Distributors of electronic components struggle to supply PCB manufacturers/ Integrated circuits and Embedded chips lead times. This is clear, Covid 19 affects the industry supply chains to its core. From thin-film, aluminum, electrolytic, mica capacitors to magnetic, Chokes, Resistors, memory modules etc, all part families see a shrinking supplier pool.

Designing of an embedded chip on a PCB has been a very stable process, logistics were getting simple, cheap and as a result some of the sourcing tasks were moved to the design engineer. Lead times and logistics were streamed and costs were going down. Just in time methodologies instructed OEMs to store less inventories.

But when roads and borders close. Logistics is strained with online shopping, lead times increase dramatically.

The overhead created trickles down from procurement to manufacturing and to product design. Design engineers start getting questions to re evaluate alternative parts from different suppliers. The need to evaluate alternative suppliers, until now a costly long term process, is now being ignored sometimes.

Every market suffers, while automotive reduces capacity, electronics manufacturing and subcontractors ask more and more to cross reference bills of materials, not only as a risk mitigation but as an actual operative action to ongoing designs.

H2- sourcing squeeze of semiconductors is felt across application and industry, with Covid and trade war looming on the industrialized world.

A company based in south of Germany, conducting design of pcbs has confirmed that we need a cross reference twin BOM now, and we need to cross it with all our distributors. Making lead time what drives demand and not price. Short term costs become irrelevant, business continuity and long term relationships between manufacturers and suppliers are a tense status quo.

What could assist sourcing officers and design engineers are tools that could find replacements online.

No manufacturer has mapped the entire market but there are online platforms that do it very well. SourcingBot.com offers a SAAS solution that takes any BOM and maps alternative suppliers.

Their cross reference model developed initially at product type of inductors, ferrite beads and other magnetics. Now working on capacitors of all kinds, Resistors, discretes, mosfets and filters. And additional power modules connectors.

H2- cross referencing has always been a risk mitigation tool, now its operative of embedded circuit board designs

What sourcingbot is doing is allowing its online users to compare parts from a technical perspective, but not only. It in-corporates design and application requirements and spits out an alternative material list that can be purchased online quick.

So whether you are looking for a capacitor with higher tolerance, which might be more available. To fit replacements that have to maintain dimensions strictly. The tool can dynamically offer

Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.