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28 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2022 Feature Article by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 By now, the topic is practically a trope: Sup- ply chain problems abound, and they aren't going away any time soon. Transportation and logistics are a key part of the challenge, mean- ing that the shorter we can make the shipping distance, the more resilient the chain will be overall. But that's only part of the problem. It is cur- rently not possible to simply shorten the chain; there are key elements of the electronics man- ufacturing process that are only available in a very few places on the planet. Semiconductor chips, for example, need to make at least one roundtrip to Asia to be put into a package. Depending upon their specific supply chain, they may then get sold to an inter- national firm and shipped somewhere across an ocean again. As the finished board assembly goes to its customer, that chip just might make a long-haul international flight a final time. PCBs produced in volume will make at least one transoceanic trip as well, either as bare boards, assembled components, or as a fin- ished product. e unadorned truth is that if you start with the first manufacture of the components on a circuit board assembly, it becomes clear that a finished, populated printed circuit board sim- ply cannot be developed by a North Ameri- can company without a significant amount of international shipment sprinkled throughout the supply chain. IPC Reports Outline the Issues Two high-profile pieces of legislation in Europe and the United States, both using the More Than a Supply Chain Problem

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