Should OEMs “Future Proof” Critical Inventory Storage? Yes!

By Logan Wamsley

It is easy for OEMs to consider their storage facilities, if they have such facilities at all, as entities that transcend time. Storage, by its very nature, typically is not really associated with innovation as much as keeping status quo. In other words, what gets stored should, presumably, maintain its same form and function for as long as needed. As long as that objective is accomplished, do any additional considerations need to be taken into account regarding the facilities used?

Yes, they should. Quite significantly so. Just as the electronics manufacturing industry continually evolves and expands, so too must the facilities tasked with mitigating disruptions and ensuring the integrity of critical electronic inventory. What was sufficient to store an electronic component or semiconductor even two or three years ago may not necessarily be sufficient today — and if the OEM does not take the time to consider the unique needs of today’s electronic inventory, it risks compromising the integrity of its supply chain and brand.

As component manufacturers attempt to meet the market’s desire for smaller, more powerful, and more efficient components to incorporate into smaller, even portable in the case of many IoT products, designs, there has been a significant shift in what such components require to maintain optimum functionality. Many of these components, for example, are highly susceptible to variables such as extraneous particles (soil, dust, moisture etc.), temperature, and even atmospheric pressure. In order to protect their investment and ensure the component retains proper functionality at the point of assembly, OEMs must prepare their storage facilities to account for such factors.

Even if the OEM does not currently have inventory on their various bills of material that exhibits such sensitivities, chances are they will in the immediate future. According to a study by Bain & Company, the IoT market alone will grow to approximately $520 billion in 2012, more than double the value of the market in 2017. In order to remain competitive, OEMs must be ready with a strategy in place to house the sensitive inventory such products will require.

Because the incorporation of such advancements requires significant time and capital investment — both of which are limited — independent third parties such as Partstat are in a strong position to fill an inherent market need for OEMs to “future proof” their long-term storage strategies. For example, for irreplaceable critical electronic inventory, Partstat offers customers seeking long-term storage solutions access to the electronics manufacturing industry’s only custom storage vault specifically designed for sensitive electronic inventory. The many features of this vault include:

Fire Rated Class 350 Certification – Insulated with spun ceramic material, our Vault has been tested to withstand temperatures well above 2,000°F for over five hours.

Clean Agent Fire Suppression System – In the remote case of a fire, our Vault will automatically trigger a chemical suppression system created specifically to protect electronic components.

Zone IV Seismic Rated – With a unique structural steel design, our Vault has been tested to have a strength three times that of a normal building, rendering it safe from all natural disasters.

Magnetic Shielding – The Vault walls and ceiling are enhanced with magnetic shielding to protect against magnetic interference and electrostatic discharge (ESD), which can include anything from a common power surge to a lightning strike.

1,100 lb. Vault Door – With a unique two-door design for additional protection, our vault door is the same one trusted by world-leading government and commercial enterprises such as AT&T, Walt Disney Imagineering, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Air Force.

Modular Construction – Built from panels that are 24 inches wide and can vary in height from 8 to 16 feet, our Vault can be customized to meet your current needs, and even expand as your needs change.

Die and Wafer Banking Capabilities – For OEMs who wish to incorporate ASICs into their product designs, our vault also contains dry cabinets representing the latest in die and wafer banking technology.

Third-party offerings such as this are poised to revolutionize the electronics manufacturing industry, allowing OEMs to prepare their storage infrastructure for any and all challenges new technology might bring. And instead of taking months or years to develop it in a piecemeal fashion, they can do it today.