Design007 Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 66

8 The PCB Design Magazine • May 2015 by Andy Shaughnessy I-COnneCT007 THE SHAuGHNESSy REPORT The Readers Speak column I wish I could read minds. If I could, I'd know exactly what sort of problems you all face when you're designing PCBs, what sort of technology you're working with, and what sort of trends you're seeing in PCB design and PCB manufac- turing. But since I'm not clairvoyant, I have to resort to other means to find out about our readers' trials and tribulations. This is where our reader surveys come in. The survey is one of the best ways for us to find out about you and your job, which helps us to be certain that we're providing you the most relevant content possible. Best of all, surveys give the reader a voice. What's on your mind? We really want to know. Recently, we sent out a survey with a handful of questions; we've found that surveys with too many questions don't get answered. One ques- tion was, "Does supply chain management affect your job?" The answers were surprising. Almost 2/3 of you said no, the supply chain doesn't affect your job in any meaningful way. But a third of you said the exact opposite: The supply chain impacts your job directly, and for some of you, it's a big prob- lem. A very vocal minority left us a variety of great comments regarding their supply chain chal- lenges. Here is a sample of the comments for that question: • New parts availability and older parts going obsolete. • Availability of parts. • Component/part selection. • The part selection process at the front end of the design. • Component availability and end of life. Medical products could have a 15-year life. • Replacing old parts, verifying parts are active and available. • Cost factor and similar vendor capability for second source. • Design updates after the board is complete due to part limitations. • Having to correct layout due to changed components. • Orders for parts affected by proposed ECOs have to be factored in, as procurement has outstanding orders for not only parts affected, but parts that may be affected by the ECO. • Didn't used to, but as we go to higher frequencies into the millimeter wave range (like 60-86 GHz), the material choices, component choices, and fabricator choices decrease. We are having to source and stock material ourselves. • Company changes CM from proto to production. Sloppy production at best. • Cannot predict board and component suppliers in certain projects. • Late changes to component selection due to too long delivery. • Too much bureaucracy! Too many hands in the pie! Singular POC personnel for many tasks is WAY TOO MUCH! You designers in the minority are serious about this. But why did the majority of respondents say that the supply chain had no effect on their job? I imagine it depends upon your employer; do some OEMs have a foolproof system for managing the supply chain? I can't help wondering why there's such a huge dichotomy here, with most respondents say - ing, "No problems with the supply chain here," while a third of you are having a tough time en- suring that the necessary components, parts, and materials are available for your designs. What do you think—is the supply chain a problem for you? Let me know what you think. We also asked, "When designing a PCB, what are your greatest challenges?" Here are some of the best comments for that question: • Getting correct and complete information from the engineers.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Design007 Magazine - PCBD-May2015