When we launched this site just a few months ago, our goal was to bring our readers the most recent news about connector technologies, but more importantly, to give readers insight and knowledge to do their jobs better when it comes to specifying connectors and related technologies.
So it is with great pleasure that we welcome David Brearley, a 35-plus year veteran of the connector industry, who will be writing a weekly column for us. Dave’s column will cover everything from the basics to more advanced topics. We kick off with some general overviews on why connectors are used at all. He’ll give advice on how to read spec sheets and even delve into the differences in styles and how to specify them in various markets, such as military, aerospace, medical, and more.
Dave has worked in product management and industry marketing positions for Berg, Amphenol, Molex, and FCI. He has experience in connector technology, electronic architectures, industry standards, and customer applications.
In addition, Dave’s articles will include graphic illustrations from Cleaver Brinkerhoff, who has been creating technical illustrations for more than 30 years, with assignments ranging from being a freelancer creating 3D exploded view drawings of video game cabinets to owning his own technical documentation business, with as many as eight employees at one point.
Cleaver has been illustrating for Dave since 1993, when he started doing back plane connector illustrations for his presentations and print collateral. Since then he has worked for over 200 product managers illustrating all manners of connectors, from fiber optic to flex planes, micro-miniature to industrial along with various features and applications. All his work has even culminated in several connector patents.
Now, I invite you to read a bit more about Dave in his own words below:
I have had the good fortune to be at the right place at the right time in my career in the connector industry—sort of like Forest Gump.
While working as a financial analyst for DuPont back in the 1970s, I had the opportunity to join the recently acquired Berg Electronics. DuPont had acquired Berg for $25 million and in a few years, the business had grown to $50 million and the future looked great. They put together a team to recommend additional connector acquisitions that could extend the success they had with Berg. After looking at all the major players at the time—Amp, Amphenol, Burndy, Augat, and Molex—the decision was made that DuPont’s best return would come if they just invested in the best equipment and people and focused on internal organic growth. That strategy grew DuPont Electronics to approximately $500 million before the growth stalled and they sold Berg to Hicks Muse.
During my DuPont career, I managed product marketing groups handling the rich family of modular board-to-board and backplane connectors serving data and telecom industries. I also spent 4-plus years in the Netherlands, a wonderful experience, both professionally and personally. I managed the customer application tooling group, an exceptional opportunity to fully understand how customers and contract manufacturers apply connector products in their factories. I became the expert in the emerging surface mount technology and was draft editor for the IEEE standards that supported Futurebus and other metric packaging developments.
I joined Molex in 1990 with the objective to get Molex into the backplane connector business. Molex had acquired a license to the Siemens Sipac 2.5-mm hard metric backplane connector product line. As sales and competence grew, Molex licensed the Teradyne lines for HDM, VHDM, HSD, and GbX. During those years, I was involved in several IEEE and PICMG standards developments that shaped the future of Ethernet and mechanical packaging standards that have influenced the architectures in the telecom, data, and storage industries. Since retiring from Molex, I have worked with Neoconix, a silicon valley start up making innovative interposers and sockets, and as a product manager at Amphenol-TCS, occasionally consulting and writing.
I am looking very much forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with the readers on this website. The connector industry has produced many interesting technologies and innovations as it has evolved to keep pace with the rapid evolution of electronics in general. My objective will be to expand the practical knowledge of people in the design, procurement, and manufacturing communities who are not connector experts, but want to learn more about interconnect. I hope you will let me know of subjects about which you want to know more. I welcome your comments and requests at email@example.com.