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The Drive for Energy Efficiency

By Steven Blyth, Director Sales & Marketing 

The past few years have presented several challenges to the Electronics Manufacturing Service (EMS) industry, from Brexit, to Covid-19, to supply chain shortages, to labour shortages, to logistical trials and now the fuel and cost of living crisis.  One thing is for sure, what doesn’t break you, will indeed make you stronger. 

And what this time has also brought to the fore is the need to be smarter, and to make your supply chain journey from point A to point Z simpler.

Making things Smarter and Simpler in a Connected World.

Data. Data. Data. This has been a common mantra from our Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) customers during this time, for several reasons: 

  1. Transparency – our customers needed to understand component availability and the impact on their production forecast schedule on a daily basis.  They needed to feel that this was being managed for them and that their requirements were being met.  Clear, concise, and honest communications re: availability, lead-times, allocation, and, in some instances, suggested redesigns to consider alternative component parts, with Design for Manufacture (DFM) in mind. All whilst being cost conscious.
  2. Traceability – for the first time in nearly two decades we are having total landed cost (TLC) conversations.  Customers want to understand their full supply chain, their touchpoints, their costs, and their risk profile.  Many of our OEM customers are making the strategic decision to re-shore their manufacturing back 100% to our UK base to remove any offshore supply chain fragility.
  3. Cost – it’s no secret that many organisations have had to face cost cutting measures, which is why they need their EMS partner to be able to clearly identify where in their production lifecycle they can reduce costs and waste. In SMS, this is where Lean manufacturing plays an important role to identify processes for continuous improvement, streamlined efficiencies, and effectively reduced overhead costs.

From Concept to Consumption

And the above isn’t relevant to only SMS Electronics and our client base.  These are technology industry megatrends as we all face the current fuel, energy, and cost of living increases. Consumption and usage data needs to be presented and understood by both the business and the end-user/the consumer.

For SMS this has led to a spike in the manufacturing of smart and connected devices that are Internet of Things (IoT) linked.  IoT tech tends to have embedded and software inbuilt features that can provide the user with information to enable them to make data led decisions.  Think about the smart meter in your home and how you can utilise this device to understand your usage which ultimately educates you on your consumption enabling you to make decisions that control your costs.

Take the same principle outside of the home and apply it into organisations who can monitor their lighting, gas, electric, water, and waste.  Waste and the reduction of it being the end goal for many companies who value their sustainability aims and objectives.   

The need to conserve energy has resulted in another related tech and innovation spike in the manufacture of equipment that can help us in this pursuit.  Electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS), appliances fitted with solar panel extensions, and products designed and developed with battery life in mind to name but a few.  

And it tends to be, and as history has shown us time and time again, as we join forces to fight the good fight against rising fuel and energy costs and the cost-of-living crisis, this is when ground-breaking answers present themselves. This is when our OEM Research and Development teams thrive to solve the social, environmental, technological, and economic problems with innovative solutions. 

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