Troy David, VP of Keystone Electronics, keeps his ear to the ground for new ideas—literally. Recently, he noticed that more engineers were asking for terminal screws colored green (presumably to denote ground). Keystone offers several styles of terminal screws, which it says is an economical alternative to PC screw-type edge connectors. The screws normally come only with an unpainted finish. Though companies typically silk screen the name of the type of connection on to the circuit board, David surmised that some engineers use the colored screws as a quick visual check. So now he's offering a whole rainbow's worth of color-coded terminal screws, including green, black, blue, yellow, and red. Instead of plating the brass screws with tin plate, engineers will apply a zinc plating and a chromate conversion coating, which absorbs the dye. Keystone plans to offer the color-coded screws as a standard product this coming Fall, and is currently providing sample quantities to engineers. E-mail Director of Sales Richard Weiner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As manufacturers add new technologies to their products, designing for compliance becomes more difficult. Prepare for the certification testing process. Otherwise, you increase the risk of discovering a safety issue after a product leaves the assembly line. That will cause significant time-to-market delays, be much costlier to fix, and damage your brand in the eyes of customers.
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