With solid growth continuing extended lead times seem to be creeping up and shortages are starting to appear.

At the end of last year members of the Electronics Component Supply Network (ecsn) forecast that the electronics component market in the UK and Ireland would grow strongly in the first quarter of 2018 and recent figures suggest that this has certainly been the case.

According to Adam Fletcher, chairman of ecsn, the Sales by Month “three month moving average” for all electronic components while remaining in-line with historical trends, suggested that the strong growth seen at the end of the year had continued into the first quarter of 2018.

Recent consolidated results for March show that Total Monthly Billings (Net Sales Invoiced less Credits) increased by 27% when compared to the previous month and by 6% when compared to the same month in 2017.

The UK has experienced an extended period of growth, one of the longest since 2000, however, it is not alone and similar patterns of growth are being recorded globally. As a result, manufacturers are struggling to keep up with demand and lead times are extending.

Anglia Components has just advised its customers that now is the time to ensure they have sufficient orders/inventory to cover their needs.

One component that is being badly affected is chip resistors with global demand massively outstripping supply.

Shortages and price increases have already heavily impacted the supply chain.

The demand for chip resistors has risen exponentially due to the increase in electronics content in automotive, industrial and consumer applications.

Material prices are also on the rise driven by the increase in demand, this is combining to create a situation whereby chip resistors will remain in short supply and prices will continue increasing in the short to medium term.

Commenting Steve Rawlins, CEO of Anglia, said “It’s ironic that a chip resistor might be one of the cheapest items on the BOM, but without it, you can be looking at thousands in lost revenue if you are not able to complete the assembly of the end product it is going into.”

So, it looks like if you want to ensure your production is not disrupted now would be a good time to take action and start placing orders.