Rens van den Braber

The benefits of outsourcing system architecting


The role of a system architect within a first tier supplier could be broader than within an OEM. This presentation explains why it could be beneficial to outsource system architecting and how it affects the role of the system architect. This will be supported by examples. As closure, an outlook will be sketched to where we believe we need to move towards.

Outsourcing system development to a 1st tier supplier enables the OEM to focus on the developments of their core technology and its marketing. This OEM’s core technology could be, for example, an innovative sensor that measures details from a wafer, or new ink used in advanced printing processes.  The 1st tier supplier, in turn, uses its experience, manufacturing knowledge and supply chain to efficiently develop and deliver high-quality systems that meet the customer demands from the start.

The collaboration between OEM and 1st tier supplier implies that the system architect not only shapes the technical solution but also steers the risk profile of the project in accordance with the agreed business model. This requires insights in the business models and profits as this directly affects how requirements and their verification are steered. One could consider the requirements and their verification as being the technical part of the contract.

Rens van den Braber works for 5 years at NTS as system architect for projects in the semiconductor industry. Within NTS he steered developments for both complete systems and modules in close collaboration with OEMs. In his daily work, he typically combines system architecting activities with studies to predict a system’s performance. Incidentally, he closes the gap between the quality of the design and documentation of our customer’s system and its urgent need to ramp up production.

After taking a detour in his education via MTS and HTS Rens worked for one year in engineering office after which he decided to study mechanical engineering at the TU Delft. He was attracted to mechatronics and especially to vibration isolation of high-tech systems. After his studies, he worked four years as a mechatronics engineer within TNO on various topics ranging from vibration isolation to advanced control for big science institutes and to concept studies for satellites. He subsequently worked at ASML as system architect where he further grew his knowledge on vibration isolation and system dynamics. To get closer to the realization of systems and to experience larger responsibility he moved to NTS.