Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
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A disruption of the supply chain, no matter how small it may be will have a direct impact on the manufacturing process. This is something that was witnessed in 2020 when there was a major disruption of the supply chain due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The supply chain affected the movement and availability of the electronic components both on the sides of the raw materials and as well as the supply of the PCBA modules. In this article, we are going to discuss how supply chain disruptions affect PCBA manufacturing. We will also look at what manufacturers have done to cushion themselves from the impacts of PCBA disruptions.
Slows the production
This is the most basic impact of the supply chain disruption on PCBA manufacturing. It reduces the volume of PCBA that manufacturers produce in a given period. A disruption in the supply chain means that manufacturers won’t be able to get adequate raw materials in time. Key electronic components that are needed in PCBA manufacturing won’t be easily accessible. The overall result is an increased lead time.
Delayed production is also likely to affect all other activities in the PCBA manufacturing industry. For example, it will be hard to conduct inventory management and as well as shipping of the manufactured PCBAs.
Increased cost of production
A disruption in the PCBA supply chain is likely to cause an increase in the cost of manufacturing PCBA modules. It all starts with the price of the PCBA components. A disruption on the supply chain means that the components will be rare. This automatically means that their prices will go up.
The high cost of the input components will also force PCBA manufacturers to raise the cost of their products. The cost of managing inventory during a supply chain disruption is also likely to go up. In other words, a disruption will increase the overall cost of manufacturing PCBA modules.
Lower profit margins
Low production volume due to a disruption in the supply chain will definitely affect the profit margins of the products. They will be lower than what most manufacturers usually get. Most PCBA manufacturers are usually forced to increase the price of the products so as to gain some reasonable profit margins.
Slows down research and product development activities
An erratic supply chain is likely to affect product development activities. It will be difficult to work on future solutions if have a limited capacity to produce what is needed now. After all, most research activities require that you utilize what you have now.
Also, a broken supply chain will force a manufacturer to focus on trying to solve problems related to the supply chain. Very minimal resources will be channeled to the research and product development part of the business.
Diversification of the supply chain
Major and constant disruption of the PCBA supply chain forced manufacturers to diversify their supply chain. The risk of depending on a few existing suppliers is too much hence manufacturers opt to source from different suppliers. This way, in case of a broken link in one supplier, a manufacturer will easily shift to another source.
How do I avoid PCBA supply chain disruption?
First, we have to admit that some causes of supply chain disruption are beyond our control. This means that it is almost impossible to evade the disruption. However, there are measures that you can take to minimize the impact of the disruption.
First, you should think of strengthening your engagements with component manufacturers. A direct engagement or partnership with the manufacturer is the surest way of ensuring that you will get the right components in good time. Probably, the manufacturer will give you top priority whenever there is a severe shortage of PCBA components.
Other than manufacturer, you should also think of partnering with PCBA component suppliers. They also have the capacity to shield you from the adverse impact of supply chain disruption. In most cases, the best suppliers are linked to top electronic component suppliers.
Secondly, you should be ready to adjust your budget and schedule in anticipation of supply chain disruptions. As we have seen, one of the things that is likely to be impacted by a supply chain disruption is the price of the electronic components. You should adjust our budget in anticipation of the high prices of the components. When it comes to timing, you should adjust your schedule in anticipation of delays. You should expect longer led times due to delays in the supply chain.
Another smart technique that you can use to thrive in case of a supply chain disruption is to avoid using parts and components that are popular. Such components are likely to be in short supply in case of a disruption in the supply chain. Instead, you should use alternative parts that can do the same function. The decision on the choice of parts that you should use starts at the point of designing PCBA.
From these tips, it is clear that early preparations and readiness will help you stay afloat in case of supply chain disruption. For scenarios that are beyond your control, it will be smart to adopt and implement disaster recovery programs.
There is no industry that can be insulated from the disruptions of the supply chain. While it is easy to recover from a small disruption, major disruptions tend to have long-lasting impacts. Disruptions will cause low production rates, lower productivity, and even high cost of manufacturing PCBAs.
While the causes of some disruptions may be beyond the control of a single manufacturer, it will be a smart move to implement control measures that will cushion you. The last thing that you would want is to close your PCBA facility because of a disruption.
One way of mitigating yourself is by partnering with reputable PCBA component suppliers. This is the best solution if you are a PCBA manufacturer. Such suppliers are likely to assure you a continuous supply of the key components that you will need for producing quality PCBAs for sale.
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