Bill of Material Length in Automotive Is Going to Get a Lot Longer

By Logan Wamsley

The demand for electronic components and semiconductors in the automotive market has, and will continue to be, one of the primary drivers of the electronics manufacturing industry. The average combustion engine common in today’s vehicles, for example, contains 2,000-3,000 capacitors. This has proved to significantly impact component lead times and allocation designations throughout multiple industries who require the same materials — reminiscent of 2017 and 2018 when component demand increased approximately 30 percent.

In the coming years, automotive will only have a greater impact on component market demand — and along with IoT, many analysts are predicting that it will be one of the primary markets responsible for component lead time fluctuations. This will be due mainly to the automotive OEM’s gradual transition to electronic (and eventually autonomous) vehicles. Such a transition will include the implementation of new and innovative software, sensors, and AI-based technologies, all of which will require up to 22,000 MLCCs just to power a single vehicle.

That is 22,000 electronic components that must be accounted for within a single bill of material, each of which may have a different source for procurement. Some may be acquired direct from the component manufacturer, others from an authorized distributor or third-party supplier, and each will come with its own unique market of buyers and sellers that determine its availability and lifecycle designation. Keeping track of a bill of material of this scale, even with a fully-equipped team, through traditional methods such as direct contact with the component manufacturer for component lifecycle confirmation, is so far out of the realm of possibility it does not merit consideration.

Especially as automotive is poised to incorporate an unprecedented amount of electronic materials in the coming future, BOM monitoring solutions such as the one offered by Partstat will become not just a luxury for automotive OEMs, but a necessity. With the ability to simultaneously monitor an unlimited number of BOMs within a real-time market model consisting of over 50 billion points of Big Data, Partstat BOM Monitoring allows customers to instantly determine when a critical electronic component or semiconductor is transitioning to obsolescence or going on allocation.

The Partstat platform allows customers to not only detect obsolescence and allocation, but predict it weeks or months in advance of a PCN with the help of intuitive trending charts on historical data for each component. Furthermore, Partstat’s team of BOM specialists provide real-time confirmation of lifecycle status by communicating directly with the component manufacturer on the customer’s behalf.

These features make Partstat’s platform wholly unique from any other BOM monitoring service in the industry, and position it to become the industry standard within an automotive industry that in the next decade is poised to undergo a radical period of transformation and growth.