Weiner International Associates
           Weiner International Associates

November 2019

 

Photonic soldering of temperature sensitive substrates, FOWLP packages,and other dense and challenging assembly operation will be discussed in a free 30 minute Webinar followed by a 30 mnute discusion presented by NovaCentrix and sponsored by the High Density Package User Group (HDPUG) on December 5. 

 

HDPUG members as well as other companies interested in the possibilities will be invited to join in the event. Contact me at gene@weiner-intl.com if you wish to receive an invitation.

 

October 2019

 

The 20th annual TPCA show in Taipei this month was all about 5G, autonomous vehicles and IoT. The PCB industry's goal in Taiwan is to take its first step into industry 3.5. Attendance was good and forecasts for 2020 were up. Once again there was a dearth of "western" visitors (other than those exhibiting or giving a paper). 

 

Major industry exhibits will continue nonstop for the next few months. Productronica in Munich in November, followed by the HKPCA-CPCA combined venture in Shenzhen, then the JPCA event in Tokyo in January, culminating with March's IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego.

 

Phases 1 of the trade negotiations between China and the U.S. was reported to be successful and phase 2 is said to be moving along. However, I now believe that it is going to be a long process and that there is no visible conclusion in sight.

 

No matter how or when the U.S.-China dispute settles, the strategies and businesses of firms large and small have irrevocably shifted amidst a new and increasing Chinese nationalism coupled with anti-Amricabn sentiment which affects consumer buying habits in the world's largest country The result has been a noticeable in the purchase of domestic products in the PRC while effectively removing some products, from the manufacturing scene in China.

 

Meanwhile, China is now working hard to attract foreign investment in the PRD while attempting to convince existing manufacturers now there to remain there.

 

Washington is still stuck trying to balance national security against U.S. tech supremacy according to Jodi Xu Klein of the South China Morning Post. She states, "Hardliners insist that Beijing is a security threat that must be addressed, while others caution sweeoing restrictions could push research offshore," and, "The policy impasse is creating chaos for the U.S. tech industry, with annual sales to Huawei alone of more than $14 billion (of ICs and other components)."

 

What does it take to continue to succeed in today's global electronics supply chains' rising costs, shrinking markets and turmoil? Redundancy in manufacturing capabilities? A strong second source in your supply chain? Increased inventories of critical items as well as those with long delivery times? Partnering with competitors? Increase your vertical integration?

 

These challenges face our industry's emerging managers as well as those whose positions they will assume. Some firms have already taking strong actions with some of the aforementioned. Others are relocating and dividing their production capabilities. Virtually all are reassessing their long term strategies while enacting short term alternate plans - some hastily constructed. Where do you fit?

 

In a recent UP Media Group editorial IMI CEO Peter Bigelow, opined on the difficulty of wading through the hype of new technical innovations that will transform the electronics industry and impact his company. He speaks of the plethora of "game-changers" over the decades that have failed to gain traction. Few executives have the skill or experience to do this.

 

North America's PCB supply chain continues to consolidate, shift and realign. IEC (International Electronic Components) was just named the North American distributor for RBP's specialty chemicals for PCBs joining Rogers (laminates) and Eternal Chemical (dry film photoresists) on the company's coast-to-coast line card.

 

All of the aforementioned is why I have, as a member of the IPC's Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame Council, proposed an IPC Forum for Emerging Managers (EMs). EMs often step into the world of management from a technical background and  must quickly learn to make decisions based upon a wide variety of business, economic, legal, and international trade tax and political shifts in addition to normal competitive situations. The Forum would be designed to help these managers recognize and deal with change.

 

The IPC APEX EXPO set to open in a few months will see Chinese made assembly equipment - at "competitive prices" even with high duties - presented by a Chinese distributor, Jaguar Automation!

Products offered will include: an auto PCB conveyor, an AOI machine, a solder paste printing machine, an SMD pick-and-place machine, a lead-free soder wave machine, and a lead-free hot air reflow oven.

 

What does it take to continue to succeed in today's global electronics supply chains' rising costs, shrinking markets and turmoil? Redundancy in manufacturing capabilities? A strong second source in your supply chain? Increased inventories of critical items as well as those with long delivery times? Partnering with competitors? Increase your vertical integration?

These challenges face our industry's emerging managers as well as those whose positions they will assume. Some firms have already taking strong actions with some of the aforementioned. Others are relocating and dividing their production capabilities. Virtually all are reassessing their long term strategies while enacting short term alternate plans - some hastily constructed. Where do you fit?

 

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, reported its highest ever monthly revenue  of $3.46 billion for August. Its results for the first nine months of year showed consolidated revenues of $24.6 billion, up 1.5% from the same period last year.

TSMC's Plus (N7+), the industry’s first commercially available Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology production line launched in the 2nd quarter is now churning out products in high volume.

 

China’s PCB maker Shennan Circuits (SCC) is expected to generate record-high net profits in the third quarter of 2019, thanks to robust demand for 5G base station equipment and data center applications, according to industry sources. SCC has estimated a 61-110% surge in the company’s third-quarter profit compared to a year earlier. Robust demand for 5G infrastructure is being identified as the profit growth driver.

SCC’s main PCB business is also set to enjoy more than 40% revenue growth on year in the third quarter of 2019, with gross margin topping 25%, the sources said. Rising shipments for 5G related applications have made a positive contribution to company ASPs. Source: Digitimes

 

Speaking at a major telecoms event in Sao Paulo, Derrick Sun, the chief executive of Huawei Brasil, noted the company sees more than 70 countries allocating spectrum to 5G by 2021. He said that so far, 56 countries have deployed 5G networks and 40 have launched some kind of 5G service. Sun stated that Huawei Technologies expects 480 million households around the world will have access to 5th generation (5G) broadband service by 2025.

 

Storm clouds gathering?

 

A few exhibit spaces in NEPCON JAPAN 2020 have become available. The show, scheuled for January 15-17 at Tokyo Big Site was forecasted to have 70,000 visitors.  

2,100* Manufacturers and trading companies of the following fields are expected to exhibit:  SMTs, Testing Equipment, Technologies for IC & Sensor Packaging, Electronic Components/Materials,  Printed Circuit Boards,  Fine Process Technologies,  and LED & Laser Diode Technologies.

 

*The 12th AUTOMOTIVE WORLD, the  World's Largest Exhibition for the Advanced Automotive Technologies with 1,100 Exhibitors will be held concurrently with NEPCON Japan at Tokyo Big Site.

 

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