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What price a battery?

Calling any readers with intimate knowledge of the full EV battery supply chain. I need your advice.   I have a saying ‘show me the incentive and I’ll show you the future’. Well around the world, governments are pushing people to switch to electric vehicles with a combination of legal and financial incentives, so it will happen.   I’ve always assumed that governments green flag these futuristic societal changes by simply giving what they think is sufficient notice for the market to develop, deploy and scale the required technologies. The timeframe to scale the EV move appears to be about…

2023: year of the digital twin and API

I wonder if it’s time to swap ‘just-in-time’ supply chains for ‘efficient and robust’ supply chains. To me, using the JIT descriptor suggests every supply chain process is in perfect lockstep with every other to the nearest minute. That isn’t the case and never will be. Ultimately, someone, somewhere is always ‘holding the baby’. Driving ‘work in progress’ towards zero, for every component on a bill-of-materials, across every process step—from mining raw materials to soldering parts to a PCB—is a laudable goal. Imagine this could be achieved for a moment in time. A second later, some form of geopolitical, financial…

Sidestepping the demographic pyramid

Over recent weeks I’ve had the pleasure of attending a number of engineering exhibitions and working on the production of over thirty Executive Forecast features across the North American and UK editions of Electronics Sourcing. Every conversation and interaction offered a unique perspective of what we can expect in 2023, however some trends emerged. Allow me to expand on two. Firstly, at this phase of the post pandemic reset, the industry is starting to experience, for the first time, what happens when a complex, globalised supply chain comes back online after a shut down. It is true that manufacturers and…

Plug-and-play comes of age

Thanks to a unique set of circumstances, there is a single day when I judge the accomplishments of the electronics industry over the previous year: Christmas day. On that day, as if by magic, electronic products appear on the living room floor. The time frame to enable them is immediate. The userbase comprises demanding children. Finally, any form of meaningful technical support is non-existent. This year the challenge was an app-controlled toy and this is how things went. Connect phone to WiFi: check. Find correct app on store and download: check. Register app using facial recognition: check. Enable Bluetooth on…

Press go for growth

I always look forward to the December issue of Electronics Sourcing. It’s an opportunity to ask a wide range of manufacturers and distributors for their experience over the past 12-months and their expectations for the coming year. Every year, for the last decade, these Forecast features have typically delivered a diversity of views. Some contributors are bullish, others are bearish. Some see growth in one industry, others in a different sector. Not this year. This year is different. Looking back, all the contributors seem to have had a common experience. The pandemic hit hard and hit fast. It disrupted supply…

Think, make or serve

It’s been an interesting 55-years. Like many children of the ‘60s, I was born into a manufacturing economy. As the years ticked by this was subsequently swept away by the knowledge economy, which was looked upon as higher value, cleaner and more environmentally sound. Just as I got to grips with that concept, it too was pushed aside by the service economy, which itself spawned its little brother: the gig economy. Then along comes Covid-19 which destroys the service and gig sectors overnight. I understand that in a globalised, interconnected world where people, products, services and money can cross back…