In recent years, supply chain issues have caused disruptions across countless industries, including the PCB assembly market. While the global pandemic has certainly impacted shortages, demand for electronic materials, such as copper foil and epoxy resin, has been rising since before the pandemic hit. Because of this, it is a safe bet to assume that many components will continue to be challenging to get a hold of, and lead times will continue to be impacted.
With lead times extended across the industry and no real end in sight, it is crucial to actively search for possible alternatives that can be sourced more quickly. Luckily for our customers, if there is an alternate component for your assembly available on the market, MPL has the engineering support to find it. Learn more about our process and how it can reduce lead times for customers below:
The Material Procurement Phase
During the material procurement phase of your project, MPL works alongside a team of experienced engineers to locate viable alternate components when long lead times cannot be accepted. Our company has the potential to overcome lengthy delays and keep products moving to customers swiftly by taking advantage of this service. We understand that many customers are well equipped with their own engineering staff - we are happy to take direction from them if this is the method you prefer. Ultimately, all alternate components would need to be signed off on before POs are placed.
Work Closely With Your Distributors
MPL has forged and maintained vendor relationships for over 30 years. This steady purchase history does not go unnoticed by component distributors. As a predictable customer, MPL sets itself apart from other companies and can receive preferred treatment depending on your project. In today’s market, vendor relationships and good communication can make the difference in successful component sourcing.
Retaining Excess Inventory for Future Projects
In addition to sourcing alternative components, another way to address procurement issues is to possess critical parts before shortages occur. MPL is proactive and communicative with our customers, checking for ongoing project plans and verifying and working to procure material for future (anticipated) shipments if necessary. We work alongside our customers to locate those parts they need, doing everything on our part to create a seamless work experience for everyone.
PCB Assembly Redesign or Re-" Spin"
In the end, a complete assembly redesign may be necessary if alternates are not available and/or necessary components become obsolete during the product life cycle. MPL has several qualified partners specializing in assembly design with experience in various industries.
With a goal in mind to avoid future procurement issues, selecting components that don't fall into "the norm" can avoid unnecessary competition with other sources. Using viable alternatives that will still achieve complete board functionality will allow you to avoid waiting in line with everyone else down the road. If a redesign or "re-spin" is required for your project, let us know, and we will select and work closely with a partner that is most suited to your needs.
Trust Industry Experts for Painless Material Procurement and Reduced Lead Times
The best thing to do to prevent supply issues altogether is to make component lead time an essential factor in your electronic design. At MPL, our team never designs in a vacuum. Instead, it involves industry research during this process, allowing us to know what components are necessary to produce an assembly that will operate correctly while still allowing for quick lead times.