The Wheel May Not Need Reinventing: Building Lasting Technology

Bob Schnyder, VP Sales & Marketing, ECDBob Schnyder, VP Sales & Marketing, ECD
In a world where technology seems to change by the minute with next-generation devices launched mere months after their predecessors, developing systems with lasting impact seems to be an increasingly rare – but very valuable – approach. While Electronic Controls Design, Inc.’s (ECD’s) continuous improvement model is integrated across the organization and product development initiatives, we also recognize that making things better doesn’t always require making new things.

Since its founding, ECD’s mission to build useful, cost-effective tools that improve processes has persisted and is perhaps even more pronounced now than ever before. Our emphasis has traditionally been in the electronics sector where ECD’s platform model offers cost-effective multi-purposing; and, our products are finding broad appeal in other markets, too. That’s technology with legs; below are a couple of examples of this enduring and adaptable ingenuity.

Modular, Scalable Platform

Simply put, ECD’s verification and profiling tools optimize and measure electronics soldering processes – the physical and electrical attachment of components to substrates. The M.O.L.E.® thermal profiler helps establish the right soldering parameters for a specific printed circuit board assembly, and a portfolio of different verification pallets ensures machine quality management. Together, this platform approach enables electronics manufacturers to invest in the M.O.L.E. thermal profiler as the data collection engine and then expand their verification platforms as needed, depending on the type of soldering equipment used in their production operations. With solutions for wave soldering, reflow soldering and selective soldering, ECD’s RIDER verification pallets address all major types of soldering equipment. Naturally, we have developed M.O.L.E. thermal profilers for various requirements and have added improvements over many years, but the profiler plus RIDER has proven to be the model of success, as underscored by multiple award wins. It delivers scalability, cost-effectiveness, process control and long-term value.
Reaching beyond electronics, the M.O.L.E. thermal profilers are used in commercial baking applications to measure oven and product temperatures and ensure consistent, high-quality output; as well as in solar and industrial settings. Anywhere precision measurement is needed to establish and maintain optimal thermal conditions, ECD thermal profiling tools deliver. Extending useful technology to other markets underlines the value.

Multi-Application System

In 2015, ECD developed dry storage technology, SmartDRY™. Available in three sizes, these dry cabinets control humidity for materials, devices and components where moisture exposure can negatively affect end-product reliability. User-friendly software, market-leading recovery time (the time to return to a low humidity state after door opening) and simple operation have led to several industry honors and multiple uses for SmartDRY.

So far, the largest market need has been in electronics, where proper storage of moisture-sensitive devices (MSDs) is a prerequisite for high-reliability manufacturing. Without proper storage, moisture-sensitive components can suffer thermal and mechanical damage in manufacturing when exposed to elevated temperatures. SmartDRY has become the leading dry storage platform in the electronics market, where its ease of use and excellent performance have won praise and notable industry accolades.

Like the M.O.L.E. thermal profiler, SmartDRY’s ingenuity and broad application have found use in many other market sectors, including:
• 3D Printing: filament materials require dry storage to ensure the production of high-quality parts.
• Biomedical: storage of instruments and specimen samples.
• Law Enforcement: preservation of critical evidence.

And that’s just the beginning. There are countless uses for high-quality dry storage technology and SmartDRY is serving many of these alternative markets. Again, what was developed for electronics has demonstrated expansive, multi-market application.

ECD’s approach has resulted in solid success for nearly 60 years and we look forward to maintaining this track record of engineering technology that’s built to last. To learn more, visit www.ecd.com
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