Diversifying the Tech Industry: A Veteran Reimagines His Home and Career
An Air Force veteran changes his life from working while living in his car to learning to code with help from Austin Urban Technology Movement.
Here at NI, we’re passionate about ambitiously engineering a healthy planet by reducing the environmental impact of our operations and products, and helping our customers do so, as well. In fact, we’re consistently looking for ways to optimize our product development and manufacturing processes—from recycling end-of-life products to making circular design improvements in our product design, manufacturing, and packaging.
We also understand that engineers are actively seeking new ways to get products to market faster while lowering the cost of test, and a few barriers stand in the way, including up-front costs for necessary test systems, evolving test needs, and maintenance costs for existing equipment. Addressing these needs is one reason why we’re excited about delivering greater flexibility for test investments through our partnership with Electro Rent.
Photo Credit: Electro Rent
In late 2020, we formed a partnership to make rentals of NI equipment available across Electro Rent’s expansive network in the U.S. and Canada. This collaboration helps our customers shift test-equipment investments from a capital-expenditure-driven model to one based largely on operating expenses. Importantly, renting NI equipment means one single rental fee, with no separate up-front capital or ongoing operating costs and greater flexibility to try new equipment or upgrade if project needs change.
Combining Electro Rent’s technical expertise, rental services, and leading market position with NI’s automated test solutions and software-connected systems is a win-win for our customers.
Electro Rent CEO
Photo Credit: Electro Rent
As a global leading provider of test equipment rental and asset management services, Electro Rent is uniquely positioned to address specific customer needs. They help customers across a variety of industries—including numerous aerospace and defense organizations and their subcontractors—reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. In essence, the company helps customers accomplish more (testing) with less (equipment).
As Clark stated, “We’re excited to offer our customers rental access to NI products. This partnership allows us to provide fast and easy rental solutions for NI’s impressive and well-known solution portfolio.”
An Impactful Partnership
Currently, in the aerospace and defense industry, test engineers spend as much as 50 percent of their time (or even more, in some cases) actively dealing with obsolete hardware and software, often because of long life-cycle programs. This new partnership between NI and Electro Rent offers several benefits that help solve those challenges, including more scalable options for adding capacity as test needs evolve over time, as well as alternatives for managing test asset retirement and obsolescence.
The traditional approach to adding test capacity can rely on costly test equipment capital investments. As an alternative, NIs technology refresh and migration services offer a more sustainable solution to extending the life of existing assets and adding new capabilities. In addition, rental options afforded through Electro Rent present new opportunities for growth as test needs evolve.
What happens when test equipment has run its course, though? To truly act on our mission to engineer a healthy planet, we must continue to work towards optimizing the product life cycle, making responsible choices throughout. Presently, NI offers a product take-back program to support responsible hardware disposal, ensuring that it’s properly recycled. We find that, by accounting for our environmental footprint and our customers’ impact to the very end of our products’ life cycles, we can effectively reduce the impact on landfills and provide an environmentally safe end-of-life solution.
Alternately, when customers leverage rental programs through Electro Rent, there is no need to manage equipment disposal—customers return it when they no longer need it, and it can continue to find life through future rentals. Renting equipment extends product life cycle and gives customers flexibility in determining individual system hardware and software components that are right for every stage in the production process.
Success through Rental Solutions
Electro Rent has been successful in navigating the rental market for quite some time. Since its inception more than five decades ago, Electro Rent has helped numerous companies reduce capital expenditures, lower operating expenses, and gain greater flexibility by renting rather than buying test equipment. From defense and telecommunications to semiconductor and automotive manufacturing, many companies use renting strategically to improve profitability and get to market faster.
In the defense industry, several success stories illustrate these benefits. In one instance, a leading defense contractor reduced testing costs by nearly 10 percent and improved labor productivity by upgrading their testing technology and renting equipment to improve asset utilization and ROI.
In another case, a satellite manufacturer unlocked $2 million in savings in one year with improved management of more than 10,000 test assets. Using renting and other operational enhancements, equipment downtime reduced by 55 percent via improved workflow visibility and process bottleneck resolution.
Looking toward the Future
Our partnership with Electro Rent presents many new opportunities for our customers in North America. So, what’s next? With plans to expand rental opportunities globally, engineers around the world will have access to tools and technologies that can increase productivity and accelerate innovation, all while lowering costs and minimizing environmental impact.
As for us, we’ll continue to seek strategic partnerships that further our vision of engineering a healthy planet.
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