Walking the interconnect tightrope

Raw materials shortages are adding to purchasing woes

In this article, EDAC Europe’s sales director, Chrissy Cooper, guides buyers along the tightrope that demands projects are on time and on budget.

Staying competitive in today’s marketplace is more than just offering value for money. Long lead times, a fragile global supply chain and a shortage in raw materials have left the interconnect industry needing to adapt to the new landscape, whilst still expecting superior performance from their connectors.

While some devices must compete at the cutting edge, where speed and performance are critical, there are other applications in which value for money is the key driver. For hard-pressed buyers, this is a tightrope that must be walked to keep design projects on time and on budget.

In the logistics industry, small incidents can have huge repercussions on delivery dates. For some businesses, this results in a production delay which is unfortunate but can be absorbed. For others, a new solution must be found because time is of the essence.
EDAC Europe’s sales director, Chrissy Cooper, said: “Whether you are looking for a brand-new connector or a drop-in replacement for hard-to-find alternatives, start communications between buyers and designers early.”

Keeping connectors and components in mind during the design process should mitigate supply chain worries. It’s important they are not left until last in the design process.

IoT growth means more devices connected to the network

Demand for electronic components is only growing. Growth of IoT and its industrial equivalent (Industry 4.0) means more machines and devices will be connected to the network; only increasing connector demand.

Industry-standard connectors can often be replaced by a close equivalent from another supplier—a convenient solution for hard-pressed electronic design engineers. However, connectors play a huge part in delivering performance and are vital to maintaining a competitive edge. Reliability of a well-known brand should not be traded for a cheap copy simply to get over short-term supply chain problems.

Challenges caused by logistical uncertainty are compounded by an international shortage of raw materials, adding another purchasing woe.

Chrissy concluded: “Lead times have undeniably extended and show no signs of coming back. The best way the interconnect industry can tackle these challenges is by designers, manufacturers and buyers all working together to either commit to a forward order book or plan in advance.”

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