Editor’s note: As part of our Special Project scheduled to go live next week, AspenCore Media’s Special Project team is taking a deep dive into the supply chain’s IP&E component shortage, identifying high-demand markets; sourcing solutions and tips; production forecasts; and how suppliers are working with designers and buyers to manage through this crisis. Here’s the first of several supplier profiles.
Vishay Intertechnology started as a maker of foil resistors and foil resistance strain gages in 1962. Named after founder Dr. Felix Zandman’s ancestral village in Lithuania, in memory of family members who perished in the Holocaust, the company has grown through acquisition and product innovation to a $2.6 billion in 2017.
The company is likely to exceed growth expectations in 2018 given a severe component shortage across the electronics industry. “Vishay continues to enjoy very excellent business conditions in virtually all of its markets and there is no sign of a slowdown,” said Gerald Paul, president and CEO, during the company’s most recent earnings call. “Record volume and good efficiencies supported the further substantial increase of revenues and of profitability, as we continue expanding critical manufacturing capacities.
Today, as a broad-line manufacturer of electronic components, Vishay offers a comprehensive portfolio of semiconductor and passive components used in virtually all types of electronic devices and equipment. The company plays in the industrial, computing, automotive, consumer, telecommunications, military, aerospace, power supplies, and medical markets. “We are a high reliability, high performance niche supplier,” explained Dave Valletta, executive vice president of worldwide sales at Vishay.
To serve these markets, Vishay has developed new products and technologies in a variety of areas including MOSFETs (high-voltage E series, mid- voltage ThunderFET, low-voltage TrenchFET Gen IV), power modules (IGBTs), miniaturized packages for TMBS and FRED Pt rectifiers, power inductors (high-current, high-temperature IHLP), custom magnetics, high-power current sense resistors (Power Metal Strip), and various mid- and high-power capacitors.
In the face of today’s product shortages, Vishay is working to strategically extend its supply. “We are adding capacity in a number of areas,” said Valletta. “On all of our key volume product lines, we are adding what we believe is appropriate capacity.” Valletta points to tight supply in a variety of areas including capacitors, resistors, discrete MOSFETs, and diodes.
In MLCCs, where Vishay is a niche player, expansion is more limited, with additional staffing to maximize output of devices. “You have to be somewhat intelligent about it,” Valetta said. “In products where we are key suppliers we are adding a lot more. “
The company points to the automotive and industrial sectors as being a particularly dynamic. “As we announced earlier, we trust in an accelerated growth trend of our markets—in particular, the automotive and industrial end markets—for the years to come,” said Paul. “We prepare ourselves by continuing to expand manufacturing capacities for our constrained key product lines while remaining careful in adding operational fixed costs.
In the automotive marketplace, the increased sophistication of cars and their systems is driving growth. In 2010, electronic components represented 30% of the total cost of the car, but by 2020 that figure will rise to 35%, according to reports from PwC.
“We supply performance parts and there are things in the automotive segment that are driving strong demand,” said Valletta. He points to a variety of advanced driving assist systems, safety systems, and more. “Things are taking off, particularly in high-end cars,” he said. “The electrification of vehicles, both because of the systems in the cars and charging equipment, is driving sales too.”
In the industrial sector, the buzz around Industry 4.0 provides compelling opportunities for Vishay. “This is something that is not a flash in the pan,” Valletta concluded. “We see it as a key segment with long-term growth prospects.”
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN