The threat of obsolescence. How can Lantek help?

According to IHS Markit, component vendors issue, on average, twenty-eight product change notifications (PCN) and twenty-two end-of-line (EOL) announcements every day. For product designers, manufacturers and purchasers, this is problematic. Each individual assembly may require parts from multiple suppliers and will likely contain semiconductors that are at different stages of their lifecycle.

Due to the rapid rate of development within the electronics industry and a recent spate of high-profile mergers and acquisitions, the lifecycle of electronic components will only decrease. As product lines undergo periods of rationalisation and new trends and technologies emerge, allowing for the possibility of faster and more efficient chips, the likelihood is that obsolescence will become an unavoidable issue for manufacturers.

If a crucial component has ceased to be produced, then that could force a manufacturer to redesign an entire board or product at great expense. Alternatively, if the stock of that obsolete component can be found, then it often comes with a huge markup in price. A further (and an especially worrying) complication is that over two-thirds of counterfeit reports are linked to parts that have been either discontinued or have entered their end-of-life phase.

Unfortunately, there is no single silver bullet that can solve these issues. Instead, OEMs and CEMs need to adopt a number of strategies to guard themselves against obsolescence. Both proactive and reactive approaches will be required to minimise production delays and keep costs to a minimum, as will having a stable and secure group of preferred suppliers.

Any business relationships is as strong as the last transaction and the electronics industry is no different. Given the fears surrounding counterfeit electronic components, OEMs and CEMs are, rightly, prudent when it comes to selecting their preferred suppliers.

However, when it comes to sourcing quantities of obsolete components, many end users without a wide-ranging portfolio of both franchised and independent vendors can often find themselves swimming against the raging tide of the open market. And when searching for a quantity of obsolete stock, buyers can easily stumble and inadvertently go to dubious grey market sources – and this is where problems begin.

To counteract this, it is important to have a varied portfolio of both franchised and independent vendors. Within that, there should be a company that specialises in securing stock of obsolete and end-of-life electronic components. At times when the parts that you rely on begin to get phased out, your varied and strategic base of suppliers will come into its own, ensuring your supply chain remains strong whilst simultaneously shielding you against inflated production costs.

With intricate knowledge of the global markets, these companies focus on locating obsolete and hard-to-find stock are able to search through millions of lines to track down the required components where other firms often fail. This could be due to a company’s extensive stockholding facilities that are tailored to suit the needs of their customers or through a wide-ranging and quality-driven procurement network.

Since 1994, Lantek Corporation has been helping thousands of OEM and CEM customers to overcome the hurdles associated with purchasing components that have been earmarked for obsolescence.

Thanks to our varied stock portfolio and our worldwide procurement network that features offices in strategic locations such as Central Europe, the United Kingdom and South-East Asia, we are able to pinpoint the quantities of stock needed to keep your production lines running.

As mentioned earlier, over two-thirds of counterfeit reports are related to obsolete component lines. Because of this, trust is incredibly important when it comes to selecting a supplier of hard-to-find electronic parts.

At Lantek, we take extreme pride in our anti-counterfeiting procedures. Throughout our existence, we have invested significant funds in the technologies, certifications and standards required to keep one step ahead of the counterfeiters.

Our entire buying network is carefully scrutinised and continuously evaluated to ensure that we are only purchasing from reputable sources that share our values. And prior to every shipment, each order undergoes a series of inspections by our staff to confirm their authenticity. It is through our unique set of procedures and techniques that we have built up a reputation for being a trusted supplier of hard-to-find, obsolete and shortage electronic components. We know how important your supply chain is and we work hard to ensure that it does not get compromised by the presence of counterfeit parts.

Manufacturing in an age where end-of-life scenarios for crucial components can be problematic. But with the right purchasing network in place, trust in eminent independent distributors and a forward-thinking approach to production, you can protect yourself against the pitfalls of obsolescence.

Intel to Buy Mobileye for $15 Billion

Intel has agreed a $15.3 billion deal to purchase Mobileye, an Israeli technology company that specialises in manufacturing sensors and cameras for self-driving cars. The acquisition will give the global microchip giant an additional foothold in the automotive sector, one of the fastest growing parts of the electronics industry.

The deal comes after the two firms had forged a close business relationship in recent months. At the start of the year, Intel and Mobileye announced plans to work with BMW to test autonomous technologies, hoping to get around 40 cars on American and European roads by the end of 2017.

“This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers,” Brian Krzanich, Intel’s chief executive, said in a statement.

“Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers.”

Industry analysts believe that the decision to buy Mobileye – which, incidentally, makes it one of the largest-ever acquisitions of an Israeli tech company – is due to Intel’s secondary position in the automotive sector.

At the moment, Intel’s rivals, such as Nvidia and Qualcomm, have a greater market share in a sector that could be worth as much as $70 billion by the end of the next decade.

Intel stated that its current automated-driving division would merge with Mobileye’s existing operations, with the explicit aim of helping automakers bring driverless vehicles to market sooner than originally planned.

“By pooling together our infrastructure and resources, we can enhance and accelerate our combined know-how,” Ziv Aviram, Mobileye’s chief executive, said in a statement.

The deal between Intel and Mobileye is expected to completed within the next nine months. It has received the necessary approval from both companies’ Board of Directors but still requires the green light from relevant shareholders and regulatory bodies.

Counterfeiting and Piracy will cost $2.3 trillion. Let Lantek Help Secure Your Supply Chain

Yes, you read the headline right. Counterfeit goods and piracy will impact the global economy to the tune of $2.3 trillion, a report predicts. To make matters worse, 5 million jobs could be lost due to these illicit practices by 2022.

The report, entitled The Economic Impacts of Counterfeiting and Piracy, was commissioned by the not-for-profit advocacy group, the International Trademark Association (INTA) and the International Chamber of Commerce’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP). And it does not make for pleasant reading.

The study follows up on previous research. That paper, released in 2011, estimated that the overall global economic value of counterfeit and pirated goods was much as $650 billion per year. The new research suggests that in 2013, the value of counterfeit and pirated goods was between $710 and $917 billion. The long-term outlook is even worse, the report predicts that figure will rise to an eye-watering $2.3 trillion by 2022.

Counterfeiting is a pertinent issue for pretty much everybody involved within the electronics industry as a compromised supply chain can cost a company an extraordinary amount of both time and money. Given that the presence of a solitary suspect part on a production line can cast doubt on the functionality and reliability of a product, it’s no wonder that buyers, designers and Quality Managers alike all continuously say that counterfeiting is their biggest concern.

With the prospect of counterfeiting only going to increase over the course of the next few years, it is important to ensure that your procurement partners are capable of not just meeting industry standards when it comes to quality assessment, but surpassing them.

Since our foundation in 1994, Lantek Corporation has always strived to offer our customers the very best service possible. As specialists in sourcing hard-to-find, long lead time and obsolete electronic components, we know that we can sometimes operate in an area that has, over the years, become increasingly infested with potential counterfeiters. That’s why we operate to strict guidelines, to ensure the legitimacy and reliability of the parts that we procure for our clients and partners.

With over 144,000 lines in stock, we are one of North America’s leading independent stocking distributors of electronic components. All our stock has been carefully obtained from trusted sources, including semiconductor manufacturers, franchised outlets and class-leading OEMs, and has been subjected to strict quality controls.

By having a tailored range of active, passive and electromechanical items in our warehouse, all available for immediate dispatch, we can help our clients and partners get the stock they need quickly, without the fear of a compromised supply chain.

As well as our stockholding facilities, we also have numerous offices in key strategic locations around the world. With offices in high-profile markets such as the Far East, the United Kingdom and Central Europe, we can scour trusted contacts and suppliers to locate the parts that many others cannot whilst also securing their authenticity.

As well as monitoring our list of approved suppliers, our inspection process and policy procedures will provide you with quality products and will help safeguard against counterfeiters and defective parts.

Every single shipment that we make is thoroughly checked by our highly-trained and ESD accredited personnel. This, combined with additional testing techniques such as a dedicated X-Ray service and full functional testing enables us to offer our customers a Quality-Assured 1-Year Money Back Guarantee.

We are so confident in our services that in the rare event that your purchase fails to meet manufacturer specification (within twelve months of the purchase date), we will either replace the parts at our expense or offer you a refund.

We believe that quality and attention to detail makes all the difference. That is why quality is not just a word we use; it is a way of working that runs throughout our entire company. If you want to help safeguard your electronic component supply chain, look no further than Lantek Corporation.

Smartphone component prices set to soar, analysts predict

Many manufacturers are expecting to experience a potentially nervy couple of months as a rise in the cost of crucial components, coupled with tightening supply chains, could lead to a reduction in operating margins.

Analysis by Trendforce, the global market intelligence firm, has indicated that the price of mobile DRAM, NAND flash products and AMOLED screens will gradually increase throughout this calendar year. To compound this problem, most of the industry’s major players are expected to be releasing new state-of-the-art models in the coming months.

As is always the case with technology, these new flagship devices will feature enhanced capabilities over previous models and will make use of in-demand, cutting-edge components. Apple and Samsung – two of the biggest smartphone manufacturers – have already built up their inventories in order to prepare themselves for big production runs. This, in turn, has led to lead times being extended and supply chains around the world are now being squeezed as the availability of parts diminishes.

Memory is one market area that is expected to be especially volatile this year. As newer flagship devices require 6GB – or even 8GB in some cases – to handle dual-lens cameras, artificial technologies and video streaming services, the demand for DRAM is likely to be sky high.

Of course, as demand increases, so too does its price: Trendforce’s analysts believe that the cost of DRAM will go up by around 10% this year.

But this rise is not just fuelled by the traditional big players in the sector. Chinese smartphone manufacturers are now increasingly competing with the likes of Apple and Samsung. As well as putting pressure on the memory market, the addition of new players and models to the smartphone arena is also having an impact of UFS (Universal Flash Storage) products.

UFS is an interface that offers better performance over its predecessor, eMMC (embedded Multi-Media Controller). First adopted by Samsung in 2015, UFS is becoming widely used and its use within the smartphone sector is set to increase by 20% in 2017, driving prices upwards in the process.

Although not necessarily something that you’d consider to be an electronic component, demand for AMOLED screens will go up by nearly 30% as the technology becomes widely adopted. WitsView, a market research firm that specialises in the LCD screen sector, believes that the market share of AMOLED screens will grow from 23.8% to 27.7% this year as both Apple and Samsung release new models.

This will cause problems for OEMs, many of them who operate outside of the smartphone sector, because there is a dominant manufacturer of AMOLED screens, Samsung Display (SDC)

SDC has already divided its production category between its sister company Samsung and Apple, leaving very little availability for the general market.

For manufacturers and buyers who make use of electronic components and parts utilised in mobile devices, it looks to be a potentially tricky year ahead.

Renesas Subcontractors Still to Resume Production Capacity

Earlier this week, Renesas released an update regarding the impact that last month’s earthquakes had on its manufacturing operations.

As you may well remember, the Japanese-based electronics company was forced to close down a number of its production lines after it emerged that its facilities in the Kumamoto Prefecture had sustained damage during the earthquakes.

After assessing the situation, partial production resumed at the company’s Kawashiri Factory on April 22nd, but many other aspects remained offline while further assessments and repairs were carried out.

In accordance with their ongoing Business Development Plan, Renesas today announced that it expects to be able to ‘restore pre-earthquake production capacity’ by the end of this month.

A statement, published on the company’s website, said:

“While the chance of aftershocks to occur remains unpredictable, we confirmed that there is no current issue under consideration that would impede recovery further. Under these circumstances, we expect to be able to restore full pre-earthquake production capacity targeting May 22.”

However, whilst Renesas’ own plant appears to be getting back on track, the same cannot be said for some of its affiliated production facilities.

“Following the main quake that occurred on April 16, further damage has been confirmed at some subcontractor companies…. Renesas is exerting its utmost efforts to return to full pre-earthquake production capacity at the earliest possible date.”

Finally, Renesas announced that a donation of ten million yen had been made to the relief efforts.

Leading Electronic Manufacturers Pause Production

Renesas Electronic, Sony and Mitsubishi Electronic are just some of the companies to halt their production lines in the wake of the earthquakes that struck south-east Japan last week.

On April 14th, a foreshock earthquake registering 6.2Mw struck near Kumamoto, damaging the city’s eastern suburbs. In the hours following the initial earthquake, a further eleven aftershocks of at least 4.5Mw were recorded.

Then, in the early hours of April 16th, a further 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the region, causing significant damage to areas already vulnerable from the earthquake two days prior.
These earthquakes have caused significant disruption to a number of leading electronic manufacturers with facilities in the area, most noticeably Renesas, Sony and Mitsubishi Electronic.
Renesas is set to resume production tomorrow, though Sony and Mitsubishi’s plants look likely to remain offline for the next couple of days at the very least.

As a result, we have seen demand rise for a number of products, those being:

• Renesas Series – R5F10, R8A77
• NEC Series – UPD70, UPD78, UPD431, UPD432, UPD75
• Sony Series – CXD208, CXD125, CXD353

In a press release, Renesas announced their plant in Kumamoto should be reopening tomorrow, albeit with a reduced capacity.

“Assuming there is no massive aftershock and significant change in the state of material procurement situations, Renesas…aims to resume productions of other remaining processes step-by-step,” a spokesperson said.

It is worth noting that no definitive timetable for a return to full production capabilities has been announced.

However, nearby plants operated by Sony and Mitsubishi Electronic will remain closed while a full investigation is carried out.

To view our current stock list, please use our quick components search function or call a member of staff on 973-579-8100

Lantek Corporation Becomes an Authorized Distributor for TechFlex

We have breaking news and it’s BIG!

TechFlex, a globally recognized specialist in the engineering and manufacturing of the most advanced sleeving solutions and related products for the protection of wires, cables and hoses has just named us as one of their authorized distributors for their braided sleeving products.

How exciting! Please keep Lantek Corporation in mind if you ever find yourself in need of braided sleeving products for your very own product.

Just a Fun Fact

watch-dmDid you ever think about how much something costs to make? How about the new Apple watch that was released a few weeks ago? I came across an email with an article indicating how much it costs to make an Apple Watch, and my jaw dropped. It only costs $83.70 to make! Yes, that’s right, $83.70!

If you’ve checked out the Apple Watch, you are more than aware that the watch starts out at $399, and only goes up in price from there. There is even a version worth $17,000! I wonder how much that one costs to make? Either way, the numbers are shocking and I thought it was a fun fact everyone should be in on!

Want to read it for yourself and even see the pricing breakdown, visit: http://evertiq.com/news/36732

Such an ugly counterfeit

COUNTERFEIT. What an ugly word, right? Certainly one you don’t want to hear when you’re receiving components in from your electronic component supplier. Not that this is a new problem to anyone out there, but it is one that is a growing concern when you’re choosing who to put all of your trust in when manufacturing your products. It can be one component or a slew of components to totally throw the functionality of your product off just because they didn’t pass the proper testing and aren’t what they “appear” to be.

How can we stop it? There is no way to stop counterfeits from entering the markets. It’s something that will continue to happen and cause a lot of unnecessary drama for many companies who aren’t up-to-date on warning signs and fail to complete necessary research prior to purchasing parts.

Our process involves extensive research and testing to ensure that the components we supply to you and your company are of quality standard and perform as expected. In the event you require further testing of any components sold, we can go ahead and make that possible to give you the complete peace of mind. Our unique set of procedures and techniques for authentication of electronic components help to minimize the risk of counterfeit parts entering the supply chain. As well as monitoring approved suppliers, our inspection process and policy procedures will provide you with quality products and will help safeguard against counterfeiters and defective parts.

Don’t let counterfeits interfere with your production process. Always be alert in the market and if any red flags are visible, be sure to take the extra moment to analyze the situation.

LANTEK CORPORATION’S 1-YEAR QUALITY GUARANTEE: When you purchase electronic components from Lantek Corporation, you are protected by this guarantee. We are so confident in our supplier network that in the rare event that the components you purchase from Lantek Corporation fail to meet manufacturer specifications within 1 year from the date of purchase, we will either replace the parts or refund the purchase price. That is our guarantee to you!

VISIT US ONLINE: www.lantekcorp.com

New Strategies Unfold for Samsung

Interesting news was unfolding out of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) when Samsung’s CEO, BK Yoon announced that he would be investing $100 million to the companies developer network to create an open “Internet of Things” strategy. His theory behind this strategy is that all devices will easily communicate with each other.

“Samsung isn’t just funding developers to create an open IoT system, but also opening its devices to the Internet of Things. In two years, 90% of Samsung devices will work within IoT ecosystems, with the remaining 10% coming online by 2020.” (http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/01/11/will-samsungs-100-million-internet-of-things-strat.aspx)

Samsung doesn’t seem to be the only one in the market to make these moves. There are reports that Apple, Google, and Qualcomm are making similar moves within the industry, but Samsung has the upper hand at the moment.

The “Internet of Things” strategy is a hot topic within the technology and electronics industries so it will be interesting to see what comes next. These developments will continue to emerge as the industries adapt and change to the new concept. It will certainly be interesting to see what’s next so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for an update on this hot topic!