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Author Archives: Madylen Zweng

  1. How to Choose the Right Core Values

    The Core of the Solution

    In the most obvious sense, the right to be a solutions provider depends on whether or not a company provides solutions. This thought leads to the question, how does a company provide solutions? The aim is always to predict and prepare ahead of time so that when an obstacle arises, we have already cleared a path. For PGF, a focus on the core values lays out a solid base for our problem prevention process.

    By creating priorities, our attention concentrates on the most pressing needs at any point in time. You can’t worry about the next turn if there are blocks in your way at this one.

     

    What Does “Core Value” Mean?

    Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a company that dictate behavior and guide goal-setting. Whenever evaluating progress, returning to the values allows for clear reflection on team performance, customer satisfaction, and overall improvement. They are described as “core” because they are the central and most important part of a business that every member should incorporate into their work. 

     

    Another way to think about it is as a trail guide leading a group of hikers. The hikers are your team members, and the guide represents your core values. Throughout the hike, the guide will point you towards the best paths and rewarding views for the group to enjoy together.

     

    On the other hand, if one of the tourists strays or hires their own personal guide, their path can look quite different from the rest…even potentially dangerous to the group as a whole. To avoid a member of your team from stepping into bear traps or tripping down the hill, setting a company standard allows each individual to engage with the guided hike in their own way.

     

    What Are PGF’s Core Values?

    As it stands, PGF has three main core values that lead us to success. In order, they are: 

     

    1. Customers are our first priority.

     

    2. Employees are treated like family. 

     

    3. Machinery and equipment are constantly innovating. 

     

     

    How Do You Choose the Right Core Values?

    Now that we have established the purpose of picking company ideals, it’s important to peek into how to choose the right ones. After all, if an Electric Vehicle company had a value supporting the usage of fossil fuels, it would confuse potential customers and team goals. Firstly, the process of choosing starts with REST:

     

    Core Values InfographicReflect on the Mission Statement. 

    Think through how you want your company to change the industry and in what ways. All in all, our Mission Statement is very customer-based, focusing on providing high-quality products, on-time delivery, and competitive prices.

     

    Establish a long list. 

    Write out a list of words or phrases that echo the mission statement and how to achieve it. For instance, PGF established customer satisfaction, employee gratification, and constant innovation, along with others, as the main ways to adhere to our statement. 

     

    Simplify into key phrases. 

    Next, take the list and highlight the main takeaways. Then, remodel these choices into memorable, short mottos for team members and partners to easily remember. For us, this looked like taking customer satisfaction and turning it into Customers are our highest priority

     

    Transition with the times. 

    Finally, as your company grows, return to your values and assess with fresh eyes. New hires will also bring new perspectives, so listen to their ideas and thrive with them. Roughly, after every 5 or so years, you might consider sprucing up the goals of your company.

     

    Using this method to determine core values allows you to REST easily, knowing that your group is headed toward that beautiful view. 

    If you would like to experience the results of our values, we encourage you to contact us for your upcoming or current projects!

     

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  2. “EV”erything to Know About EV Power Cables

    Charging Up

    Electric Vehicles (EVs) are quickly charging up in the ranks as one of the most important innovations to watch in the coming years. Presently, the push to pump the breaks on CO2 emissions starts with determining the most significant contributing factor: gas-powered automobiles. Therefore, this “rEVolution” means assembling powerful components to ensure performance, longevity, and safety in an immediate timeframe. With this in mind, EV Power Cables drive forward with innovation to adhere to strict guidelines and certify proper conditions.

     

    Here is a breakdown to amp up your knowledge about the top considerations for EV Power Cables during these changing times:

     

    Critical Factors of the EV Power Cable

    Seeing that the Electric Vehicle itself is on the cutting edge of technology, it would only make sense for the components involved to caravan behind. Hence, the regulations for EV Power Cables must reflect the industry’s future with added adaptability for the fast-changing times. By and large, these cable assemblies must be:

     

    EV Power Cable Factors InfographicExtremely Flexible

    Coupled with the Battery Management System (BMS) and various charging components, EV Power Cables must mold into different spaces to maintain balance in the vehicle and not obstruct any necessary operations. 

     

    UL-Listed

    Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) evaluates components for nationally recognized safety requirements for component manufacturing. At length, in a growing industry with many fresh ideas, increased testing shows responsibility for the drivers and manufacturers. 

     

    Compliant with RoHS 

    Similarly, if a product is certified by the Restriction of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS), its hard-to-dispose substances are limited to a set amount. Especially with the push for renewable energy sources, minimizing hazardous substances remains a top priority for each piece of the product. 

     

    Temperature-Controlled

    When dealing with high-power electronics and batteries, heat becomes a central awareness topic. Cables must withstand heat to protect the inner layers and maintain the processes of the vehicle without becoming a hot mess. 

     

    Resistant to Chemicals, Cuts, Abrasion, and Crushing

    Equally to heat resistance, the ability to withstand unwanted impacts or leaks marks a well-made EV Power Cable. When you enter your electric vehicle into the Monster Truck Rally, you need to know that the cables will last!

     

    Supportive of Different Charging Modes

    As stated above, adaptability for EV Cables must be the main factor for their assembly. With this in mind, EMS Providers must manufacture cable assemblies for every charging mode to power the vehicles correctly. Imagine how frustrating it is when your phone runs out of battery mid-call during an interview; now imagine your car in the middle of a snowstorm. Thus, assembling cables with these different charging modes is critical for safety and mental health:

     

    • 1-phase AC charging for domestic connection
    • 3-phase AC charging for domestic connection and public charging station
    • DC charging for quick charging

     

    Design Dilemma

    Now that the requirements are established, another critical point becomes the design of this adaptable cable. Engineers must design cables to fit wherever needed while still providing the proper power. This design dilemma calls for:

     

    Smaller DiameterDesign for EV Power Cables Infographic

    Reducing the size and weight of the power cable is always a requirement to downsize the drive train and trim vehicle weight. Besides reducing carbon emissions, the vehicle’s weight is another draw for prospective drivers who desire a change of pace. 

     

    Thick Outer-Layer

    EV Power Cables must withstand road travel accidents, battery leakage, and user error. Indeed, the idea of having thick skin applies in a more literal sense to this electrical assembly. 

     

    Copper 

    Chiefly, copper electrical wires are safer to use than wires made of most other conductive metals because they are resistant to heat.

    Copper is the preferred metal for electrical wires because of its high electrical conductivity, inexpensive, malleable, and thermally resistant properties. These details make it the universally accepted standard for manufacturing electrical wires.

     

    Assembly Process

    Tooling for Heavy Gauge Cables

    We process our wiring for cables by using both automated and manual methods. This combination guarantees accurate work and checkpoints for assembly finalization. 

    At PGF, our Wire Processing Center and Cable Assembly Work Stations turn a grouping of wires and jackets into a functioning EV Power Cable. To learn more about our distinct processes, visit our PCBA and Cable Assemblies in EV Applications page.

     

    Automated Assembly

    Whenever possible, Schleuniger’s Manufacturing Machines assist in the automated operation of processes, mainly the following functions: Cutting, Stripping, and Terminating. For further uses, they are also handy (or should I say machine-y) for crimping and wire twisting

     

    Manual Assembly

    In the next steps for projects, manual assembly is necessary for connector layout and visual inspection. Trained personnel can take a hands-on approach to finalizing and testing the assembly for the highest quality output. 

     

    Quality Testing 

    PGF goes through multiple rounds of testing to provide customers with durable, long-lasting cable assemblies. Our team utilizes:

    • Pull-Testing Machines
    • Schleuniger’s Inspection Machines
    • UL Standard Inspection 
    • IPC 610 Class 2 and 3 Trained Personnel

     

    Field Applications

    EV Power Cables are essential for in-vehicle function and performance. Their applications range across many avenues, but ultimately, they connect and transfer power to crucial components of whichever vehicle they are implemented. Overall, they create a network of intelligence that allows the completed project to function correctly. 

    Power cables connect the inverter with two three-phase alternating currents (AC) motors, one for driving and generating electricity.

    Many updated industries: 

    • Automotive
    • Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs)
    • High-Lows
    • Helicopters
    • Public Transportation
    • School Buses
    • Aerospace
    • Battery Charging

     

    Above all, noticing the constant updates to this industry as a whole, knowing that influential minds are innovating every component, is reassuring for electric manufacturing and should amp up solutions providers who have the opportunity to grow.

     

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  3. When Component Shortage Fails You…Here’s How to Succeed!

    *Editor Note: The component shortage has severely affected our lead times for project completion. As always, we are committed to customer satisfaction and the goal of on-time delivery; however, we are forced to operate within the restrictions of the supply chain. For further inquiry about this ongoing issue, please contact us

     

    When Component Shortage Fails You…

    Here we are, in the second half of 2021, yet changes over the past year have settled into a “new normal” that affects how business is conducted. One of the most heavily involved industries is electronic manufacturing, specifically the component shortage associated with  Printed Circuit Board Assembly.

    Yes, we have entered the recovery stage of the pandemic, but we are now in “Crisis Mode” as a manufacturing industry. So let’s go over a few of the most significant problems facing productivity today:

     

    • Long component lead times.

    The average lead time for a manufacturing project has become much longer in the past several months. From order to delivery, suppliers and customers are waiting on their heels weeks later than anticipated. 

    • Sky-rocketing prices.

    Individual components have become rare, and therefore expensive. Expect to lighten the wallet when it comes to ongoing production. 

    • Disruptions in project completion.

    Somebody get the manufacturing industry a cold glass of water…because it has hiccups. Each stage brings pauses to the overall goal of completing a project. 

     

    How did we get here?

    These problems occur based on many overlapping issues with stocking, shipping, building, receiving, and general bad luck. 

    Component Shortage Newspaper

    Focusing specifically on PCB Assembly, both US-based manufacturing and off-shore counterparts, such as China, suffer due to the raised cost of raw materials and the employee deficit caused by Covid-19.

    In a greater scope, there have been political tensions and shifting trade agreements. The US and China have been in a boxing match, implementing tariffs on both sides.

    Additionally, automotive manufacturing has been forced to dip into materials traditionally left for other markets, leaving limited supplies for the rest of the industry than before the pandemic.

    Even before last year’s events, the demand for electronic components has constantly been rising, with smartphones and new automotive electronic capabilities, and most manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand.

     

     

    Here’s How to Succeed!

    How can you work with the grain and succeed?

    So now, if you’re reading this, you want to know how to avoid complications in the component shortage, and we want to help. Here are the three basic steps to consider regarding your ongoing or upcoming projects at this time:

    1) Forecast sales cycles.

    2) Identify long lead-time components.

    3) Buy and stock now. 

    These three steps may seem very simple; however, their impact can differentiate between massive success and grand failure. 

     

    How to Succeed During Component Shortage InfographicSTEP ONE: Review and Forecast

    Before you start to panic, take the time to review your regular sales cycles and forecast future actions. Use this point in the planning period to project the growing changes; this action will keep you from getting caught off-guard. In this case, doubling forecasted cycles will help with the final step. If you usually plan for a 3-month reorder period, project for 6 months instead. Stay one step ahead, always!

    To ease this restructuring, coordinate with your supplier for updates on high-demand periods and blockages. They are here to aid your experience with the transparency of facts, not to make false promises. 

     

    STEP TWO: Identify Problem Areas

    PCB Close-UpOnce you have laid out the plans, identify the trouble-making components with the long turnaround times. This process means that as soon as you have identified the right time to order, place all necessary orders for each component immediately. This step is more easily said than done, as most components have acquired long lead times, but the best way to prepare is to diagnose all potential headaches.

    If the long lead-time components are the headaches, then discussions with your supplier are the Tylenol. They know what materials are available and which ones need your immediate attention, so swallow up the advice and lessen your chances for a future migraine!

     

    STEP THREE: Stock, Stock, and Stock

    By this point, you are best friends with your manufacturer and will discuss the desire to stock components for future projects. We recognize that it is a seller’s market, so this action allows some peace of mind and control. In addition, you will have the ability to preemptively store components projected to have very long, unstable lead times, so grab all the material you can!

    We are aware that this action contradicts the established norm that typically calls for low inventory and just-in-time ordering, but as stated above, we are in a “new normal.” The best move for your company is to spend the cash at the start and prepare for the worst. 

     

     

    The PGF Advantage

    PGF Technology Group is a partner in helping you succeed despite the current trends.

    While specializing in the assembly of printed circuit boards, cables, wire harnesses, box-builds, and prototype applications, we pride ourselves on the pledge to put our customers first, treat our team as a family, and constantly innovate. 

    We bring a personalized approach to our customers and guarantee honest feedback at every stage of a project. In a nutshell: we are here for you, whether during a component shortage or otherwise!

    For any project you may have, contact us and let us prove why we are your solutions provider.

     

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