Ensuring supply chain resilience

Review Display Systems poses an important question: given supply chain constraints, what should procurement professionals consider when sourcing electronic displays?

During challenging business and market conditions it is essential to develop and ensure supply chain resilience. The global economy and manufacturing industries have been severely challenged by a multitude of factors including: demand and supply of raw materials; manufacture of finished components; hangover of the global pandemic; and more recently war in Europe.

Demand for electronic displays, components, interconnect and support peripherals continues across many industry sectors. With existing supply chain constraints, what should procurement professionals consider when sourcing electronic displays for their manufacturing needs?

Local partnerships and support
Difficult market conditions determine that effective supply chain management is essential for manufacturing businesses and local suppliers. Partnerships with established UK-based suppliers and distributors that: support the design, development and procurement phases; provide local stock holding, market and product supply insight; and offer easily accessible, responsive support and communication are imperative in establishing and maintaining a healthy supply chain.

Ensuring continuity of supply
Design engineers and component buyers are advised to take steps to ensure an electronic display’s continuity and longevity can be maintained for the product’s anticipated lifetime. Displays are not immune to end-of-life and discontinuation notices. An established, specialist display supply partner should endeavour to provide an equivalent replacement display that is compatible in terms of mechanical fit, electrical interface and optical performance.

Cost of ownership
An electronics system employing a graphical user interface will feature a display, cover glass and touchscreen. Embedded electronics, power supplies, interconnect and mechanical fixtures and fittings will also be employed in the completed product.

An electronic display is frequently one of the most expensive components on the bill-of-materials. Although unit price is important to minimise the BoM cost, engaging with an experienced, knowledgeable supplier who can provide multiple components or complete system builds will improve the total cost of ownership.

Application environment
Ensuring a display’s specification and usage characteristics meet the intended application environment is important. For example, usage and operating conditions of an operator panel in a forklift truck or marine navigation system are significantly different from an interface on a domestic coffee machine or smart meter.

Electrical, mechanical and optical specifications and operating characteristics need to be matched to the environmental conditions in which the display will be used.

Display choice
Industrial specification displays offer unique characteristics that enable them to be used in harsh, extreme environments where environmental and mechanical operating conditions such as temperature, humidity, vibration and shock can influence the ability of electronic equipment to operate consistently and reliably.

Quality assurance
Engaging with a design, supply and manufacturing partner that has invested in the implementation of processes, procedures and accreditation for supply, manufacture and quality standards should be considered an integral part of a robust supply chain.