Reversal of Fortune: Competitor Cross-Referencing Leads to a Larger Schaffner Inventory

Feb 13, 2024
Brad Homes

A leading casino console company in Las Vegas, Nevada found itself gambling on its future.
The manufacturer was relying on an EMI filter from a vendor who had announced that lead times would be extended beyond 40 weeks. The supply chain uncertainty would seriously impact operations, likely pushing back its own production timelines.

Trade-offs at Work

The Vegas engineering team began a competitor cross-reference, combing through catalogs of other suppliers for an alternative part and calling up reps to ask about compatibility and availability.

When seeking substitute components, electrical engineers find that it is very rarely a one-to-one match, but rather an exercise in trade-offs. 

Important business and design considerations need to be re-balanced in a new way: electrical performance, form factor, price, and – increasingly – lead times.

Small Differences, Bigger Volume

When the team reached out to Brad Homes, Applications Manager at Schaffner, he evaluated all the manufacturer’s requirements and recommended the FN2030-10-06 filter, a versatile part that works in a wide range of applications.

In the context of gaming devices, this new filter offered better overall EMI performance, but had differences in mounting configuration, which required a small modification in production.

In terms of supply, however, the substitute racked up some major points. Schaffner could assure the volume needed – about 1,000 pieces per month – at a significantly shorter lead time of only 12 weeks.

Winning the Bid

Looks like Schaffner won another round of competitor cross-referencing, this time keeping the gaming console production flow on track. 

While it might appear that Schaffner was in the right place at the right time to become the new preferred vendor, success is not based on luck alone.

It helps to have a wide selection of filter solutions, solid engineering, knowledgeable and helpful staff, and substantial inventories stocked with several distributors worldwide. 

Next time you have a challenge with your supplier, be sure to cross-reference Schaffner.