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30th January 2024

Product Redesign - Component Unavailability & Shortages

You may think this is old news (because, to be fair, it *has* been going on for a while), however the impact of COVID, global recession, war and of course Brexit has meant disruption to supply chains and component availability is still being sharply felt by organisations across the UK.

From never ending lead times on electrical vehicles to redesigning replacement transformers, writing new software for replacement FPGAs to complete board redesigns… are just some of the headaches our industry is facing.

It can be pretty soul destroying to receive news that the board you’ve spent months designing and writing software for is no longer feasible, because of changes that are beyond your control. The fear of having to go back to the drawing-board is justified, because you’re potentially looking at:

  • Increased costs purchasing new materials
  • Increased costs on further development time
  • Delays in launching your product to market
  • Potential compromises to functionality


These are bitter pills to swallow.

That said, with every crisis comes opportunity – so before you begin pulling your hair out, here are a few important things to consider…


A Redesign Can Reduce Your Production Costs

Yes, while it’s true, going back to the drawing board means more engineer design time – and there is a cost that comes with that – a quick review with the right engineers might just uncover cost savings; by selecting a more readily available ‘off the self’ replacement for your now obsolete component.

The savings don’t just end there, our engineers work on a variety of devices across a wide range of sectors – meaning they can potentially spot other component alternatives currently on your board. These small changes can result in BIG savings to your production when it comes to cost per unit.


Opportunity To Build A Better Product

Your first instinct when facing a redesign, because of component unavailability, will probably be “make it work exactly like the current board”.
That’s a perfectly natural response, but stopping to take a breath and consider new possibilities can reap rewards.

Here’s an example, when Henrique Olifiers from ZX Spectrum Next received the news that the FPGA their console was programmed around was now only available in limited quantities – and at an extortionate price per chip, he thought for a brief moment that it was “game over”.

He asked for our help, and we managed to source an appropriate replacement that would do the job and had more scope than its predecessor. The engineering team soon realised that redesigned heart of the ZX could offer increased functionality to the end user. So, not only could we help avoid price hikes, for just a little additional time, the second-generation Spectrum ZX Next was a much improved console.


Measure Twice Cut Once

Any delay to getting a new or upgraded product to market is a worrisome prospect, we understand.

We’ve covered a couple opportunities already, but your biggest one in this situation is getting the right people involved as early as possible.

When time is against you, you need to make sure you’re covered.

With the right people, redevelopment doesn’t have to take forever, between them our tribe of engineers have 100’s of years of engineering experience under their belt. From green energy, home hub systems, high power storage, retro gaming, communications, IoT connectivity projects, security, agriculture, building management monitoring, electronic maintenance and almost everything else in between – there’s not a lot we’ve not worked on.

And crucially, with Ignys, you don’t just get “an engineer” you get a collaborative team who can pull on each other’s experiences. They not only take huge pride in the work they do – they’re also a pretty fun bunch to boot.


If you’re in a tight spot, call or email us today to arrange a non sales-ey/no obligation call – you’ll be glad that you did.