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 email@example.com.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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