Integrated Circuit Shortages

Many of our clients rely on Powerhouse Two to build custom chargers and adapters for their devices. While these do not have the regulations and restrictions surrounding battery building and shipping, a new problem has reared its head that is going to severely impact electronics across all types and all countries. Turns out we are now in a global shortage of semiconductors.

Pricing is increasing from 20% to as much as 50% on devices requiring semiconductors. And it is not just smaller companies feeling the pinch. Even giants like Toyota and Chrysler have had to shut down production plants in Canada, Mexico, and China. Why you ask?

For starters, the COVID lockdown caused a global demand spike for consumer electronics. We all wanted new computers, gaming systems, TV’s, phones, etc. Add to this that raw material costs are increasing rapidly, and companies building IC’s simply could not keep pace with demand. It is a recipe for increased pricing and far longer wait times.
The factory wait time for some custom chargers and adaptors has skyrocketed. It will take up to 6 months in some custom IC cases to get necessary materials to build finished goods. The implicit impacts could be stunning. Without this critical part, device kitting will stop on the line. I do not need to explain the potential catastrophe both up and down stream.

If we are building custom battery packs that employ BMS systems, these too may be affected by the IC shortages. These often require specially made custom IC’s, that are built by the same people who are building the high-volume chips. Expect longer lead times for these as well.

Powerhouse Two is recommending these steps in order to avoid supply chain issues.

  1. Carefully look at your projections and order 6-12 months of product on a blanket order. Old methods of purchasing on a tight delivery schedule will prolong the pain.
  2. Talk to your regulatory people, see if you are able to obtain any type of waiver or accelerated approval process so the PH2 team can develop multiple sources for your needed product. Having a second or third source may cut availability and potentially even save money. At minimum, a second approved factory can alleviate pressure if problems occur with one of the suppliers.