For a long time we have continuously been experiencing challenges with the supply of components and purchasers are struggling to keep up with the demand from production lines. What does the market look like? Where is the market moving? And where does redesign enter the picture?
ALPHA-elektronik A/S addressed the challenge by inviting to a seminar on the premises of Danish Industry in Copenhagen. While component distributors gave their take on the supply and demand situation, Jacob Eisenhardt from EKTOS presented redesign as a solution to the problem – something EKTOS works with increasingly often exactly due to the extended lead time of components ordering. Redesign may occur even before a product has gone into production. Jacob mentioned the related issue that the restrained component market results in certain components becoming increasingly expensive which prompts producers to look for ways to make their products cheaper. Redesigning software might also form part of this process.
Redesign can imply retesting
Replacing components and the making of new prototypes will lead us in the direction of retesting. An evaluation always has to be undertaken when changing components, even though it typically is hassle-free to change passive components. However, when EMC-components are involved, evaluation has to be handled with extra care. Finally: do remember that whenever active components are replaced, solid documentation always has to be in place. This may require accredited retesting, as explained by Kennet Palm, CEO of EKTOS Testing & Reliability Services.
Increasing demand and counterfeit components
From component distributors we had confirmed that there’s an increasing demand for electronic components causing constraint and allocation issues. From PCB producer NCAB Group, having most of the production in China, we heard that even if salary costs there can still be considered low, investments are done in automation and robots to meet demand. CSR and environmental responsibility are growing in importance, also contributing to higher costs. Counterfeits was the topic of Nikolaj Valbak from BR Electronics ApS, an electronics distributor with great focus on anti-counterfeit. It is estimated that some ten percent of electronic components, worldwide, are something else than they may seem like. Used components are being reconditioned and remarked, or simply sold under someone else’s name. The answer to this is QA, inspection, training – and not to trust anyone!
You are welcome to contact EKTOS if you would like to discuss the opportunities and challenges of redesigning your product!