[time-nuts] Oncore, Trimble Antennae

Chuck Harris cfharris at erols.com
Wed Oct 22 15:33:36 UTC 2008

Lux, James P wrote:

>> That's really kind of funny, in 29 years as an engineer, I have never
>> had an accountant talk to me about design decisions.  I tell them what
>> it will cost, and they say ok.
> Lucky you...

Not luck, but a conscious decision to stay out of consumer
electronics.  I could see the writing on the wall 30 years
ago.  Consumer electronics design and manufacturing in the US
is just biding its time, waiting for the last guy out to
switch off the lights.  I am glad I stayed out of it.

> In the consumer electronics world, they do BOM scrubs and whole multi
> work-year analyses to figure out how to remove a few square millimeters of
> PWB, or even better, what's the trade between some jumpers and a single
> sided board and a double sided board, and do we really need plated through
> holes.  I worked on a project where they spent about 4-6 work months to
> eliminate a couple capacitors at a nickle each. When you're making
> 10,000,000 units, that nickle per cap turns into a million bucks, many times
> the few tens of $K the engineering time cost.
> In the space electronics world, you'd do the same BOM scrub, but there the
> idea is to eliminate parts that might fail, or add mass, or require testing
> (each different part in the part list adds something like $5K-$10K from a
> testing, inventory control, etc. standpoint)

There is nothing wrong with having to justify your design.  That is
what the design review process is all about.  I have never had to
justify a design to an accountant.  I have never met the accountant
that could design circuitry.

Kind of like an engineer framing houses... no, wait, I do that.

-Chuck Harris

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