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Missing sensor hits global automakers, say IHS

3/28/2011 01:04 PM EDT
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t.alex
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re: Missing sensor hits global automakers, say IHS
t.alex   4/2/2011 8:50:47 AM
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I understand airflow sensor is for engine control. I false reading can lead to engine malfunctioning or even affect fuel efficiency. Seems only in Japan can this be produced?

jaybus0
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re: Missing sensor hits global automakers, say IHS
jaybus0   4/2/2011 12:42:43 PM
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Indeed. In the computer disaster backup and recovery world, we would call this a "single point of failure". The solution is redundancy, not having spare parts on hand. For example, load-balancing two ethernet controllers connected to two different ISPs ensures that a catastrophic failure of one can never result in a complete loss of connectivity. On the other hand, having a spare ethernet controller on hand and the knowledge that other ISPs exist guarantees some down time. Second sourcing in JIT supply chains likewise guarantees down time. The solution is to "load balance" both sources in normal production. A loss of one source can then slow production, but never stop it. This is not easily accomplished, of course, due to intellectual property issues. The increased competition works in favor of the consumer, but not in favor of the supplier owning the IP.

Peter Clarke
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re: Missing sensor hits global automakers, say IHS
Peter Clarke   4/4/2011 12:45:35 PM
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It is not that this sensor CAN only be made in Japan but that the supply chain gravitated to a position where it WAS only made in Japan. In fact demand will fall anyway. I have read that car sales in Japan in March fell 37 percent year-on-year, the biggest ever drop recorded. Because cars are not moving off care sales lots there will be less demand for car manufacture, which mitigate some expected supply chain shortages.

KB3001
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re: Missing sensor hits global automakers, say IHS
KB3001   4/6/2011 2:06:59 PM
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The system will indeed find a new stability point. Trust free market economics...

docdivakar
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re: Missing sensor hits global automakers, say IHS
docdivakar   4/11/2011 8:05:15 PM
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@DrQuine: airflow sensors are employed in multiple places within a vehicle. In addition to the example mentioned above, you can find a combined airflow+thermal sensor (like the ones manufactured by Cambridge AccuSense) used in many vehicles where you can set the cabin temperature. I have used AccuSense airflow/temp sensors in thermal characterization wind tunnels for semi packages. You can get airflow sensors of many makes and many countries today. @peter.clarke: you are right, it is the question of getting the second and third source vendors to come on-line quickly assuming that there were enough qualified ones in the approved vendor list. But what I don't yet see is the mitigation of shortages in the sensor because of slower car sales which may be due to other reasons too (not to mention the $4.50 per gallon of gas price in the N. CA bay area!). Dr. MP Divakar

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