The PCB industry is currently facing mild to severe disruptions in its supply chain, with raw material shortages, logistical delays, long lead times for some parts and resultant price surges. Some OEMs report difficulties in sourcing electronic components, while others struggle with increased costs of sourcing and freighting PCBs.
The shortfall is negatively affecting the production schedules of consumer electronics companies, car manufacturers and other OEMs.
Automobile manufacturer Ford started limiting their car production in July 2021 at several manufacturing facilities due to this global shortage of semiconductors. An indicator of the severity of the problem: Ford expects to lose 1.1 million production units in 2021 due to the shortages.
The manufacturing industry is susceptible to market volatility and could face disruptions due to a host of factors such as labour issues, natural disasters, and political or economic distress.
Right now, electronics manufacturers are adversely affected by a public health issue: the COVID-19 pandemic.
If your business is highly dependent on electronic component suppliers to meet your production schedule, component shortages will significantly disrupt your business.
To stay competitive in the market, you must maintain your cost structure and protect your business from price upsurges due to raw material shortages, logistical delays, labour shortages, or other constraints.
What led to the PCB shortages? The story so far
Demand for various devices, gadgets, and cars went through volatile changes during the pandemic lockdowns in different parts of the world. As you can well imagine, through 2020, sales dropped as people were constrained to their homes, the jobs scene was uncertain, and people were averse to taking on new financial commitments such as new gadget purchases and car loans.
With these changes in consumer demand, car manufacturers and OEMs reacted by curtailing the production of products that faced falling market demand. A domino effect saw PCB manufacturers also limit their production to cut losses.
But as lockdowns ceased, car and electronics manufacturers saw a rise in demand again, work-from-home policies brought some stability in the job markets, and consumer confidence improved. As OEMs bumped up production, the demand for PCBs increased.
Meanwhile, the pandemic brought other problems for OEM and car manufacturers: they faced labour shortages as an increasing number of employees either needed sick leave or took time off to care for family members who fell ill with the COVID-19 infection.
On the other hand, COVID-19 restrictions forced factories to shut down or work reduced hours.
As shutdowns and restrictions affected different areas, logistical delays increased, resulting in delays in receiving shipments and rising freight costs.
Beat PCB shortages—in more ways than one!
Most industry experts expect PCB supply chain issues to continue well into 2022, so manufacturers must find a solution or a workaround for them now.
The long-term competitiveness of your business depends on your ability to maintain stable production schedules to ensure the continuous availability of your products in the market.
That’s where a PCB manufacturing partner like MIS comes in—helping you stabilize production and overcome impediments to maintaining schedules.
Relying on nearshore or localized PCB manufacturers is one way to beat the supply chain issues. Even after the pandemic ends, a focus on local production is likely to persist.
In one study, 69% of manufacturers indicated they are “likely to extremely likely” to reshore in future. (Thomasnet.com, 2020).
Local PCB manufacturers offer many benefits that overseas PCB vendors are unable to fulfil. For example, local providers respond to you faster than overseas partners and adapt quickly to changes, apart from saving shipping costs. And you will not be subject to across-the-border logistics regulations or delays.
MIS Electronics is a turnkey PCB manufacturer based in Ontario. As a reputable local Canadian PCB supplier, MIS is your ideal nearshore partner for PCB design, manufacturing and assembly.
When you work with MIS as your partner for PCB prototyping, manufacturing and assembly, we review your existing design and suggest alternative implementations to overcome supply chain issues.
Our design engineering team uses innovation to drive the total design costs down while addressing current supply chain issues. Some approaches we use include:
- Find alternative, readily available components and recommend flexible engineering implementations to counter shortages.
- Suggest engineering modifications to change or accommodate an alternate component footprint and beat the raw material sourcing price upsurges.
- Resolve lead time issues by re-engineering and porting firmware to an in-stock MCU for long-lead components.
- Apply nominal and corner use cases to find a resolution to resume your stalled production while adhering to industry best practices at all times.
With these interventions, we help you maintain operational continuity and optimize your PCB BOMs. And we beat freight cost surges with locally produced and sourced components and chips.
MIS works to bring agility in your design and manufacturing processes across your product life cycle. Our full-service, turnkey contract manufacturing services and consignment PCB assembly are a solution for your PCB hurdles. Get in touch with us for a comprehensive range of PCB services from design to build to delivery.