The modular design of the chargers, increasing the stock of components, and a fast-track product delivery list are some of the actions enabling the company to continue to deliver on time.
Circontrol is addressing the global electronic component shortage crisis buoyantly, despite having received warnings from its suppliers regarding delayed orders, partial deliveries, and increases in the cost of components and other raw materials. This is the sentiment of Víctor Hernando, one of the Group’s Product Managers, who says that although the situation is “disconcerting”, at Circontrol they have been developing a strategy to deal with this global outlook for more than a year. “We have taken various measures to mitigate this crisis, including increasing our stock of components, especially those with long delivery timescales featured on our equipment which will remain in our product range for several more years. This has been made possible through exceptional procurement planning, but also due to charger designs in which some components can be changed for other equivalents without reducing the charger’s performance, or even boosting it from 500 V to 920 V like in the case of the Raption 50, one of our bestselling chargers worldwide”. This adaptability was already built into the chargers’ initial design to prevent shortages and/or increases in the cost of components, quality issues or other contingencies. According to the Product Manager, the goal was to have dual-use components for products, adding flexibility for manufacturing. Thus, in one instance, the manufacturer can continue to supply the 50 kW model in its standard timescales of 4-5 weeks, due to having converted its Raption 100 into a Raption 50 with fewer power modules.
Besides this flexibility in product design, which chiefly applies to the Raption series, in the past year Circontrol has boosted its stock of finished products ready to deliver within a week. Its fast-track list features specific AC and DC models that meet 95% of its customers’ requirements.
According to Hernando, the company is going to maintain this strategy in the long term because the COVID-19 crisis and its consequences have highlighted the major dependency—not only in the EVSE sector, but also in many other industries—on chips and other goods that are undergoing shortages, and in its new prototypes it is going to boost the adaptability of the components in its future products. In fact, the company will introduce new DC charging models at the eMove trade fair in November, showcasing their modular architecture and key features.
“For the time being, Circontrol will be able to maintain delivery timescales, but if the global crisis were to continue, some of its products could be affected and temporarily withdrawn from the catalog: a scenario that remains remote for the manufacturer of charging solutions”, he concluded.