Engineering firms across all industries often have to work with many different suppliers to build their products. In the field of radio frequency tech, one of the most critical components in any design is the oscillator which generates the frequency itself. If the wrong type of crystal oscillator is used or it is of poor quality, it can ruin a design which is superb in all other respects. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you’re working with a reputable supplier. In this guide, we’ll cover some essential questions any RF engineer should ask their crystal oscillator supplier.
Questions to ask a Prospective Crystal Oscillator Supplier
1. What do they look for in their engineers?
Oscillators are complex and very important pieces of technology, and depending on the application, they could even help protect people’s lives (PNT, avionics, airline communication systems, etc.). Because of this, it is important to choose a crystal oscillator supplier that understands the importance of not just high-quality design, but picking the right people to make those designs.
Ask them what they look for in an RF engineer when they’re looking to hire. What are the qualities that they seek in a candidate? What sort of company culture do they strive to build? The type of people a company hires says a lot about their values and the kind of partner they will be for your business. Make sure the values and priorities of your crystal oscillator supplier are in alignment with those of your business, and you will save yourself an awful lot of headaches.
2. What approach do they take to quality?
When dealing with components as vital and sensitive as crystal oscillators, quality is of utmost importance. This doesn’t just mean making sure they make products that perform well but understanding the approach that the crystal oscillator supplier takes to the design and manufacturing processes
Ask them what best practices they employ, and what quality assurance systems they have in place. Do they have certifications like ISO 9001? Look for suppliers that embrace not just the components of methodologies like Six Sigma or Lean Manufacturing, but the underlying philosophies as well. A company culture that is committed to continuous improvement and innovation is a sign that you’ve found a good choice for a crystal oscillator supplier.
3. Make sure to cover the basics
There are basic questions you should ask any supplier that you are considering working with, and a crystal oscillator supplier is no exception. Ask about minimum orders, volume discounts, and payment terms. In many instances, the relationship between suppliers and buyers become soured over miscommunications and misunderstandings over mundane details of business, so make sure that both parties understand the terms and are on the same page before signing any contracts.
Also, be sure to ask if a liability insurance certificate is offered. This will protect your company in the event of a recall, defect or some other issue. It’s just a best practice to get confirmation of insurance from any supplier, regardless of what industry you are working in.
When you ask these questions, make sure you’re getting the right answers. Here at Bliley, we take pride in the leading role we play in oscillator design and manufacturing. Our commitment to quality, good business practices and seeking out the best talent is the reason we’re trusted by customers like Lockheed-Martin, Johns-Hopkins University, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and more. Check out our selection of cutting-edge clocks and oscillators and see why we’re one of the most trusted crystal oscillator suppliers in the business.