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54 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2021 Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Nolan chats with Mark McMeen of STI who provides an overview of the complicated mar- ket dynamics in place due to material short- ages and long lead times and describes what strategies OEMs and CMs are doing to survive this difficult stretch while also planning for an economy ramp up. Nolan Johnson: e current market dynamics seem to point toward price and cost increas- es. You and STI have some interesting perspec- tive. Mark, give us an overview of the dynam- ics that STI is seeing. Mark McMeen: ere are many variables in the marketplace as it relates to electronic compo- nents and electronic assemblies that are im- pacting the whole supply chain. e thing that's jumping to everybody's attention right now is there are both passive and IC components that are going way out with lead times. Lead times that used to be four to six weeks have jumped to 26 to 40 weeks. On specialty capacitors that are used very commonly, they are jumping out 50 to 65 weeks. When you start to see this type of dynamic in the marketplace and the sup- ply chain, there becomes a trickle-down effect down because not only contract manufactur- ers, but OEMs now must start thinking they can't wait a year to simply deliver to their mar- ketplace or customer that far out. People start looking for alternatives, and once you find an alternate, then you must re- design the boards to be able to handle those al- ternatives; not all alternates are drop-in devic- es for your existing printed circuit board lay- out. ose dynamics have a big effect from STI's contract manufacturing standpoint. We are doing a lot of redesigning of circuit cards around the component sets that are available so that you can continue to have your end product in the marketplace. We're seeing new dynamics; everybody was expecting this pickup and rebound from the pandemic, but they didn't expect that the Navigating Current Market Dynamics

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