Consequence of the digital boom Electronic parts are scarce

Consequence of the digital boom Electronic parts are scarce

Consequence of the digital boom Electronic parts are scarce

The ubiquitous digital boom has an unfortunate side effect for the industry: this year semiconductors and other electronic components are scarcer than they have been for a long time. According to information from the industry, there has been a shortage of everyday components such as capacitors or resistors for the first time in the past few months. “Car manufacturers and the automation industry were hardest hit,” said Christoph Stoppok, Managing Director of the Electronic Components and Systems (ECEI) association. Electronica, the leading international trade fair for the industry with more than 3000 exhibitors, starts this Tuesday in Munich.

The consequences of the shortage are long delivery times and higher prices – although the trade association does not comment on the latter topic. According to Stoppok, the peak of the shortage has now been passed, as the economy is weakening. However, according to industry information, the situation has not yet completely normalized.

“The extraordinary thing this time is that passive components and other products were also in short supply, especially multilayer ceramic capacitors,” Stoppok said. Passive components are called passive because they cannot amplify an electrical signal in a circuit, including commodity items such as resistors or capacitors.

Two factors have contributed to the shortage: the good economy that has lasted for years and the fact that more and more functions in industrial products are being controlled electronically.
Take a car, for example: a large number of electronically controlled circuits are required, from on-board computers to engine management and driver assistance systems to comfort functions such as seat heating. “More than 100 networked control units are now being used in some of the current models,” says the Ingolstadt subsidiary.

“The proportion of semiconductors and passive components has also risen sharply in recent years,” said a spokeswoman. “A fully equipped premium car contains up to 10,000 semiconductors and many more passive components – capacitors, resistors and so on.”
According to information, there were no production delays. “We recognized the signs of the current market situation early on and adjusted to them,” said the spokeswoman. “However, we continue to see a challenging market environment in some areas in 2019.”

The Munich rival also says that the shortage of electronic components has not been completely eliminated, but is manageable. Both car manufacturers attach great importance to good relationships with their suppliers. Because not only the car industry assumes that the demand for electronic components will continue to increase in the coming years due to technical progress.
There is a real boom in sensors, which are being used in more and more areas of life – be it optical sensors for cars, medical sensors for measuring bodily functions or industrial sensors for monitoring machines.

According to experts, electronization will make massive strides in the next few years. In industry, automation and robotics are currently two very big topics – and unthinkable without electronic measurement and control.
And everyday life is also becoming technologically more complex – whether it’s mobile payments in shops or self-regulating heating. The Central Association of the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Industry (ZVEI) estimated in April that worldwide sales of microelectronics will increase by almost 90 billion to half a trillion dollars between 2017 and 2022.

Accordingly, more exhibitors have registered for Electronica than ever before: More than 3000 companies want to take part in the four-day industry meeting. Two large Munich companies also play a key role in the electronics market in their respective business areas: the Munich group is one of the world leaders in semiconductors, and in LEDs and optical sensors.