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Electronics Production | August 05, 2010

Components shortage and now PCB as well

Even before the recession was declared officially over CSM, along with most contract manufacturers, have seen a dramatic extension in material lead times.
Unlike previous 'component shortages' in the past, no commodity seems immune. The company have experienced some difficulty in sourcing components as diverse as humble passives through to transistors and diodes, IC's; and now bare printed circuit boards.

IC's typically direct from manufacturers such as TI, Omron, On-Semi and Maxim are, on average, quoting 10 to 18 weeks with some on 26 or 30 weeks. The worst case seen is 56 weeks. As lead times are put under pressure, CSM have experienced an upward trend on prices too.

Availability of components has been deteriorating over the last 18 months not only with the recession, but with the proliferation of new phones, cars, cheaper laptops, I-pods and I-pads, as well as the closure of wafer fabrication used in the manufacture of integrated circuits about 2 years ago. Original Equipment Manufacturers take up a large proportion of component manufacturing capacities and the knock on effect is the trickle of components into the electronic component distribution network, lengthening the lead times.

Printed Circuit Boards, whether from China or Europe have experienced supply chain problems on laminate and more recently copper, both used in their manufacture. Recent strikes in Chile copper mines have limited the supply chain as well as speculation on the metal markets driving up the price of raw material.

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