Anders General Manager Paul Mullen, and Display and Input Manager Mike Logan recently chatted with Reliability Matters host Mike Konrad on his podcast. Over the next few weeks we’ll be featuring several of the topics they covered.
Quite often the goals one sets for oneself are never the goals you achieve. As time passes, one has to be flexible enough to shift with opportunities as they arise, even if not as expected. Like many great designs, the road to success has many curves, and sometimes unexpected twists.
Anders GM - Paul Mullen
Interested in technology at an early age, Anders General Manager Paul Mullen did not take the usual route to university, but rather started as an apprentice with a technology company, working hands-on with design. This soon led to work in technology sales, and eventually to Harris Semiconductor and Micron. About ten years ago, Paul had the opportunity to join Anders.
Anders Display Guru - Mike Logan
Anders Display and Input Technology Manager Mike Logan also took the scenic route to success. As a small boy, he, too, had been interested in technology, pulling things apart to figure out what made them tick. He grew up in a rundown area of East London but was lucky enough to get an apprenticeship in electrical engineering for a company in Hackney. From there he went on to join Ford Motor Company, which at the time was focused on achieving a fully automated manufacturing line. This meant a great opportunity for electrical and mechanical engineers to design robots. “I thought I was going to go on to design my own robotic butler,” Mike adds. “It didn't actually come to that.”
An opportunity came up with a company that specialises in LCDs and meters:
"I remember I had a calculator, when I was studying, that had a screen on it,” Mike said. “It looked like a piece of glass, and it had some dark segments on it, and I thought, that's fascinating, how does that work? I remember pulling it apart to examine it, ultimately broke it, but from them was introgued by the technology, so when the opportunity came up to join Anders, I snapped at it. That was 25 years ago.”
While Anders is now a display and embedded display technology company, with an engineering and technology led focus, when it began in 1952, it was set up to develop bespoke, analogue, dial-operated meters. As meters started to utilise some of the early segment displays, Anders shifted into the display market. As displays started to get more sophisticated, going from mono, LCD, into TFT, with more driver electronics, more sophisticated semiconductors to drive it, Anders got more involved in the embedded technology.
They began building value behind the display, integrating with their customers' products, and assuming the responsibility of the display expert. Anders discovered that while our customers’ expertise lies in their product that they want to market, they typically don't fully understand what drives a display, what display to integrate, and how to integrate it, so there was an opportunity for Anders to fill that need.
The Anders team enjoys taking ownership and accountability for their customers' products, in terms of the display experience. Today their key markets include industrial, medical, automation, lifestyle and health, and transportation. Most of Anders’ markets are outside the mainstream consumer market - no TVs or mobile phones. Their key differentiator is that they’re specialists with very strong local engineering resources to support the UK and Europe.
“We've put a lot of time and effort into putting a whole complement of engineering resources into the UK,” adds Mike. “We have mechanical, we have software, we have electronic specialists, we have PCB design specialists, we have the whole array of engineering that can actually deliver the proposition that the customer wants.”
If you missed the original Anders’ Reliability Matters podcast, it can be heard on the following channels:
Reliability Matters Podcast:
Reliability Matters is a podcast on the subject of reliability of circuit assemblies. Reliability "best practices" and success stories are discussed. This podcast features interviews with experts in the electronic assembly industry: https://www.aqueoustech.com/podcast