Offshore Electronics has signed a sole source partnership with PCB supplier NCAB Group in a move designed to secure its supply in the face of unprecedented industry pressure.

The agreement consolidates Offshore Electronics’ PCB procurement for its electronic contract manufacturing facility in Guernsey. The business originally had four suppliers but will now work with NCAB exclusively.

Supply of PCBs has been severely impacted by a number of issues in recent years, including reduced manufacturing capacity in China, increased demand for electronic goods and a limited supply of raw materials for PCBs due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Paul van der Tang, Purchasing Director at Offshore Electronics says the agreement is a slightly counter-intuitive move: “To cut the number of suppliers during a squeeze may appear counter-intuitive but will ultimately help us to guarantee more stability for from customers. We’ve worked with NCAB for ten years and the company’s performance has been outstanding in the face of unprecedented pressure on the global PCB supply chain.”

He continued: “We’ve benefited from good pricing and stable lead times over the last eighteen months. In large part this is due to NCAB’s network of manufacturing facilities across the world that have maintained supply and kept lead times to a minimum. This agreement is a sign of our complete faith in its capabilities.”

The unprecedented spike in copper prices that started just before the first lockdown, which has seen copper go from $2.17 per lb to a peak of $4.75 at the beginning of May 2021, has severely impacted electronics production across the globe. Van der Tang says that NCAB’s ability to mitigate the effect of raw material price while maintaining supply was a major factor in the decision to consolidate suppliers: “With NCAB’s help we’ve been able to mitigate copper price increases which, in turn, has meant that we have been able to control end-product prices to our own customers.”

Ryan Pellow, General Manager at NCAB, added: “Offshore has been a partner of ours for many years, but the strength of this relationship was never truly known until we encountered the recent challenges impacting global supply chains. During these times, Offshore’s flexibility and desire to work with NCAB has allowed us to manage costs whilst ensuring continuity of supply. With over 30 years’ experience within the electronics industry, we take immense pride in the fact that we have been chosen as Offshore’s sole PCB partner, as it epitomises the success we have shared over the past 10 years and demonstrates our joint desire to continue supporting each other for the good of customers.”