Your Forecast Is More Than Hot Air!

Many of Checon’s major customers provide us with forecasts of one sort or another. Most are loosely based on their customers’ expected orders as well as on any additional estimates their customers may provide to them. As you can imagine, this continues on to our customers’ customer, that customer’s customer, and so on. So it comes as no surprise that any changes in demand from the end user of our products will often result in significant fluctuations in the forecasts throughout the supply chain.

For many suppliers this can lead to frustration. If you schedule production based on a forecast and the forecast then changes you may end up with excess inventory of one product and shortages of another. I’ve heard other manufactures express this frustration with statements like “their forecast is worthless”, or “full of hot air”, or “I don’t even bother to look at it”. That’s because they are using it for the wrong purpose. Don’t build based on forecast, plan with it!

Checon understands that we need a flexible manufacturing system that can respond to changes in demand both small and large. How large? Well that depends on our customer’s ability to ramp up its production. For those that can react, we have tailored our system to respond to large fluctuations. Working closely with our suppliers, we have integrated their response capabilities into a manufacturing system built on a foundation of short setup times, small production runs, strategic inventory points, and a fully automated Kanban pull system. How we load that system is based on our customer’s demand profile. The result is fast and flexible delivery that has been over 96% on-time for more than five years!

So what does this have to do with forecasts? Absolutely nothing! Checon’s agility allows us to manufacture based on our customer’s demand, not on their forecast. But their forecast can provide information about their current outlook. Will they take what they forecast? Probably not, but we can still glean valuable information from what they think they will take, and plan accordingly. So please, keep giving us your best guess at what you will need, and we’ll take it from there.

Checon Corporation a Platinum Sponsor of the 2016 HOLM IEEE Conference on Electrical Contacts October 9-12, 2016

NORTH ATTLEBORO, MA, SEPTEMBER 15, 2016: Checon Corporation is pleased to participate as a Platinum Sponsor of the upcoming 2016 HOLM IEEE Conference on Electrical Contacts, October 9-12th, in Clearwater, Florida, USA. This will be the twelfth year that Checon will co-sponsor this important technical forum covering the latest developments in the field of electrical contacts, contact materials and connectors. As a Platinum Level Sponsor and active participant in the HOLM Intensive Course that precedes the conference, Checon is committed to helping this event deliver on its promise of a dynamic program featuring technical research and practical application information critical to our customers.

Engineers, designers and research scientists interested in learning more can contact Steve Carter at carter@checon.com, or go directly to the Conference website at www.ieee-holm.com.

For additional information on Checon and Checon PMC, visit the web site at www.checon.com.

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Customer Success With Silver Tin Oxide

Years ago, in response to growing environmental concerns from Europe over the handling, use, and disposal of Cadmium (Cd) in a wide variety of electrical and industrial applications,  Checon began developing its plan to create a silver cadmium-oxide free contact material that would meet the needs of our rapidly expanding international interests as well as satisfy those of our evolving North American customers.  The initiative was no small undertaking as we knew we would be challenged by multiple cost and performance issues, compounded by the slow to market process of electrical testing and customer adoption programs. While the switching industry had already developed silver tin-oxide solutions, for several low power DC applications, the same opportunity seemed less achievable with mid to high power AC devices that depended so heavily on cadmium’s unique electrical capabilities.

Recognizing the inevitability of ROHS sanctions against continued use of cadmium in electrical contacts, Checon moved its development efforts beyond its own lab to a customer collaborative program focused on tightly monitored material testing in device application environments.  Our revised plan was to develop a new silver tin-oxide material system that performed in specific customer applications while carefully maintaining investment in existing product designs. In order to control costs and maintain the highest reliability and quality characteristics, we drilled down to identifying mechanical ductility as an essential ingredient in preserving the processing efficiencies of toplay construction, while meeting the demanding mechanical and electrical properties across many applications including AC contactor, motor protection, and telecommunications.

And so the process began to unfold with appreciative milestones in silver tin-oxide product development and testing. Backed by customer investment in the expansion of a rigorous electrical and mechanical testing program, our proprietary silver tin-oxide products offered under the Checon GTi Series are now fully approved across multiple customer product lines, actively on par with the performance of previously specified silver cadmium-oxide materials as well as outperforming our cadmium-free competition.

Given the varied interpretation and uncertainty regarding the status of cadmium exemptions both present & future, we welcome the opportunity to work directly with customers just beginning or revisiting a material change to match our tested solutions with your specific application requirements.

Please contact me directly at: thomsen@checon.com.