Choosing an integrated specialist partner adds value, boosts innovation and reduces risk in RF product development

24 January 2022

Choosing an integrated specialist partner adds value, boosts innovation and reduces risk in RF product development

Walter Magiera, Chief Commercial Officer, Filtronic

If you’re an engineering or procurement professional looking for specialist suppliers to support the development of advanced radio frequency (RF) communication systems, you need to find like-minded partners that understand your challenges and can support long-term product innovation.

RF design, by its very nature is complex and gets more difficult as you increase frequencies. A successful RF front end design is as much a function of packaging design as it is circuit design, and this takes decades of experience and iterative designs to master. Digital circuit design by contrast, if consistent design rules and PCB layout guidelines are followed is relatively simple. High levels of on-chip integration are possible in the digital world once the RF signal has been received and processed through the on-board analogue to digital converter. 

Whether you’re developing RF systems for aerospace and defence applications, telecoms or critical communications, you know that the rapid pace of change and the high cost of component failure make speed to market, cost efficiency and product reliability the critical success factors. But in any advanced product development process, there are significant barriers to overcome to deliver the high-performance products demanded by the market.

Enhance communication and accelerate progress

A major cause of complexity and delay in product development is the need to appoint and manage multiple specialist suppliers to deliver everything from concept design to production and RF testing services. Managing projects that require coordination across disparate specialist providers is challenging and time-consuming. One way to overcome these challenges is to find a vertically integrated supplier with in-house capabilities and expertise across design, manufacture, testing and delivery.

Working with a multi-disciplinary supplier gives you direct access to all the specialisms required to design and manufacture your high-performance RF components. It means collaboration and communication between different specialists – for example, designers and production planners – happens in house, minimising delays and miscommunication between different businesses. That gives you the best opportunity to develop fully customised components for your specific needs in the shortest possible time.

Tap in to trusted knowledge and experience

Access to expertise is another barrier to RF product innovation. A shortage of highly qualified RF specialists means it’s difficult to recruit your own team of engineers. And it takes time to build up the experience and knowledge required to effectively develop and manufacture new products. That’s why tapping into the knowledge and experience of a proven supplier with a long track record can be the key to rapid, cost-effective product innovation. Experienced suppliers have honed their processes over time, they understand the pitfalls of product development, and know how to minimise costs and waste.

By applying best practice, an experienced partner will ensure you develop products that comply with industry standards and perform reliably for the long-term – reducing potential lifetime maintenance or replacement costs – while adding value at every stage.

Extend your team with proven innovators   

In highly competitive markets, such as telecoms, constant incremental innovation is essential if your products are to remain competitive. Consumers constantly demand more capability for less cost, meaning it’s vital to build both efficiency and ingenuity into your product development. By creating mutually supportive relationships with specialist partners that are in tune with your thinking and ambitions, you can develop the innate understanding and cultural alignment necessary to deliver continuous product innovation.

Such suppliers provide a repository of knowledge, expertise and resources – and act as an extension of your engineering team. With a trusted and proven specialist on your side, you minimise the need to recruit in-house expertise. A highly specialised supplier can enhance your own business by providing the insights, intelligence and resources required to bring value and competitive advantage to your business, every day.

Quality, reliability and innovation – made simple

For procurement and engineering professionals, this makes the development and delivery of cutting-edge RF systems so much more straightforward and cost-effective, while minimising risk and uncertainty. It helps you to achieve your quality, value and performance targets – and hit your deadlines – at every stage of the product development process.

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