Finding alternative components to help with the challenges in the supply chain has become even more crucial in the recent years. Reijo Kalenius, Development Manager at Scanfil, is one of the key persons helping to find alternative components for our customers. Since the work can be quite unpredictable and hectic, it also offers exciting stories. Therefore, we asked Reijo to share one of his success stories with us.
Case Toyota: Finding an alternative component within 6 weeks
“At the beginning of September 2022, I got a call from our Chief Procurement Officer, Markku Kosunen. He told me that one of our suppliers had rescheduled their deliveries for a component that we need in our Toyota production, and that the delivery date was postponed until Mid-October,” Reijo starts and continues “He asked me to check if we could find a replacement for the component”. Even if the assignment seemed like a mission impossible, Reijo promised to investigate it.
Reijo immediately reached out to our component engineers and Lars who is the original designer of the product. According to Reijo, the tricky part was the grounded shield in the crystal, which is not common in these components. “Anyway, the team quickly aligned on the technical requirements of the component and started to contact alternative manufacturers. Lars, the original designer of the product, also contacted the customer to agree on the verification activities needed to qualify the new component,” tells Reijo.
Already next day, our component engineer came back with a replacement candidate. “We checked the datasheet, and were excited to see that it seemed to work for us!”, rejoices Reijo.
Immediately, Łukasz from the Global Sourcing Team proceeded to checking the sample availability and lead-time for the first batches with our distributor. He informed that samples for testing were on the way from Hong Kong, and Toyota also gave us a green light for a “risk buy” of the first batch needed in production. The supplier promised to deliver the first batch before our production stop in early October, so the project had gone from impossible to possible within a week from the start.
“By late September, our team in Sieradz had built samples for both Scanfil Åtvidaberg and Toyota to run the needed verification tests, and they both proceeded quickly with the tests. By October 7, we completed the verification tests and had the new crystal in stock. On top of solving the immediate shortage that faced us, the supply chain for Toyota will be much less risky also in the future, since we now have an alternative source for this component,” tells Reijo.
This case is just one example of how we can help to identify and change existing products to help with challenges in the supply chain. We have done similar projects to also other customers, and we have clear processes for running these projects.