The Impact of COVID-19 on the Electronics Manufacturing Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the national and global economy. Many different industries have been affected, including those in electronics manufacturing. A large part of manufacturing involves work on the factory floor, where people are in close contact as they collaborate to boost productivity. Furthermore, manufacturing has been a historically slow industry when adapting to change. Tasks such as product assembly, risk assessment, and prototype development are sensitive workflows that require in-depth planning. For these reasons, manufacturers have had to make significant adjustments during this COVID-19 period. 

The stay-at-home orders being issued across multiple states have further complicated electronics manufacturing. Indeed, with remote/online work only having limited applications on the factory floor, many businesses in this field have been classified as essential service providers. Electronics manufacturers carry out many critical tasks that support other industries across the globe. From product assembly to circuit board designs that power essential medical equipment, electronics manufacturing is an important part of the economy and healthcare space during this pandemic. 

In line with this responsibility, Versa Electronics has stepped up to support critical manufacturing. Not only have we increased medical device production, but we also strive to protect our team’s safety while supporting Minnesota’s economy. 

 

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How COVID-19 has impacted electronics manufacturers

Electronics manufacturing is an essential industry throughout the globe. This pandemic has heavily impacted almost every industry, and manufacturers haven’t been spared. In addition to affecting demand and employee safety, there are additional ways COVID-19 has impacted electronics manufacturers.

1. Disrupting the supply chain

Supply chain disruptions have had the biggest impact on manufacturing. Many companies rely on fluid supply chains to obtain raw materials, replacement components, and other necessary inputs. However, the global impact of COVID-19 has either delayed or entirely shut down various parts of the globe. Those manufacturers who rely on a single supplier have been most heavily impacted. 

Because of limited inputs, companies have had to reduce manufacturing, shift suppliers, or put some products on hold. This significant disruption has also revealed the importance of supply chain diversification. Manufacturers who maintain parallel supply chains have been relatively less impacted because of their ability to adapt to shortages in supply. 

2. Cybersecurity

With a significantly larger portion of the workforce completing duties remotely, hackers have had a field day in penetrating vulnerable systems. The risks that manufacturers face extend far beyond hacked emails or phishing. These companies are also susceptible to data loss, loss of intellectual property, and the hacking of critical manufacturing systems. Furthermore, hackers target manufacturing companies because of the value they can obtain from such data/systems. 

3. Limited movement

Technology has increased the scope of remote/mobile workflows. However, manufacturers still heavily rely on the production line to power daily workflows. The limited movement has negatively impacted both manufacturers and suppliers. Electronics manufacturers travel to build relationships with suppliers, develop prototypes, and address production line challenges. The restricted movement has affected the industry- and such limitations are expected to continue for as long as 24 months. 

4. Limited worksite coordination

The success of any electronics manufacturing project relies on worksite coordination. From employees who power production lines to managers who diagnose and fix operational issues, real-time coordination is essential for the gradual improvement and streamlining of electronics manufacturing projects. 

Such oversight and collaboration have been challenging to achieve during this pandemic period. Teams are having to rely on summarized reports, spreadsheets, and other data collection techniques to get an idea of what’s happening on the factory floor. 

 

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Versa Electronics has continued to provide essential manufacturing services

Despite these challenges, Versa Electronics has continued to deliver quality manufacturing services during the pandemic. We’ve partnered with the State of Minnesota not only to continue providing essential manufacturing services but also to boost electronics manufacturing within the medical field. Providing such critical services has made it possible for us to maintain fluid operations. Furthermore, we were one of the first companies to apply with the state as a critical provider of manufacturing services- even before the official order was issued. 

Our goal has been to support all essential services, plug holes in the electronics contract manufacturing space, and boost medical device manufacturing. We have also continuously maintained our circuit board assembly services, flexible manufacturing, and extensive collaboration with partners within and beyond the industry. In this way, Versa Electronics has been a leader in critical manufacturing during the COVID-19 pandemic while thoroughly following safety recommendations for staff and visitors.

 

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