I hope everyone had a great Holiday Season and New Year celebration. How are you holding up under the pressure of COVID and it’s variants? Don’t let it get you down nor concern yourself by what you hear or see on social media. The best thing you can do to relieve that pressure is stop listening to social media and all the pundits. The vaccine won’t keep you from contracting COVID or keep you from spreading it, but it will keep you from getting seriously ill from it. Talk it over with your primary care physician and get vaccinated.
Since this is our first shoot the shit for 2022, I’ll kick it off with a bit of cultural awareness.
In case you were unaware, the Chinese New Year kicks off 1 February 2022 and it’s the Year of the Tiger. So, if you’re Chinese, let me wish you a Happy New Year!
The Tiger is known as the king of all beasts in China. The zodiac sign Tiger is a symbol of strength, exorcising evils, and braveness. Many Chinese kids wear hats or shoes with a tiger image for good luck. The Tiger ranks third among the animals of the Chinese zodiac. The 12 zodiac animals are, in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each year is related to an animal sign according to a 12-year-cycle. Man I could go for some DimSum!
For those of you new to the site, a shoot the shit is a social interaction during which any topic is discussed. Participants don’t need to know anything about the topic, are free to make any unsupported statement, use uncensored profanity, insult anyone they wish or change the subject. Regular shoot the shits with friends, coworkers or family members will keep you out of a therapist’s office saving you $150+ per hour. Moving right along.
I read regularly and ran across this New York Times headline: The United States plans to arrange alternative fuel sources for Europe, in case Russia cuts off gas and crude oil supplies., Tuesday, January 25, 2022.
I looked at it and thought, what does Germany use for power? Well they use crude, gas and nuclear power, although they’re shutting down three nuclear power plants. So what the hell is an alternative fuel source the Germans could use, bottled flatulence? What they were trying to suggest is that whatever the Russians cutoff will be supplied by the U.S.!
A quick Shot Show 2022 story
As always it was a great event and NSSF deserves a great deal of credit. This year was the maiden voyage of Caesar’s Forum, which increased total exhibition space to just about 800,000 square feet, it was very well laid-out. If you’re planning on exhibiting at the 2023 SHOT SHOW the Caesar’s Forum is very nice space. This year, many of the major exhibitors did not attend over concerns about COVID and employee safety. It wasn’t uncommon to see signs and other spirited displays like those below. Several of the exhibitors who attended were running thin on booth staff.
Many in our industry manufacture product that require the use of semiconductors so I want to call your attention to a recent report from the Department of Commerce.
U.S. Department of Commerce released the results from the Risks in the Semiconductor Supply Chain Request for Information (RFI) issued in Sept. 2021. Key findings from the report provided data-driven information about the depths of the semiconductor shortage and underscored the need for the President’s proposed $52 billion in domestic semiconductor production.
Here are the key findings:
Key Findings from the Semiconductor RFI
Demand for semiconductors is as much as 17 percent higher in 2021 than it was in 2019, and consumers aren’t seeing commensurate increases in the available supply.
The majority of semiconductor manufacturing facilities are operating at or above 90 percent utilization, meaning there is limited additional supply to bring online without building new facilities.
Bottlenecks are most concentrated in a specific semiconductor inputs and applications, including legacy logic chips (used in automobiles, medical devices, and other products), analog chips (used in power management, image sensors, and radio frequency), and optoelectronics chips (including for sensors and switches).
The main bottleneck that respondents identified is the need for additional fab capacity. Additional bottlenecks that respondents identified include a lack of raw material inputs for both semiconductors and the other components paired with semiconductors to assemble sub-parts for electric devices.
The RFI asked all parts of the semiconductor supply chain – producers, consumers, and intermediaries – to voluntarily share information about inventories, demand, and delivery dynamics.
The takeaway from this report is plan your purchases well in advance and in quantities that support your manufacturing and sales forcasts. You can forget Just In Time manufacturing if you rely on semiconductors, at least until we get our manufacturing capacity revved up.
I wish you all a great weekend, and by all means schedule your own shoot the shit.