There is a limited amount of world side excess capacity in reed switch. Reed switch manufacturing in high volumes requires specialized experience and expensive specialized equipment. Expanding capacity can take over a year so there is a finite limit to the world’s capacity. OKI and Hamlin have the largest capacity, so a disruption in Hamlin supply due to their factory move to the Philippines could have a significant impact on reed switch lead times. Time to consider approving a second source to avoid production interruption. Also certain reed-switch AT ranges are more available, so some knowledge about capacity within AT ranges will help evaluate the risks. For more information visit: https://www.reed-rex.com/image/catalog/PDF/Measuring-Reed-switches.pdf
There is a possible reed switch supply disruption as Hamlin moves its Lake Mills manufacturing facility to the Philippines through out 2015. While moving machinery is not easy, it is easier if the people who know how to set up, run and maintain the equipment also move. A key to the move’s success is the number experienced employees that are willing to make the move. To ensure against a disruption in supply, make OKI reed switches a second source to Hamlin/Littlefuse. Reed-Rex can help cross and correlate Hamlin reed-switches to OKI so you are ready to “switch” in a pinch. For more information visit: https://www.reed-rex.com/image/catalog/PDF/Measuring-Reed-switches.pdf
Reed-Rex has replaced Vernexx as an OKI Factory Authorized Distributor. Reed-Rex is part of the Lodestone Group, which has been providing products and services to the electronic transformer and inductor market for over 25 years. Reed switches are also magnetic devices, so there are similarities, but we have a lot to learn about the sensor and relay industry. Fortunately former Vernexx reed switch expert Tony Bradley will work with Reed-Rex as a technical consultant. If anyone has any reed switch questions, Tony is available under the “Ask the Expert” link on our web site.