Work - 07.25.2019

The Hidden Datum Factor

Most end users don’t know anything about Datum, yet the possibility for our materials is limitless

Ian John

At Datum Alloys, we know that our work doesn’t come with a lot of glitz and glamour. That’s okay, we’ve never aimed to be that kind of company. In fact, we are happy to fly relatively under the radar. What we do, however, makes advanced electronic products possible. We take great pride in the fact that we’re part of the foundation that makes our world possible. 

Assuming that our market share represents the proportion of products made using our material, then 60% of US and 80% of European electronics are made using Datum material. But we service more than just electronics. Anything that contains a circuit board can be manufactured using our material – including phones, TVs, cars and ATMs. Chances are you have Datum technology sitting on your desk or in your pocket right now.

There are lots of other opportunities for the use of these materials. Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are used in most technology you can think of. From MRI scanners, X-Rays, blood pressure monitors and even hospital beds that raise and lower a patient, our material can be employed in many healthcare products. It can be used in control systems in airplanes as well, for example. Thinking about technologies like this, it becomes clear that PCBs are almost always a part of the final product.

Datum is right at the start of that production process. As part of that foundation, we have the opportunity to see and develop things that would improve our lives, and the products we use, but those things often get lost in the process. Most of the end users of our products, the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacturers, know little or nothing about Datum. Although they purchase stencils from our customers and expect them to work in their production, they have little insight into the role Datum plays in their supply. 

Think about smartphones as an example. You receive your smartphone from a smartphone supplier, Company A. Those phones are manufactured and sold to Company A by Company B. Company B receives the stencils to manufacture the phones from Company C. And Company C receives the materials for those stencils from Company D. 

At Datum, we’re Company D.

Company A and B don’t even know we exist.

Paramount to Datum are reliability and quality. We strive for Datum to be synonymous with those terms – and within our industry, it is. 

We buy our raw materials with a higher specification than any of our competitors. We produce our milled foils to tighter tolerances than stencil manufacturers will find elsewhere and our frames have undergone rigorous trials to ensure they will survive a production environment. No one else does this.

These stencils and materials make it possible for electronics and more to contain lots of functionality, down to smaller components and the ability to integrate them. Hopefully the above gives a bit of indication of how Datum impacts people’s lives. 

If this has revealed a whole new world to you, you’re not alone. Most of the things we take for granted every day have a long, deep history that we have the luxury of not having to worry about. But the more we understand about what goes into our technology, what’s being done to improve it, and who is actually pushing the technology forward, we discover the opportunity to make real changes in our lives and make sense of this complex world in which we live.