Next up in our “Connector Basics” series, APEX Electrical Interconnection Consultants offers advice on when and why you need someone with failure analysis expertise.
Something is not working out in the connector manufacturing process or, worse yet, a connector fails in the field – in either case, the failure should land on the workbench of an investigator. It could be either an internal investigator employed by the manufacturer or an independent lab, an independent consultant, or a consulting group. The second option is especially common for smaller companies that tend not to have their own internal resources to conduct an adequate investigation. Larger corporations might have their own investigation units, staffed by engineers and technicians, who have sufficient on-site equipment. This, however, is becoming increasingly less common. In their drive to lower costs, even the large corporations are cutting their failure-investigation departments and outsourcing the investigative work to independent entities.
The shift to the outside investigators, while lowering the costs of manufacturing, creates its own problems, for the companies in particular and the industry in general. Companies might be concerned with proprietary information leaks. As for the industry, the industrial capacity might be negatively affected, since the experts capable of conducting a proper investigation are no longer employed by the corporations. The former issue is usually adequately resolved by signing a non-disclosure agreement. The latter problem (comprehensively described in a