You need to know what may be changing with your PCB’s components far enough in advance so that those changes can be effectively managed without hurting the production of your PCBAs. And in cases in which a component is no longer available, you need the engineering services of your CM for end-of-life (EOL) components to plan for component obsolescence.
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CMs can be broken into different categories that describe the level of service they provide. They start at the lowest level with basic service and go all the way to the highest level with complicated systems of bureaucracy. The key to choosing a CM for your low-volume production runs is to find one between those two extremes that will give you the best services without the associated problems.
A troubling electronics component shortage crisis is wreaking havoc with PCB manufacturing schedules and costs due to excessive lead times and escalating component prices. Partnering with a CM that provides materials management and engineering services can help shield you from these struggles.
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