Lead-time Issues & How to Combat Them

Since our website post in July last year advising of long lead times on ST Microelectronics MCU devices, we have since seen issues with component supply spread further across the industry, with some components already being quoted for delivery in 2019 due to factory lead times.

In addition to some data released late last year by a global distributor showing that around 50% of the passive components it supplied was subjected to a lead time increase, the Passive Component Magazine has recently reported Tantalum Capacitor lead times jumped 65% in February. The manufacturer Nexperia already have certain packages of their Rectifiers and Power MOSFETs on allocation, and this is just one example.

For those unfamiliar with the term “allocation”, this describes the point where demand for a product outweighs the supply, therefore manufacturers will allocate product in an attempt, to keep everyone supplied but may not do so at the required volume.

So, why is this? In truth, there are many reasons.

  • From high profile mergers such as NXP’s acquiring Freescale
  • To capacity constraints;
  • To higher than expected demand;
  • In addition to the growth of the production of electronic vehicles.

How can we help combat this?

  • Firstly, we are regularly seeing Bill of Materials with obsolete parts or parts not recommended for new designs listed on them, so where possible, choose parts that are easy to cross-reference among multiple manufacturers.
  • Secondly, provide us with information on new projects ASAP. Even if your BoM is not 100% ready, let EMS have a look and highlight any potential issues ahead of time.
  • Finally, we are asking customers to sensibly review their order coverage and recognise this is an industrywide issue. Talk to us about your requirements with a view to keeping the continuity of supply.

Allow EMS to help you.