PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-July2020

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20 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2020 According to the Society of Critical Care Medicine [1] , the U.S. only has 200,000 ventila- tors to treat the 960,000 COVID-19 patients who are anticipated to need them. The U.S. govern- ment and private industry are working more diligently to retool manufacturing to meet the nation's needs. Thanks to these efforts, social distancing practices, and—most important- ly—the brave and tireless work of frontline healthcare workers, we will recover from to- day's novel coronavirus. However, we need to prepare for what's next and the pending un- knowns that await us. Sophisticated global supply chains are gen- erally efficient in meeting societal demands, but the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates that— in times of crisis—these supply chains can break down. One of the pandemic's lasting lessons will be the importance of resilient re- gional manufacturing networks to ensure the availability of life-saving equipment. The technology behind medical equipment depends on PCBs. Manufacturers state that a shortage of PCBs has slowed the production of ventilators. U.S. board manufacturers have available capacity, but the established sup- ply chains do not currently support the kind of high-volume manufacturing in the U.S. that the crisis demands. As a result, U.S. PCB man- ufacturers have limited means to help, given that assembly mostly takes place in Asia. In affecting China first, COVID-19 disrupted the operations of some of the largest electron- ics manufacturers in the world—even as Chi- na marshaled its industrial resources to sup- port its own medical response. The resulting global demand for medical electronics stretched manufacturing capacity even further without a A Lasting COVID-19 Lesson: Resilient Regional Manufacturing Networks One World, One Industry by Dr. John Mitchell, IPC—ASSOCIATION CONNECTING ELECTRONICS INDUSTRIES

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