The Facts on Standard Display Modules
Thousands of Part Numbers but few Match-up
Display customers have experienced the unnerving adventure of searching for second sourcing of what is believed to be Standard Display Modules. This effort usually leads to customer frustration and a delay of valuable time. With no matches available, one can conclude there is no such thing as a standard module. In truth, the display industry, namely LCD Modules and TFT Modules, never had true standardization. Here’s why.
Pre-Tooled Modules versus Standard Modules
A more accurate description for what is regarding as a Standard is the label “Pre-Tooled” Display Module. Yes, we are saying Standard Display Modules are not standard at all but are Pre-Tooled at one time by a specific module manufacturer. Once tooled, the manufacturer markets these designs as “Standard Modules” and offers it to the general display market.
Building true “standards” is mathematically impossible. The components of displays are numerous and are selected from a huge supplier base of material mixtures and components that are in constant evolution from year to year. With Standard Modules on the market, in some cases actively promoted for several decades, the incidence of obsolete BOM part numbers is likely. Thus, equivalents or near equivalents are tobe substituted as materials become EOL. The result is a change in the visual performance, and/or mechanical profile of the module. These changes present a bigger problem since manufacturers, in practice, do not divulge the actual BOM part numbersof the display materials. So critical BOM items to achieve duplicity from one manufacturer to another is often confidential. Materials such as Display Manufacturers, Liquid Crystal compounds, Polarizers, Light Enhancers, and LED Backlights are not reported in the specifications and are left for the second source manufacturer to experiment to arrive at an exact or near exact match. Compounding this difficulty, each manufacturer has its own processing that will further exacerbate the differences in appearance. In the end, the attempt to exactly match up two separately tooled modules from two different manufacturer proves impossible. Yet, the industry continues to promote “Standard Display Modules”. In fact, CCT does too have “standards” although we recognize this is an industry fallacy.
Adding to the illusion of Standard Modules, private label companies flood the market with claims of their own part numbers. But in actuality, Privat Label companies are promoting true manufacturer’s part numbers that cross reference other private labelers. With so much meandering of promotional misconception it is wise for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to make sure the true Display Module is identified and is deemed a reliable and financially stable supplier.
CCT Standard Display Module Solution
CCT, like most true Display Module manufacturers,have a number of “Standard Display” Modules. Some may have been standards, but most are pre-tooled and available to OEMs. For all product CCT manufacturers, Standard or Customer, CCT has an ongoing practice of following EOL developments with all component and material suppliers to prevent a crisis of material shortages. CCT periodical practice of checking with suppliers prove to minimize risk of availability. Should there be a problem and it often happens in the fast changing industry of Display Modules, CCT will advise its customer of last time buys and/or modifications that will best serve as a replacement Display Module design. And has a service to our customers, CCT will provide a complete specification that will allow our customers to possess the necessary information should they feel the need to tool up a second source. This policy applies to any Display Module CCT manufacturing, regardless of Standard or Customer design.
Chasing Standard Display Products is a convenient method to replace an EOL Standard Display Module part number. However, “Standards” are not really standards but “Pre-Tooled” and sometimes tooled by only one display supplier. It is wise for the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to be vigilant of false claims of product standards. A better route to a display solution is to work with a true display module manufacturer and obtain guarantees of availability of the module over a fixed time period. CCT is a true Display Manufacturer and will provide a full review of the Display Module’s availability. If one of more components are not available CCT for a given production release, CCT will suggest modifications to the Module’s BOM to ensure the product can be produced for an extended time period and meets the expectation of Display Module duplicity compared to the original design. CCT will also provide our customers with a complete specification that will enable our customer to seek a second source design without the trial and error method of matching up one manufacturer’s design to another.
CCT Standard Modules which we design and build internally.