At the executive keynote panel held at Semicon West 2015, one of the key industry challenges discussed was the growing need for closer collaboration between supply chain partners in order to support the fast time to market and shortened product lifecycles of today’s consumer electronics. Traditionally, the yield ramp phase has been a critical time to resolve manufacturing issues, enable high volume production, capture market share, and accelerate product profitability.With the rapid pace of new technological developments, product lifecycles are getting shorter and shorter. Product releases of new Apple iPhones, for example, have been on a 12-month drumbeat. As new products get introduced faster and faster, the pressure to accelerate the speed of yield ramp grows.Failure to properly ramp yield can have disastrous consequences, such as missing a market window, defaulting on customer commitments, or incurring unexpected manufacturing costs. Discovery of yield issues after pilot … [Read more...] about The Growing Role Of Extended Supply Chain Collaboration
Electronics supply chain association
The semiconductor industry is a model of efficiency—literally. When other industries look at adding smart manufacturing into their operations, they often look to chip manufacturing as a shining example.After decades of business gyrations, semiconductor companies have figured out how to instill efficiency into every aspect of making chips. This is evident in device scaling. At 90nm, the cost per 100 million gates was about $4, according to International Business Strategies. At 28nm, it was $1.28. And despite some radically new technology, including the introduction of finFETs and multi-patterning, which carried a huge learning curve, IBS predicts it will again close in on that cost at 10/7.Fig. 1: Gate cost. Source: IBS/SEMIEvery fraction of a penny has been squeezed out of the manufacturing process and the supply chain, which in turn has fostered industry consolidation and generated a lot of legal fees stemming from patent disputes. And there is no end in sight.Throughout this … [Read more...] about Can A Supply Chain Be Too Efficient?
Automotive compute workloads are consolidating as carmakers push toward autonomous vehicles, but the changes necessary to make this all work are causing huge disruptions in an industry that has fine-tuned its supply chain over more than a century.Consolidation is essential for a variety of reasons, including efficiency of the computations, complexity management, and lower deployment costs. And while this seems like a natural progression in markets like PCs and smartphones, it’s a whole new ballgame for automotive OEMs and their suppliers.The automotive industry has been talking about the need for ECU consolidation for many years. But discussions typically have centered around physical space, the cost of silver boxes, the weight of the ECUs, and kilometers of wiring required to connect them all together.“Broadly, consolidation is being driven by cost, flexibility and energy-efficiency, as well as evolving network architectures,” said Richard York, vice president of … [Read more...] about Self-Driving Cars Rattle Supply Chain
SEMI announced today that FlexTech Alliance has become the first SEMI Strategic (Association) Partner, a form of inter-industry cooperation. In this partnership, FlexTech will continue to pursue its mission of fostering the growth of the emerging flexible, hybrid and printed electronics industry as part of SEMI, the global industry association advancing the interests of the worldwide electronics supply chain.SEMI is strengthening its position in the flexible, hybrid and printed electronics sector by more directly engaging with a new set of companies and R&D organizations, and leveraging an experienced team dedicated to this emerging industry. FlexTech’s activities — R&D programs, the annual Flex Conference, and industry-building workshops and webinars in the flexible electronics market — will gain improved reach through SEMI’s global platforms.“SEMI identified several technology areas of high interest to our members and flexible hybrid electronics … [Read more...] about SEMI announces FlexTech Alliance as first Strategic Association Partner
Over my 30-year career as a supply chain business process consultant, I've had the pleasure of working with some of the largest corporations in the world -- so imagine my surprise when many of these companies told me that they were continuing to have problems with their supply chain.Even more surprising was that most of their problems stemmed from a lack of visibility and the inability to predict the performance of their supply chain partners. It's surprising because for the past 25 years, supply chain visibility has been the topic of conversation in many business articles, supply chain organizations, and analyst reports.Manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and third-party logistics organizations focus on their ability to track the location of an order or shipment. While in-transit tracking is important for the obvious reasons, it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to supply chain visibility. Contained in these supply chain messages are a wealth of information that, used … [Read more...] about EXPERT ADVICE Supply Chain Performance: Beneath the Tip of the Iceberg
The trend toward environmentally friendly, or green, business practices is permeating just about every industry and, at a more granular level, specific operations within particular segments -- from high-tech server options to green building.The supply chain is no exception, according to a new survey conducted byEyefortransport in June and July.Two-hundred seventy one transportation and logistics executives participated in the survey. Forty-four percent of the respondents were in the transport and logistics sector, and 8 percent were in high-tech and electronics. The food, retail and consumer packaged goods industries each accounted for 6 percent.The automotive, chemical and healthcare/pharmaceutical sectors were fairly evenly represented, while the defense/aerospace industries were in the minority, "which may or may not be an indication that supply chain greening does not feature high on the list of priorities for these sectors," according to the report.The survey revealed there's a … [Read more...] about The Greening of the Supply Chain
"Get it in writing" is a quaint concept in the electronic information age -- especially in B2B e-commerce, where a more suitable direction may be: "get in it cXML."Every industry has major players moving back-office functions from sourcing and procurement, to invoicing and payment to the Web. Supplier networks from Ariba, Perfect Commerce and Quadrem are expanding rapidly alongside industry-specific predecessors like OFS Portal, which connects suppliers and producers in the upstream oil and gas industry, and general procurement sites such as TradeKey.com.While B2B e-commerce remains in the domain of Forbes Global 2000 companies with more than US$1 billion in sales, according to Forrester Research, responsibility often falls upon their smaller suppliers to accommodate online transactions. Benefits for small companies may include that their buyer assumes responsibility for tracking services delivery, faster invoicing and payment, and minimized disputes.The rapid growth of … [Read more...] about EXPERT ADVICE Is Your Electronic Data Agreement Your Supply Chain’s Weakest Link?
As companies evaluate their carbon footprints, supply chains are one area of business that have come under increased scrutiny. Making the complex network of manufacturers, packagers, shippers, wholesalers and retailers greener protects the environment, saves energy, and ultimately reduces costs.Emerging technologies make it increasingly feasible to measure, manage and reduce the carbon footprint of doing business. From software that manages and evaluates the "greenness" of a company's supply chain to electronic network systems that make communications between all the links in that chain essentially paperless, these technologies promise a greener future.To green a supply chain, a company must first evaluate the situation. Sometimes, this takes the form of an old-fashioned walk-through of the business by an environmental consultant or other environmental expert."We'll go in and help organizations understand where they stand," Rajeev Kapur, founder of the environmental marketing and … [Read more...] about The Green Supply Chain: Cutting Out Weak Links
The holiday data breach at Target was opened up with stolen credentials from a vendor in the company's supply chain, according to reports that surfaced last week. That kind of attack is getting more and more common these days."About 80 percent of data breaches originate in the supply chain," Torsten George, vice president of marketing for Agiliance, told TechNewsWorld.With security concerns mounting, corporations have dedicated greater resources to hardening their defenses against hacker attacks. That has forced cyberbandits to adjust their penetration thinking."Hackers began looking for the weakest point in the chain, and that's the supplier," George said.Companies today do business in a hyper-networked world. They're working with more and more business partners -- partners in payment collection and processing, manufacturing, IT and even human resources."It is simple. Hackers find the weakest point of entry to gain access to sensitive information, and often that point is within the … [Read more...] about SPOTLIGHT ON SECURITY Target Fiasco Shines Light on Supply Chain Attacks
Web services are improving supply chain and business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) network management. As companies such as IBM and Ariba develop better service-oriented architecture (SOA)-based Web services at the partner and customer end, providers such asArch Rock are pushing wireless Web services-enabled networking onto the shop floor and to previously inaccessible production locations, as noted inPart 1 of this two-part series.Technological development is fueling the transformation of economies and production processes around the world. Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing -- an industry-shaking innovation when Japanese manufacturers applied the methodology on a wholesale basis back in the early 1980s -- is now a best practice across almost every sector of economic activity.Making cross-border supply chain and JIT manufacturing work has meant developing ways to manage business processes that are spread across multiple countries and regions; a range of suppliers, distributors, retail … [Read more...] about Extending the Supply Chain, Part 2: SOA