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Extended lead times and delays in order fulfillment have been critical concerns for electronic manufacturers for a few years now. These delays have been induced by component shortage on a global level. To mitigate these delays, product engineers in the electronics industry are exploring new designs. This was confirmed during a new survey conducted by the technology company Avnet Insights. This survey was conducted on n=530 global engineers, of which 56% were based in EMEA, 31% in the Americas, 2% in Japan, and 10% in Asia.
According to the survey, 78% of respondents confirmed that they are facing challenges in sourcing electronic components. This shortage was immensely felt in the telecommunications sector, and 83% of respondents confirmed the same. The shortage of components has contributed to longer lead times and 93% of respondents have confirmed the same. However, 74% of the respondents thought that component shortage has led to delayed schedules, and 72% of respondents felt that these shortages had forced them to increase product prices. This impact varies across industries and the pricing impact was the most common among players in the aerospace, electronics, and telecommunication industry.
What is the average time of delay? According to 75% of the respondents, the delay times were under 6 months, and with lead times getting longer, there may be an expected 96% hike in prices over the next few years. These challenges have already impacted the supply chain process, and have given rise to another concern – increased use of counterfeit components. Almost 76% of the survey respondents felt that component shortages would shoot the use of counterfeit products. However, 83% of the respondents confirmed that they would prefer working with known distributors to address this concern.
How are design engineers coping with component shortages? When components are not present, most engineers are nowadays using redesigned boards, drop-in replacements, and pin-to-pin replacements. The number of engineers using redesigned boards is high and 55% of the respondents confirmed that they would prefer this option. However, 53% of the respondents in the Americas use drop-in replacements, and already 73% have confirmed to have done so. Pin-to-pin replacements with better specifications have been a choice for almost 53% of the respondents in the survey.
Avnet found that the availability of components is driving engineers to alter their designs and 64% of the respondents confirmed the same. These respondents say that availability has towered over preference in many scenarios and this condition may persist until the world fully recovers from the pandemic. Be it any situation, adaptability is the key to survival and this must be done immediately, if you wish to boost your time-to-market capabilities.
Having said that, not all electronics contract manufacturers can pull off these changes quickly. You need to partner with a trusted and experienced PCB assembly and production company like Sierra Assembly to get it right. The company specializes in custom PCB solutions. It has a long experience in creating PCB assemblies that perfectly meet customer requirements and offers them the best value for investment. The design engineers at the company work closely with customers to know their needs before offering the right solution. This has helped them build a list of happy and satisfied customers worldwide. You can contact the experts at the company to discuss your product designs and challenges.