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JANUARY 2019 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 19 and vendors for each component. We can find this information readily at our fingertips; we do not need to wait until the back end of a design to find out that we just created the company's latest doorstop and stock of bad PCBs. Once we get that schematic done, we can run it into ActiveBOM and find out where our problems are. If there was a second rule after "it is not business as usual," it would be "check component availability often throughout the design process." Conclusion In summary, I would recommend that you stay informed. Many of the compo- nent vendors publish their component forecasts. Stay aware of trends in our industry. The sooner you know of the problem or the direction, the faster you can make a sound decision on needed changes. This will require reading elec - tronic journals and news. Stay up to date with what is being reported by some of the great PCB industry lead- ers such as I-Connect007. Sooner or later, the industry will back away from DEFCON 1. SMT007 John Watson's career has spanned over 20 years in PCB design. His experience includes various manufac- turing companies and PCB design service bureaus with diverse projects such as high-density digital, DDR, analog, power supply, and high-frequency RF. Now, as a senior PCB engineer at Building Control Systems of Legrand Inc., Watson leads innovative PCB design teams of 50 designers based in several divisions that span the globe where he emphasizes training and mentoring. He has become very proficient in the PCB design process flows and standardization. In addition, Watson is a highly sought out consultant, writer, and conference speaker. What Is Your Supply Chain Telling You About Components? Have you purchased any electronics components lately? Have you tried and failed to do so? Allocation is the word of the day and substitutions are your friend. Many, many parts are in short supply or unavailable with extraordinarily long lead times. Sure, that happens every now and then in this industry. It's a periodic nuisance, but what should you do for the long term? This looks to be a pretty extreme allocation cycle, and I have a feeling that the industry will be different when we come out of it. At Screaming Circuits, we're getting some interesting stories from component suppliers that might help. What we're hearing is that many passive manufacturers will be trying to move their customers to smaller sizes. They want to consoli- date on as few packages as is possible. That means we may be seeing the end of 1206, 0805, and maybe even 0603 form factors for many passive values. It kind of makes sense. Right now, there might be several dozen different varieties of a 0.1-µF, 16-V capacitor. Does the industry need that? And if there isn›t enough fabrication capacity to make all of the variations, why not consolidate and run more of fewer variations? It won›t surprise me if we start seeing fewer voltage ranges as well. (Source: Duane Benson, Screaming Circuits)

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