A recent experience has led me to question the policy of some major connector manufacturers in the way they make their tooling and products available.
Here is the thing; we come across this problem repeatedly where an engineer flicks through the latest product catalogue or website and finds a shiny new connector and thinks “yes that’s the one for me”, designs it into the system, then it’s passed on to the cable assembly house to manufacture prototypes, through to full production. Great, you’re thinking, so what is the problem?The issue is that on many occasions, the manufactures have not received the product range in the UK or more commonly they have the product in the UK but no tooling or the tooling is so expensive it is not cost effective to invest just to produce prototypes.
This just annoys everyone and ultimately the cable assembly house offers the connectors they have tooling for, the design is changed, and the original connector manufacturer ends up loosing out.
Seriously, recently I was talking to a major connector manufacturer who said to me, “you can buy the contacts but we are not producing the tooling for it that is available in the UK.” Where is the logic in that?
This happens so much it constantly amazes me that big companies just seem to loose sight of the fact that many mass produced items start life being designed and prototyped in the UK.
We need more joined up thinking from the major players. Neglect the UK market at the risk of your new connectors being obsolete before they even have the chance to be fully appreciated.
I apologise if this sounds like a rant and I guess it is but I love new technology and new connectors. We get to see some great innovation, but we come up against a brick wall such as tooling costs and it just makes me very sad for the industry. I know that we can do better than this.
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