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Design007-Jan2019

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24 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson and Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 Digi-Key COO Dave Doherty discusses supply chain disruptions and shortages and shares a number of ways in which Digi-Key is helping to smooth out the delivery of components even with the current turmoil. Nolan Johnson: What we want to talk about today is the supply chain. Andy Shaughnessy: This is a big thing for designers. They're wondering, "How do you design something for next Christmas when you can't get the capacitor for 80 weeks?" David Doherty: That's the question. Johnson: Right, which is exactly where we're going on this, Dave. From Digi-Key's spot in the supply chain, you have a great view of what's going on. What do you see as some of the major current drivers right now, plus any challenges? Doherty: It's really two-fold. People ask if our businesses are up a considerable amount this year; we're going to close this year up about 40% after being up 26% last year. So, they say, "What market's up?" the real answer is, "What market isn't up?" If you look across industrial, medical, telecommunications, military, aerospace, and automotive, we're in a very robust part of the cycle where there are more electronics being put into more applications. However, I would say what's putting the strain on the infrastructure as much as anything is automotive. We visited a number of Japanese discrete suppliers, and they showed us some charts where in the past, automobiles consumed up to 3,000 MLCCs. There are more than 10,000 now, and you know as well as I do, they're going into all aspects of automobiles. There are Digi-Key's Dave Doherty: Tweaking the Supply Chain Aerial view of Digi-Key headquarters in Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

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