The global semiconductor and chip shortage affects particularly the availability of high-tech components. Therefore, the effects are clearly visible in areas where operators’ work is based on intelligent systems.
In our everyday life at Extron, the biggest single problem has recently been the lack of predictability. In components, this can be seen in long and uncertain delivery times. The poor availability of semiconductors can increase delivery times to over a year. And as everyone has noticed, a lot can happen in a year.
The exponential increase in raw material prices, on the other hand, is reflected in machine frames and other manufactured parts. The rapid and hard-to-predict development of price increases has forced us to shorten the validity period of our offers to two weeks.
Global challenges also require local solutions
Naturally, the global changes are not only visible in the daily lives of Extron. Worldwide, a surprising number of big players have suddenly bought components for even several years’ worth of needs. From our point of view, these solutions often seem even a bit hasty and even help to increase the outlet of components.
In the future, organizations will pay even more attention to supply chains and their own inventory. In general, delivery reliability is easier to ensure if the supply chain is as short as possible. The locality has gained exceptional value, and the unit price of the component is no longer the most important competitive advantage. Together with local machine suppliers and our other partners, we have tried to unify our component selection and thus gain flexibility in deliveries.
Some organizations have also been concerned about the availability of spare parts. Extron has always used high-quality components from industry-leading manufacturers, who usually have spare parts availability secured, even if other delivery times are extended. We have also increased our own stock of manufactured parts for the most critical products.
Extrusion architects’ tips for proactive preparation
Up to a certain limit, organizations can prepare for problems caused by long delivery times and material shortages. Perhaps the most crucial resource is time. Therefore, preparing for the future plays a significant role. If our professionals get enough foreknowledge about our customers’ investment needs, we will be better prepared to anticipate orders for parts with an extended delivery time. We have always aimed to design versatile solutions that can be used in as many different lines as possible. However, each machine is an individual, and its use requires consideration of certain specific features. That is why anticipation pays off, as we can plan exactly the solutions that suit the needs of your line and operators.
And speaking of advance preparations, for forecasting service and maintenance measures, we recommend implementing an intelligent and automated data measurement tool. Extron VASTE enables predictive maintenance according to the actual wear and tear of the machine, and sometimes even hidden faults are revealed by automated analysis of sensor data.
Finally, I would like to remind you that challenging times have been overcome before. Building a better tomorrow often requires action today, and that is why I want to emphasize both the belief in a better future and the importance of foresight. And even though delivery times have become frustratingly long, in Extron’s history, not a single project has gone un-delivered.
Niko Holm, CEO