Quick Turn PCBs - Why an Experienced Supply Chain Matters
COVID-19 has turned the world of manufacturing, and everything else, upside down. For printed circuit boards, it was especially painful. Close to 75% of all PCBs are made in Asia, which is where the virus emerged right on the heels of the Chinese New Year, and this made it even more difficult to manage. Currently, less than 5% of all PCBs are made in the U.S., and that is not going to change anytime soon as our cost base is much too high to be price competitive. It is also very difficult to get a new site permitted given the type and amount of chemicals that go into PCB manufacturing.
With this being the reality that we live in at the moment, we must truly understand all of the aspects of the PCB supply chain in Asia (not just China) and how to position ourselves with a partner that has made the significant financial investment in a resilient supply chain. The days of two people in a garage with an email address and website saying that they are PCB experts is no longer enough for companies that depend on timely, high-technology circuit boards.
In this webinar, we review some topics we have been asked to elaborate on by our customers, along with managing your freight costs, delivery times, laminate availability, and stocking programs we offer.
Watch the Recording Below
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Check Out the Full Q&A
We have compiled all the questions submitted at the conclusion of this webinar into a readable format available on our blog.
- Topics customers have been asking:
- All PCBs are the same so I only need one factory to work with.
- All I need is an email contact at my factory in Asia or one person here in the U.S.
- Everyone manufactures to the UL standard, so the quality is equal.
- I was told all processes are in-house.
- They said that they could do a 3-day turn, so how do I know if the delivery is at risk.
- Managing freight costs: What to do when DHL, Fed-Ex, and UPS institute a 90-cent-per-pound surcharge on all international shipments.
- Ensuring you get your PCBs on time: Flights from Asia have declined 90% since COVID-19 surfaced and will not be coming back anytime soon and how does that affect PCB deliveries.
- Laminate availability: With the huge 5G rollout that is happening globally, much of the PCB material supply is focused on this program. How do we work with customers to make an investment in materials to ensure that they get delivery when they need it?
- Stocking programs: The current exemption for tariffs on 2-layer and 4-layer PCBs. While it may get extended, should you get ahead of it and have product in our inventory just in case?