Supply Chain Challenges and Opportunities


Reading time ( words)

Let’s start by defining exactly what a supply chain is. It’s not a nautical term for an anchor chain, or a dynamic part of a chainsaw that never runs out of chain.

No, it’s a key term used in the organization of resources which may form a system between entities. Now this sounds a little closer to something that may be utilized in producing an electronic end-item, in our case, a printed circuit board.

Some prepared formal definitions supplied by a couple of Internet sources: 

Wikipedia: “A supply chain is a system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer.”

Investopedia: “The network created amongst different companies producing, handling and/or distributing a specific product. Specifically, the supply chain encompasses the steps it takes to get a good or service from the supplier to the customer. Quite often, many people confuse the term logistics with supply chain. In general, logistics refers to the distribution process within the company whereas the supply chain includes multiple companies such as suppliers, manufacturers, and the retailers.”

Those formal words are rather nice, but let’s reel this in a bit to focus on PCB design. What does supply chain management have to do with PCB design?

Just so we are all in a similar frame of mind, PCB design data contributes to the fabrication of a printed circuit board. The PCB mechanically supports and electrically connects electronic components using conductive (usually copper) traces, pads, vias and other features etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate or dielectric material.

First, let’s take a look at the supply chain from the point of view of PCB design as its own organization or function. Who would be the suppliers and customers, and what is required for success? In this gander, PCB design and layout supplies only board software outputs and drawings.

But is that all there is? No, there is much more interaction required to have a successfully completed, working PCB assembly ready to be installed in the end-product. 

To read this entire article, which appeared in the July 2015 issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.

Share


Suggested Items

Zuken Teams With Nano Dimension for 3D Printing Design Flow

11/22/2017 | Andy Shaughnessy, PCB Design007
At PCB West, Zuken shared a booth with Nano Dimension. Zuken has been working with Nano Dimension for some time, and adding support for 3D printing and nanotechnology to its design tool platforms. I sat down with Zuken’s Humair Mandavia and Nano Dimension’s Simon Fried to learn more about this alliance, and to find out more about this odd-looking box being demonstrated in Zuken’s booth.

AltiumLive Summit—Munich, Germany, Part 2

11/13/2017 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Pete Starkey continues with his review of the AltiumLive PCB Design Summit held recently in Munich, Germany. The second day commenced with a new product launch. “Working together is hard” it read on the screen. Statistics indicated that 33% of new products were late getting to market, of which 28% were late due to insufficient collaboration, and up to 50% of potential revenue could be lost through being late to market. Then the screen read “NEXUS makes it easy!”

AltiumLive Summit—Munich, Germany, Part 1

11/07/2017 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Altium held a very successful AltiumLive PCB Design Summit in San Diego, California at the beginning of October for the benefit of their North American design community, and followed it three weeks later with a counterpart European event in Munich. And what an eye-opener it proved to be—literally hundreds of delegates, a superbly organised and managed programme, billed as a completely immersive two-day interactive design experience on a theme of learning, connecting and getting inspired.



Copyright © 2017 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.