What would it cost you to redeisgn the sensor on your application, and qualify a new supplier, if the stock touch sensor is no longer produced? Purchasing a stock/off-the-shelf sensor can be a cost effective solution, but as you may have seen in our previous blog, they can have their shortcomings, especially when it comes to user experience and design compromises – but what about supply?

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Supply is a common issue many companies run into when incorporating a stock sensor into their application, typically the life cycle of electronic parts is short – often a year or two. However, most industrial products are designed to last a long time, like 5 to 20 years. What is the cost to the customer if a component is no longer available? This can be the sensor, controller or the display. Often, a stock item is available because of large volume customers driving manufacturing economies of scale. In that case, the manufacturer will make that component available to smaller volume purchasers since they are already making large quantities. When the driving customers’ demand changes, however, the effect can be dramatic on smaller purchasers. End-of-life is a huge consideration to make when deciding between a stock or custom touch sensor.

Another supply issue that companies may face comes early on, in the purchasing stage; is the supplier easy to do business with? And what is the minimum order quantity? Is that minimum reasonable for your application?

Consider the total cost of ownership! What happens if you choose the lower purchase price option and in 2 years are dealing with end-of-life issues? What would it cost you to redeisgn the sensor and qualify a new supplier? A custom touch sensor might have a higher purchase price but when the sensor is designed specifically for your application, you don’t have large volume customers dictating the life-span of the product; and a purchasing quantity to fit your needs.

Check out our eBook, “Finding the Best Touch Sensor for Your Application” and learn how to decide which option is better, off-the-shelf or a custom touch solution.