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54 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 Feature Interview by Barry Matties and Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Barry Matties and Nolan Johnson talk supply chain trends for traditional board fabrication houses. High-mix, low-volume manufacturers can often be looked to as bellwethers for the industry. Matt Stevenson, director of market- ing at Sunstone Circuits, shares his take on the current market. Nolan Johnson: Matt, we wanted to chat with you to get some deeper background on issues around the supply chain from a fabricator's point of view. As you're probably aware, a lot is going on right now in the industry, espe- cially around components and manufactur- ing. Major industry sectors like automotive, military, medical and cellphones seem to be driving the supply chain for components and availability in some pretty huge ways. We hear this a lot from contract manufacturers. What's Sunstone's perspective on the supply chain issues? How are you seeing them affecting the fabricator's daily life? Matt Stevenson: From the PCB fabricator stand- point, we haven't yet seen any direct impact from the part shortages. However, when we Sunstone's Matt Stevenson on Supply Chain Issues in Quick-turn Fabrication do have the opportunity to quote a full turn- key type of job for customers where we use Screaming Circuits, our contract partner, we do see delays and issues in getting those quotes turned in a short amount of time, as well as not being able to quote the entire BOM in any feasible manner. So, we are seeing some issues with customers having to try and source parts themselves, especially the caps and ceramic parts that are causing a lot of the issues. Our assembly partner looks at the main catalogs of Digi-Key, Mouser, and a couple of their other approved component distributors. They have not necessarily searched high and low on all the boutique distributors to see if they can find it there in their process. Sometimes, this can lead to dialogs with a customer because they can find the part in question with a Google search, but have they vetted the legitimacy of the supplier or where these parts originated? Barry Matties: Matt, have you noticed a reduc- tion in the quote volume? Because we're hear- ing that some people are just slowing their processes down in terms of even ordering boards because the lead times are so great.

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