Portfolio - Success Stories

 

    Computer Retailer Turn Around

      A small desktop computer integrator was struggling to survive as the desktop market transitioned from lower volume higher margin to higher volume with lower margins. A partner company, Aquarius Systems died. After researching the market and looking at the various niche markets, we transitioned the company into selling integrated CAD/CAM systems, which tend to be highly custom. A competitive advantage was furthered by sourcing of an HP equivalent plotter at 40% less than HP's entry level model, but which still used HP media.

    Set Top Box

      Designed the enclosure for a passive backplane set top box for Jenair. Working with the sheetmetal fabricator, the prototype was competed in only two halves, reducing cost to the clients target.

    Air Curtain Stops Tube Melting

      A $35,000.00 semiconductor test handler was failing acceptance at a defense contractor, because it was vectoring hot gas from the thermal soak rail into the tube holder. At that time, plastic tubes were used to transport the integrated circuits.

      Based on much prior discussions with an architect, a miniature air curtain was designed and installed, splitting the gas stream, such that it vectored to the sides of the tube holder, deflecting the hot gas. The cost was $22.00 for the new part.

    MCT High Frequency Contactor Repair for AMD

      Because of signal quality issues, MCT designed a controlled impediance contactor,for use in testing higher speed integrated circuits. The individual contact fingers broke off at the 120 degree bend, ruining the entire expensive assembly.

      All of the stress concentrated on the single 120 degree sharp bend, resulting very early failures at this bend.

      Replacement fingers were designed with two softer bends, allowing a more natural flex. Replacement fingers were soldered over the broken ends of the original fingers, avoiding the need to replace the flexible circuit and connector pin assembly.

    Air Heater Leaking LN2

      Because of under certain conditions, an LN2 vaporizor would allow raw liquid to reach an air heater, this resulted in LN2 leaking for the lead seals, which failed after several cycles of thermal contraction and expansion. This created a serious potential safety hazard.

      A conical TFE Teflon seal, which looked like a laboratory test tube two hole stopper was put into a brass tube fitting, replacing the ferrel. This became the new lead seal.

    Semiconductor Tester Thermal Issues

      While integrating a semiconductor handler with an automated tester, the tester was failing acceptance at a defense contractor, because of calibration issues.

      The test head was mounted in a desk type cabinet originally designed for manual socket testing, which provided very poor air flow.

      Once the test head was mounted on the adjustable positioner the power supply was relocated to the base of the positioner, adding weight to the positioner for additional stability. Box fans were added to provide cross flow cooling, resulting in the tester passing and holding calibration.

    Adding Capacitor to Handler Test Site

      In attempting to test higher speed memory devices, we worked with the Test Engineer in determining that the Test Site needed to connect a capacitor across the power and ground pins during the test cycle.

      A chip capacitor with the lowest possible inductance was sourced. A circuit board was fabricated with the same fingers used in the contactor,installed in slits in the circuit board. The test site floor plate was thinned to allow for Teflon insulators and the circuit board,with contact fingers and the capacitor.

      This worked quite well as it duplicated the impedance environment found on the typical memory board.

    Prototype Hydroboost to Prove Concept

      A small electrolyzer was installed on several vehicles, feeding Brown's gas into the air cleaner. It was powered of the Run Signal trough a relay. The gas was bubbled through a bubbler preventing any migration of KOH from the electrolyzer.

      As the unit sucked back water from the bubbler, when not running, there was no need to add water to the electrolyzer.

      On ICE engines with fuel mixtures controlled by oxigen sensors, there was a noticable improvement in power and efficiency. As predicted, the 2H2 - O2 gas mixture sped up the flame front, resulting in more thorough combustion over a wider range of engine speeds.

      Our market research determined that the technology had been previously published and we determined that if we were to manufacture these units that we would soon see copies made offshore.

      We continue to be puzzled that Hythane did not catch on, where they added H2 directly to natural gas powering transit buses, improving efficiency and reducing maintenance costs.

    X-SIC Database

      After building a complete library of vendor design information, it became apparent that an indexing system was needed. The four numeric character SIC sysem from the Department of Commerce was grossly inadequate, and thereofre we expanded it to ten numeric characters.

      The system provided and ability to index a product under multiple categories,which could then result in vendor identification.

      As this database was never migrated to the newer operating systems,itwould require some work to bring it back to life.

    Wind Turbines on Top

      We have advised investors to not put money into several independent inventors, who were planning to add wind turbines to stationary and moving large objects. In one case, the objects are stacked!

      Wind turbines are only useful where there is significant wind.

      I actually saw a car with a wind turbine on top, where the energy generated is mostly from increased the drag on the vehicle. This is a modern version of the peptual motion machine.

    Side Brazed Package Cracking

      In testing 80286 chips in side brazzed packages, there was impact damage as the chips slid down accumulator tracks. The first part sat 24" from the top of the rail with gravity accelerating the second and following chips, resulting in extreme impact.

      Stainless steel washers were space every 6 inches down each of the tracks, such that the chip would slightly lift the washer, as it passed under absorbing just enough energy to stop the impact caused chipping.

    MCT 4600 PLCC Test Contactor

      The MCT 4600 PLCC was expensive and fragile. The radius on the contactor fingers tended to impress radial dents in the early lead frame solder layer, where the floor platewould fail to eject the part, when the plunger retracted.

      The contact finger pocket combs, with very narrow slots that located the contact fingers, were made of Vespel.

      When the drill rods came unblued from the floor plae and several floor plates broke. We redesigned the floor plate out of tool steel. The pocket comb was remade out using G-10, much less expensive than Vespel and much stronger, as it is a fiber glass composite.

    Support Group

      Advised founding team of medical patient support group, to pivot from plans to sell to patients to more realistic plans to sell to the large healthcare providers. Anything that improves patients peace of mind results in a placebo like effect, which improves the efficacy of other therapies.

      Once patients were charged extra to have televison in their rooms.

 

For more information, contact Chuck Nolan at chucknln@sbcglobal.net.

 

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