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Managing motion control component supply chain trade-offs through collaboration

01 May 2024

Supply chain delays result in longer than expected lead times for motion control components, contributing to rising prices and the inability of machine OEMs to promise delivery. Design engineers are increasingly forced to trade off cost, delivery time, performance, and other variables to ensure that they have a functioning component capable of meeting their basic design specs in time.

They are also, however, finding that real-time collaboration with vendors can be one of their best weapons for optimising motion system designs across a volatile supply chain.

You want it when?
Today's well-publicised supply chain bottlenecks are changing technology purchasing processes dramatically. The days when a motion control vendor could stand by a quote for a year or more are gone for now, and maybe forever. Nowadays, a design engineer starts a project with an assumed delivery time in mind and plenty of supplier inventory on the shelf, but by the time they are ready to order, the stock may be gone.

Whether such delays are caused by issues with other critical path components or by other factors, they can bump delivery schedules from days to weeks, and even months. Faced with the prospect of not getting the exact parts they need in time to meet their customer commitments, designers must often accept trade-offs between delivery, price, performance, and other variables. The challenge is to do so without sacrificing quality.

Read the full article in DPA's May 2024 issue

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