It begins with a user filling out the on-line form. The minimum required information is your name, email and company along with the component manufacturer’s name and the part number. The reason for requiring the manufacturer’s name and part number are obvious. The reason we need your information will be explained below.
When the form is submitted, an email is sent to Free Model Foundry. When I receive the email, I first check to see if we already have a model of that part or an equivalent. If we do I respond to the requestor suggesting he try the existing model. If not, I check the manufacturer’s website to see if they have already published a model. Usually, they have not.
Assuming no model is found anywhere, I send an email to someone at the manufacturer. This is where it gets tricky. I have email addresses of people I have met at trade shows and contacts I have found through Jigsaw. I often do not know who is in charge of a particular product line. Frequently, I get responses from people saying “I am not responsible for this product, don’t bother me”, or words to that affect. Rarely will the respondent say what products they are responsible for, or who I should contact. So I try someone else at the company until I get a useful response or run out of contacts.
Once I have reached the right person at the manufacturer, I send them the requestor’s contact information so they know there is a real customer out there asking for a model and so they may contact you directly to offer support. Sometimes the manufacturer will request a quote for creating a model. This is the goal. When this happens, we get to write a model and engineers get to download and use it without having to get a purchase order approved. The model is free.
More often, the manufacturer comes back with what I will label as an excuse. These range from simple statements like “We do not provide models” or “We do not support VHDL (or Verilog) models” to some that I find quite surprising. I have had certain companies tell me “We don’t care about that customer, they are too small”. In one case I got, “We have a model of that part, we just don’t want to give it to that customer”. And sometimes I am told, “Tell the customer to buy the Denali model”.
The “we don’t care about that customer” replies are the ones that really surprise me. I see some of the companies that said that not surviving the recession.
In the end we have less than a 50% success rate for getting new models sponsored. However, we are making progress on getting the manufacturers to understand that their customers want and need simulation models.
Finally, on a more humorous note, I get occasional requests from people wanting to be models. Apparently, even though they had to find the website to get to the request form, they did not read a word of it and assume FMF is a modeling agency. Most of these people come across as lesser lights. One snail mail I received sounded like an FBI sting operation. No one has enclosed or attached interesting photos.