A common question we hear from potential customers interested in the use of our custom storage vault is if such a drastic measure is right for them. What organizations have a need for a 1,100 pound vault door and a steel-infused infrastructure designed to eliminate all known forms of externally-caused supply chain disruption? Is such a tool necessary if the equipment manufacturer requires basic climate-controlled storage facilities?
The answer to this question resides exclusively with the customer, and it’s often not as cut and dry as to what the answer may be. The issue of properly banking raw die and wafer, for example, necessitates storage in a desiccant dry cabinet specifically designed to maintain an optimal relative humidity (in our case, this optimal humidity is below 0.5 percent — far below the industry standard of 6-to-10 percent relative humidity). In this context, any other form of storage is not feasible; without the proper equipment and specialized handling procedures, the probability of such sensitive material remaining in a usable state is next to none.
Our custom storage vault fulfills this purpose for many sensitive electronic components and semiconductors that are unable to be securely stored in any other fashion. Some components, for example, are highly sensitive to electrostatic discharge and/or electromagnetic interference caused by forces such as lightening or a sudden power surge. With enhanced magnetic shielding, our vault offers OEMs with limited infrastructure a means to protect their inventory from such unexpected and unpredictable issues. The vault fulfills an inherent market need that, up to now, no other supply chain partner was able to offer.
But there is another element to making the decision to store electronic components in our vault. Just because an electronic component or semiconductor does not need vault-level security to remain functional does not mean that such an infrastructure is not worthwhile. In a market that in the past year experienced one of the most significant electronic component shortages since the turn of the century, many valuable, niche components that OEMs in industries such as healthcare relied upon to support decades-long product lifecycles were suddenly obsoleted. If the inventory already on hand was compromised in any fashion, and such OEMs were unable to maintain extensive service agreements, the fallout could be financially devastating. In these cases, while technically climate-controlled storage is all that is required, such measures do not accurately reflect the value that specific inventory has to the company. To guarantee supply chain continuity for irreplaceable electronic inventory, the enhanced protection a vault provides might be warranted.
A simple way to look at this issue, independent of technical storage specifications, is in terms of risk. How much risk is your company prepared to take on regarding long-term electronic inventory storage, particularly in proportion to an allocated budget? If zero inherent risk is the only option moving forward, and you are willing to spare any expense to make it so, then the utilization of the Partstat Custom Storage Vault should be taken into serious consideration. Fire, flood, hurricanes, earthquakes — all of these and much more are rendered non-factors with our solution, and it remains the supply chain industry’s only solution that offers guaranteed business continuity.
While it is true that such a measure may not always be required for certain types of electronic inventory, “required” is a term that is directly tied with what the customer deems to be “required.” The customer, as they say, is always right, and we are proud to offer the market this innovation on their behalf.