Broken supply chains in the industrial automation market

Broken Supply chains spare parts inventory Automa.Net

The COVID epidemic has changed the economy around the world. Global markets have suffered from lockdowns, closed borders, and transport problems. Many companies have reduced component production. The crisis in the raw materials market has caused serious supply problems. Additional problems are container wars, i.e. rising prices and reducing maritime transport from China. European companies are struggling with the effects of broken supply chains.

What about production?

Border lockouts significantly reduced business travels and some plants struggled to maintain their work teams. The first phase of the lockdown caused the warehouses to be staffed up with manufactured products, but then the components began to run out. Managers began to wonder – what about the production. The plants faced total uncertainty. Stabilizing production in the face of broken supply chains is difficult. The waiting time for some robots increased from 4-6 weeks to even 4-6 months. It is very difficult to maintain the normal workflow in this situation.

Closed borders

Closed borders mean not only a problem with employees but also with the machines. Many companies need technical support for machine repair and maintenance. Difficult business trips and quarantine in some countries cause production downtime. What about machines or production lines ordered in other countries? It turned out that they could not be transported, and prolonged restrictions even caused the collapse of many companies supplying machines. Some investments will no longer be completed.

Automation problems

Most countries have mastered the situation related to the spread of the virus, but this does not mean the end of trouble. Some projects that have been put on hold are awaiting implementation. In addition, companies have temporarily halted investments that they would now like to unseason. Automation problems are now due to a lack of industrial automation or a long wait for components.

It could be even worse

The automotive industry already had significant production declines at the end of 2019. The following years, it is said, did not improve the situation of this sector of the economy. Therefore, Volkswagen or Fiat decided to temporarily close factories and stop production. New technologies and electronics fared better, but many raw materials, e.g. rare earth metals, are lacking. Broken supply chains in this case are not so easy to rebuild. Even giants like Samsung are planning to temporarily hold production. Electronics will definitely go off the road, and additional factors like buying graphics cards by people mining bitcoins clean the market from electronics.

An opportunity for local markets

Broken supply chains are an opportunity for local markets. Creating new raw material circuits, components can prove challenging for companies that have the capacity to adapt to the new conditions. Flexibility, openness and new business models will help partially address stock shortages.

Fix broken supply chains

Marcin Krzączkowski the Founder of Automa.Net says that “Automa.Net was created to repair broken supply chains. Companies from Europe and even around the world can sell and buy spare parts for new and used parts.” This allows you to find the missing items and sell inventory that we don’t use. An additional option is to introduce Automa.Net into your ordering system. This makes it possible to order directly without using an external service. 

Security for the future

The 2020 crisis will have long-term effects. Broken supply chains will not be rebuilt so quickly. Security needs to be developed now for the future. Continuity of logistics is very important, especially for production companies. However, the cost and efficiency of implementations are the basis of automation and robotics integrators. Appropriate procedures will make logistics efficient and stable.