Design Challenges from Product Design and Development. I agree. Controlling costs has risen in importance for our product development customers. Probably a function of the growth of global sourcing solutions.

Darrel Baker

As noted in my last post, the trend to re-shore manufacturing in the U.S. seems to be growing, so early this summer the Stilwell Baker team created a survey to learn more about companies that engineer, design, and manufacture electronic products. Within the limits of the survey, the Stilwell Baker – Electronic Product Design and Manufacturing Survey Results validated the current buzz on the importance of U.S. manufacturing to American companies. The respondents to the survey were a fair representation of market segments within our current customer base, with Technology as the most prominent industry segment, followed by Consumer Goods, Aerospace, and Industrial Goods. Less represented, though important to the reasoning in our analysis, were Government/Military, Automotive, Medical Device, Utilities, and Oil and Gas market segments. Nearly 63% of respondents stated … Read More +

Darrel Baker

2011 was a transformational year for Stilwell Baker—I decided to give our customers what they were asking for. During the year, we transitioned from offering engineering and layout services, to designing and manufacturing complete products for customers. Some of the products were simply PCBs and fixtures, sometimes boxes of boards, and others were complete box builds ready for distribution. All of the work was done in the United States, and we’re planning to stay on that course. For several years I’ve seen a growing trend in the electronics market for low to medium volume electronic product development and manufacturing within the United States. In my conversations with customers, it became obvious that where we needed to go as a company was to engineer entire original designs and manufacture products as … Read More +