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46 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2021 Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Duane Benson of Screaming Circuits speaks with Nolan Johnson about issues assem- blers encounter with BOMs and part shortag- es; Duane gives advice on how to avoid some common pitfalls. Nolan Johnson: Duane, in early 2020, we were covering some short-term supply chain issues and parts procurement challenges in the mag- azines. Just as that seemed to wrap up, we had the disruptions of the COVID pandemic, and the supply chain issues associated with that. Now, even with semiconductor companies putting out more product, the demand is even higher. Companies are putting tens of billions of dollars into building out new production, and word is we're looking at parts availability challenges at least two years out. Additionally, there's all the "regular stuff " like having key components on your produc- tion boards go end-of-life so that you need to look at replacements to keep moving things forward. How does a design team cope? How does a design team work well with their assem- bler to have that communication, and that give and take through the process? Duane Benson: Communication really is the key. e challenge is very similar to what we saw in 2018, although I think this may even be more extreme. In 2018, things would change on a moment-by-moment basis. If we learned anything from that, it's the ability to adapt to change. Let's just start with putting together a proto- type. As you build it out, you're spec'ing com- ponents, filling out your bill of material, and then you build the prototype. You send in your bill of material and your design files for a quote, and you find out that of the 75 parts on your bill of material, 25 of them don't exist, and another 10 or 15 of them are on a 24-month lead time. Fortunately, a good portion of the unavail- able components have alternates. You just have to act and communicate quickly. First, before you send the bill of material in, you double- check. Don't assume that something that was BOMs and the Supply Chain From an Assembler's Point of View

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