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How can you tell if a component will be immediately available in big quantities?

Flyback

Well-Known Member
We have put one of the ECW-FD2J185K film capacitor into our PCB. It is 1.8uF,630VDC, and dimensions 25.3mm by 11.2mm by 16.5mm (= l x w x h).
In digikey and mouser this part is not immediately available in large quantities, in fact, only a few 100 pieces are immediately available.
This is a problem because it is a sure sign that this part will have supply issues…do you agree? (ie, if we get an order for 1000 boards say, then we probably won’t end up being able to quickly get enough capacitors in straight away).
Therefore, we looked for a second source. However, all the capacitors of this spec are bigger than the ECW-FD2J185K, so we wouldn’t be able to fit them on the PCB.
How can we find out if ECW-FD2J185K is going to be immediately available in large quantities (say 10,000 pieces), if we get an order for this many boards?
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
One suggestion is to check availability at Octopart.com, particularly when before designing with a new part. They provide a real-time inventory and pricing at major suppliers and some non-traditional suppliers of difficult-to-get parts. If you search on the basic part number (i.e., leave the suffix off), you can sometimes find alternative parts that may work with slightly different specifications.

Your parr is showing 775 in stock at Digikey, 800 at Arrow and 800 at Verical (which may be the same 800 as those are the same company underneath).

How do you know what will be available in the future? First, check the data sheet and the manufacturer's website. If it says anywhere "not recommended for new designs", "final buy starus" or obsolete, unless you can buy as many today as you will ever need, don't use the part.

Beyond that, if Octopart doesn't show abundant stock in several vendors, call the manufacturer's technical support and ask about projected future availability. You may learn that your part is a popular seller that they plan to support for years or that the product line is a dog about to be discontinued.

But you never know. The manufacturer may make hundreds of thousands a month but the hot new product may suck the market dry. It's always best to design around parts with availability from several manufacturers where posible.
 

Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
If you can accommodate the bigger part then that will ensure future supply. Unless space is really tight the bigger part will probably be more reliable so why not just go with it?

Mike.
 
Last edited:

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
We have put one of the ECW-FD2J185K film capacitor into our PCB. It is 1.8uF,630VDC, and dimensions 25.3mm by 11.2mm by 16.5mm (= l x w x h).
In digikey and mouser this part is not immediately available in large quantities, in fact, only a few 100 pieces are immediately available.
This is a problem because it is a sure sign that this part will have supply issues…do you agree? (ie, if we get an order for 1000 boards say, then we probably won’t end up being able to quickly get enough capacitors in straight away).
Therefore, we looked for a second source. However, all the capacitors of this spec are bigger than the ECW-FD2J185K, so we wouldn’t be able to fit them on the PCB.
How can we find out if ECW-FD2J185K is going to be immediately available in large quantities (say 10,000 pieces), if we get an order for this many boards?

The manufacturer will make large quantities if you order large quantities. You need to set expectations with your customers. You can not stock large quantities of every part just because your customers "might" order 10,000 pieces and they don't expect you to.

What they will want to know is, how long will it take for you to deliver 10,000 boards and tell them before they place a large order. In the case of the Panasonic capacitor. Digikey says the lead time for large quantities (more than their current inventory) is 14 weeks. You need to go through your full bill of materials (BOM) and find the longest lead time of all the parts and use that, plus your assembly time, to deliver a large quantity of boards. Sometimes it is worth holding inventory of the longest lead time part(s) if they have exceptionally long lead times, are inexpensive pieces and can be used for other projects.

Key message: set your customer's expectations early. Your customer may not like it but, hey, Digikey is clear with you (14 weeks on the mentioned part), you can be clear with your customer.

1C1ED9C7-24E8-4C3C-B7C2-51B8C100390E.jpeg
 

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