MUNICH, Germany During the economic crisis, passive component manufacturers have reduced production capacities. Apparently they moved to far: Now supply bottlenecks are emerging, warns German electronics industry association ZVEI.
According to the Electronic Components and Systems interest group within the ZVEI, industry customers should prepare for "massive supply shortages" for passive components looming soon. The situation could lead to production interruptions, the group says. Affected are all groups of passive components including resistors, capacitors, inductors, quartz crystals, resonators and SAW components.
The bottleneck can hit any company that uses passive components in their products which means that just any electronics company could be affected, including companies downstream the value chain. In this context, the ZVEI mentions the automotive industry. For customers of semiconductor products the situation is not different, a ZVEI spokesperson interviewed by EE Times Europe explained.
As a consequence of the crisis, the demand for passive components has declined drastically. For this reason, component manufacturers postponed investments and reduced production capacities. In turn, stocks have fallen to very low levels along the complete supply chain from raw materials vendors through OEMs, the ZVEI points out. The fact that the entire supply is affected can be understood as a hint that the situation is far from being a local German problem. "There is no regional focus for the problem," the spokesperson acknowledged.
Now demand is suddenly back, and the passive component vendors apparently are overwhelmed. It remains unclear if the component manufacturers drove production capacities too far down or if their customers came up too fast with their new orders. In any case, the passive component manufacturers organized in ZVEI's Electronic Components and Systems interest group complained that the lead times required by the customers are "not realistic". The situation will persist for a few months, the group said, and asked their customers to order their supply "with appropriate lead time", as the group puts it.
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