Supply shortages continue to plague the industry

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The Nikkei newspaper has published an article detailing some of the difficulties the camera industry is going through in terms of supply shortages.
In short, TLDR; It’s really bad.

According to Nikkei and disseminated by Digicame-info, the industry is facing anywhere from 5 to 15 week delay in parts procurement and for some specialized parts, up to 90 week delays (2 years).  Sony specifically canceled some of their mirrorless cameras because they simply could not get semiconductors used by the LCD screens.  Camera production for 2021 was down 20-30% specifically because of the shortages.
HP commented, and stated that once one shortage is corrected, another one appears leading to a whack-a-mole effect attempting to get parts procured.
According to Nikkei there really isn’t an end in sight to the shortages and expect them to continue.
From Bloomberg, we see...

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unfocused

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Not even that, to get rid of the backlog they have to do new plants - 2+ years per plant. this is going to be a hot mess for a while now. the delays in procurement and shipping shocked me, i never thought it was THAT bad.
And yet, Canon just closed a plant in China. They did not repurpose it, they closed it.
 
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unfocused

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I would expect Canon to triage their parts to the higher value items while these shortages are occurring – expect more EF and EF-S lenses to fall into discontinued because let’s face it – if you have 10,000 parts and you had a choice between EF and RF lenses to put them in, Canon is obviously going to choose RF.

Of course, that presumes that there are parts that are common to EF, EF-S and RF lenses. No doubt that is true in some cases, for example the EF and RF big white 600 mm twins, but I wonder how true that is with lenses like the RF 100-500 which is chronically in short supply and has no EF counterpart.
 
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David - Sydney

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Of course, that presumes that there are parts that are common to EF, EF-S and RF lenses. No doubt that is true in some cases, for example the EF and RF big white 600 mm twins, but I wonder how true that is with lenses like the RF 100-500 which is chronically in short supply and has no EF counterpart.
I concur. there are chips in the lenses but commonality is questionable.

I am in procurement/supply chain and the network devices and PC leadtimes are abysmal and getting worse :-(
Software Defined Wide Area Networks (SD WAN) solutions are making it easier to deploy network function as long as we can get the platform device
 
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Of course, that presumes that there are parts that are common to EF, EF-S and RF lenses. No doubt that is true in some cases, for example the EF and RF big white 600 mm twins, but I wonder how true that is with lenses like the RF 100-500 which is chronically in short supply and has no EF counterpart.
interface I/O, IC's linear amps, DAC's etc digital logic, etc are probably all common, as example. could even be shortage of discreet capacitors and resistors. IBIS units probably all have the same circuits, just different firmware.

there's very little difference in between EF and RF - just logically a different protocol, there probably is a high degree of commonality between the two. Also, all those parts could be shared across many or all of the EF/RF lenses.

I mean, canon et all are going to insure that most of the parts are common simply because then they can under normal circumstances, get them cheaper.
 
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dcm

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And yet, Canon just closed a plant in China. They did not repurpose it, they closed it.
It sounded more like an assembly plant which produced products not in demand. It didn't actually produce the parts that are in shortage. With the diminished demand, Canon didn't need the capacity and consolidated in another location.

Chip fab is an entirely different process that uses specialized buildings. I watched the construction of a fab on our site several years ago. They drilled piles 50+ feet into the ground down to bedrock to provide a vibration free base for photolithography, required when you are dealing with small nm processes. The amount of concrete poured to create the facility was amazing. It also requires specialized air handling to prevent contamination and hazardous chemical handling facilities. You cannot just place a bunch of equipment in an existing facility to start a chip fab.

At the time, many thought building another fab was not worth the time and investment. It wasn't long until it hit full capacity. My how things have changed.
 
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unfocused

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Unfortunately, there can be many reasons to close a plant in China and they aren't always about production capacity

You are correct of course.

It sounded more like an assembly plant which produced products not in demand. It didn't actually produce the parts that are in shortage. With the diminished demand, Canon didn't need the capacity and consolidated in another location.

Probably true, but nonetheless Canon elected to surrender that manufacturing capacity rather than repurpose the plant or retrain the workforce. We don't know why that was the case, but ordinarily companies are loathe to get rid of a skilled workforce unless they are completely confident that they will never again need that workforce, because once you close a plant the workers walk out the door and you generally cannot get them back again.

However, please keep in mind the context of my comment, which was a response to a statement that in order to get rid of their backlog, Canon must bring new plants online and that will require two plus years.

The problem with such statements is that we do not know what we do not know. And, we do not know if the current order backlog has anything at all to do with Canon's own production capacity (which would require building new or repurposing existing facilities and possibly retraining a workforce).

I have a very hard time believing that Canon is so poorly managed that they released products without having the production capacity to meet expected demand (one can argue that demand may have exceeded expectations, but that also would signify a level of incompetence that I don't believe is characteristic of Canon, since they surely must do extensive research to predict demand.) I would also point out that Canon came late to the mirrorless game, which I think indicates that they took a very careful look at the market before jumping in.

I can believe that Canon, like virtually every other company and government in the world, was caught by surprise by a deadly virus that completely upended the supply chain. And, I can also believe that Canon may have been blindsided by one of the positive side effects of the pandemic, which was that it increased demand as customers repurposed their disposable income from experiences (travel for example) to goods (cameras and lenses).

However, that redirection of disposable income is likely to be temporary and will fall back to previous levels (or below) if and when people can resume spending on travel and other experiences. If the surge in demand is temporary, it would be foolhardy for a company to quickly redirect resources to add permanent capacity for a temporary demand.

This is a very long-winded way of saying that we should not assume that we know what Canon's challenges are (lack of physical production facilities) nor should we assume to know what the solution is (adding permanent manufacturing capacity).
 
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This is a very long-winded way of saying that we should not assume that we know what Canon's challenges are (lack of physical production facilities) nor should we assume to know what the solution is (adding permanent manufacturing capacity).
Canon doesn't lack manufacturing capability. they lack parts. They closed that plant down because they want to move all assembly back to Japan. That way when they get get in this supply reduced parts, it all gets shipped to one location, versus plants across various countries.

Canon used to produce around 4 times the amount of cameras per year than they do now - it's only natural that some assembly plants would end up closing.

however, assembly plants do nothing to improve supply chain issues. You can't simply repurpose an assembly plant to be a semiconductor fabrication plant and even if you have the fabs there IP's involved, etc - you can't just make someone else's IC if it's bound by their IP library.

If you read the article, the problem was not directly COVID really, the problem was that the foundries thought they would have much longer time to ramp up to increased demand. As there was unprecedented increased demand in cloud services, computers, mining, etc,etc,etc. what they didn't expect with respect to covid was ultra fast economic bounceback - they figured they had some breathing room. They drastically underestimated demand and how fast that would increase.
 
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Chaitanya

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interface I/O, IC's linear amps, DAC's etc digital logic, etc are probably all common, as example. could even be shortage of discreet capacitors and resistors. IBIS units probably all have the same circuits, just different firmware.

there's very little difference in between EF and RF - just logically a different protocol, there probably is a high degree of commonality between the two. Also, all those parts could be shared across many or all of the EF/RF lenses.

I mean, canon et all are going to insure that most of the parts are common simply because then they can under normal circumstances, get them cheaper.
There is apparently a shortage of passive components as well in electronics market:
 
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NKD

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As an example price here is Australia - I was tempted to get an R5 - Kept an eye on prices
As soon as Canon announced their Lens price hike.
Dec 2021/22 NY sale = $4800 (20% off + Store 5% off)
Feb 2022 = $6000 - $6500

The only reason i didn't buy it was the ridiculous markup we have on memory cards here - they are 30-40% cheaper from overseas - where in fact with my shooting I coulda Kept a UHS-I card inside..
 
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