IoT Product Design: Not Recommended for New Design

What IoT product engineers should know about the component shortage.

The world of EMS development is facing a serious problem: we have noticed that certain components and raw materials are becoming increasingly scarce. And that’s not just a problem for buyers. Read why IoT engineers need to be vigilant even during the design phase.

The challenge

One of the main reasons for the limited availability of many components is the miniaturization of products. Quite simply, smaller products need smaller parts and therefore smaller components. And as an IoT product designer you know this better than anyone.

The result: a discrepancy between supply and demand.

Miniaturization of electronic products

Moreover, many component suppliers have discontinued their less common and less successful products, resulting in even more shortages. Then there is the fact that the supply of some resources is dwindling (such as copper, especially since we started producing electric cars on a larger scale).

Due to industry 4.0 a growing number of electronic products and electronic components are added to that list, it’s obvious that a growing number of components are becoming increasingly hard to come by. 

The impact of electronic products development on industrial IoT producers is twofold: 

1. Growing uncertainty

After all, you want to know at an early stage which components will still be available over the long term and what alternatives will be available. (Also if a component is withdrawn from the market without warning, which has been known to happen.)

2. Substantial increase in the prices of these products

This is primarily the concern of the buyers, of course. Until they have to tell the designers that certain components are becoming too expensive and can no longer be used.

The solution

As an IoT product designer or PCBA designer, you have little or no control over the causes of these increasing shortages. But you can nip the problem in the bud by using components that do give you the security you need.

So collaboration between the designer and the buyer is becoming more and more important. Together you can create the right balance between PCBA purchasing and PCBA design, in both the short and the long term.

Unique database

But what about our specialised buyers? After all, they have the knowledge and information required to respond to these trends. They also happen to have a database with all the available information about every component worldwide, ranging from compounds, Bills of Materials and Intrastat codes to price developments, alternative management and life-cycle management... They’ve literally got it all.

Semecs electronic components availability forecast

Example Bill Of Material Risk Profile, which can be found in our whitepaper about component management.

Based on these insights, we can work together to minimise the risks posed by the limited availability of components. And that will make the designer’s life a lot less stressful.

Like to join us?

In a nutshell, we need to be vigilant! Not just us and the buyers, but also the designers. Like to join us?

This article is a summary of our whitepaper about component management. Please feel free to download the whitepaper if you want to learn more about this subject.

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