PCB Assembly Services - Screaming Circuits: Broken Supply Chain: Good or Bad?


Broken Supply Chain: Good or Bad?

Some time ago, I read that it takes about 30 years for a new society-changing technology to explode into mainstream use after it’s shown to become commercially viable. My addition to that bit of wisdom is that for the first ten years, few people really know that the revolution is happening. For the next ten years, society has accepted that the revolution “has happened” and the world will never be the same. During the final ten years, people kind of forget about it. Then, once that 30 years has passed, the real revolution starts and nothing will ever be the same again. The change we have seen over the last few decades will seem quaint in comparison.

But what, you may ask, does this have to do with our badly broken supply chain?

Novation Acoustic modem -wb
10 points if you know what this is, 20 if you've ever used one and 30 if you have one stuffed in a box somewhere like I do.

Here at Screaming Circuits, we started getting grave warnings about component shortages in early 2018 (Read about it here). Back then, our suppliers told us that the shortages might last for years and the primary cause was the explosion in wearable Internet connected devices and electronics in cars. In the four years since those warnings, many world-events have compounded the shortages (a global pandemic, perhaps?), but through it all electronics manufacturing output has continued to grow. Let me restate that point: Manufacturing output has continued to grow despite trade wars, economic upheaval and a global pandemic. Our supply chain is broken due to massive growth in demand.

I had my first Internet connected email address in 1987. By about that time, the automotive industry had largely adopted electronics fuel injection and engine control to replace the carburetor. In 1989, Motorola introduced the MicroTac flip phone. Step forward about 30 years, to 2018, and all three of those technologies have matured, morphed and merged into something that will change our world on a scale that none of us alive have ever experienced. 

Cool. Right? Except that we have to deal with the pain of extreme, never-ending shortages that come along with all of the coolness. Read more of our supply chain articles and see what thoughts we have to help you get your designs built despite lead times that seem to stretch to the end of the Universe and back.

Also, some parts do actually still exist and we can assemble them into your prototypes and production boards. Visit www.screamingcircuits.com to get a quote and place your order. 

Duane Benson
Must reverse polarity of the neutron flow


It comes from being really old but not so old that I have forgotten all of the other times the "world came to an end." :-)

It's amazing you predicted elements of this in 2018.

This feels like of link when the WWW allowed the Internet to be commercialized in the late 90s. Parts were hard to get. All that changed in the tech recession of 02-03.

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