Continuing its strategy of attracting design engineers and anticipating the global environment of electronics design, Avnet opened its first Design Center of Excellence in the Americas last month, writes Caroline Hayes.

The San Jose-based facility is 8,200 square feet that offers access to the technology and resources of California’s Silicon Valley, but with a view to helping designers move production to other areas.

In addition to the New Product Introduction and Engineering Lab, the Center has warehousing for small fulfilment capability and a programming centre. There are examples and visuals for the customer to sense the scope of capabilities available, said Scott MacDonald, vice president of global integrated solutions at Avnet.

The Design Center of Excellence has an area dedicated to integrated solutions ‘go-to-market proposition’, explained MacDonald.

The partnership with Avnet and customers is emphasised with the Center’s executive briefing area, and collaboration continues with the Design for Manufacture area, with engineering labs and solutions, test areas and test stations. This is where new product introduction lines can be reviewed for value and capabilities, and to establish how to meet the go-to-market strategy, MacDonald said. “The test and production area will allow customers the ability to come in and access hardware and software technology, engineering and supplier resources to add differentiation to a product.”

He gives the example of a customer arriving with a ‘napkin sketch’ for high level software and how Avnet can look at hardware availability, technology requirement and manage interoperability and test requirement for a new product. “It can be ready for production, build and validation,” he explained, adding that the design can be scaled for global manufacture, possibly for production in Europe, or elsewhere.

Bringing Avnet expertise directly to its customers, the company hopes to drive innovation among OEMs and independent software vendors (ISVs). The large customer base in the area will also bring in technology across multiple platforms.

This latest site in California joins the portfolio of 10 design and manufacturing Centers of Excellence around the world, including two in Germany with full production capabilities. Around 830 customers are supported with products going through the integration centres annually; MacDonald expects around 150 customers in the first 12 months of this latest Center opening its doors.


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