Retronix Blog

Mar 19, 2021

Electronic Component Shortage

At the start of the year, Retronix had reported on the critical semiconductor shortage threatening to hamstring production lines of the world’s largest carmakers – demand is high, supply is tight.

Fast forward to today and that looming threat has become a stark reality with Honda recently confirming that it will be suspending production in its North American facilities. It’s not just the automotive industry that is in danger now, with the global semiconductor shortage now pummelling companies across a wide range of industries.

The chip shortage has been a ticking time bomb, building since late last year due to a few (unrelated) supply-chain disruptions.

Harvard Business Review

What has caused this disruption?

As reported by the Harvard Business Review there has been a multitude of one-off factors that have caused this situation that likes of Samsung, VW and Apple find themselves in today. From fires in Japan, storms in Texas to more unnatural Geopolitical factors, these unrelated occurrences have created a domino effect of disruptions that have caused a severe in-balance in the semiconductor supply chain.

However, as highlighted by Business Line, “supply chains in all sorts of industries have dealt with shortages resulting from catastrophes before” and have managed to pull through. So, what’s different this time?

The Electronics Supply Chain

The truth is that this imbalance in the supply chain was present far before any of these “freak” occurrences. Direct Components explain that the shortage of multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) is a consequence of the rise in demand for portable technology and automotive advancements. In turn, this has exasperated the availability of tantalum capacitors, a well-known MLCC alternative. Harvard Business Review calls for large manufacturers in automotive and other sectors suffering from this component shortage to take a long hard look at their supply chain strategies and ask themselves “Where have they prioritized cost reduction at the expense of risk management?”.

Certainly, if we have learned anything from the pandemic, supply chains are extremely volatile, and while the vaccine is picking up pace in the fight against COVID-19. The shortage in components doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.

How can Retronix help?

From Retronix perspective, we have seen customers reporting that they are having to step outside of the approved suppliers to source the components they require, and this has seen an upturn in our testing services as we act as a third-party test house to help our customers verify their new suppliers. Our testing services alongside services such as – component reclaim, retinning and alloy conversion are tools that we can offer the industry to assist our customers and support them through the tough times of allocation. Reclaim memory devices & high value IC’s from obsolete, damaged or old revision PCB’s.

Retronix can help with this. You can find out more about our component recovery here or get in touch with us and find out how we can assist you. We also carry out free of charge samples to help you prove our process and the benefits to your company.

If you have a requirement that you would like to discuss with us, please make contact via email: or use our Website Contact Us page.

Electronic Component Shortage
An overview of the electronic component shortage situation and how Retronix can help through our expert Component Reclaim Service.