|China (mainland) – The region will improve macroeconomic regulation and control to invigorate and push its PCB industry into producing competitive high-end products. According to Beijing HL Consulting Co. Ltd’s survey, the region’s PCB industry is worth about $12.8 billion with an export value of about $7.65 billion. Composed of more than 1,200 manufacturers, the PCB industry on the mainland takes a 25 percent share of the global market, and is expected to corner a third of the global output this year. |
Domestic companies make up about 90 percent of the total supplier base, but produce only a third of the mainland's total output. Zhiyuan Huang, general manager of Shenzhen Beyond Sci-tech Co. Ltd, says that most domestic companies can only provide single- and double-sided PCBs of up to nine layers only.
Zhiyuan says that the PCB industry has only recently began to transfer to the mainland from Taiwan on a large scale since the mid-1990s. He points out that the insufficient accumulation of experience and technicians prompt domestic manufacturers to make a living in the midrange and low-end segments.
Production of high-end, PCB-related products, such as HDI, FPC, HF boards and IC carriers are mostly constrained to foreign-funded companies. In the past, mainland China-owned companies compensate by expanding their output and marking prices down. Now, oversupply and fierce market competition are trimming profit margins down. Cost hikes in materials, labor and energy further compound PCB production issues.
New environmental policies are forcing manufacturers to scale up to high-technology manufacture with less wastage and environmental impact. These new initiatives are expected to temporarily slow down the region’s industry until manufacturers are able to transition to efficient production processes.
Market research firm Prismark estimates that the mainland China’s growth will be set back to 10.1 percent in the next few years as compared to the 22.9 percent growth rate in 2006.
The Shenzhen government is also considering funding the construction of a PCB production base that will enable the local government to institute a proper waste disposal system.
Advanced technologies from well-known suppliers such as Ibiden, CMK, Unimicron and Viasystems help domestic manufacturers in designing its next offerings. Some domestic manufacturers are already rolling out trial versions of high-end models.
One of the few HDI PCB manufacturers on the mainland is Shantou China Circuit Technology Corporation (CCTC). It is the largest domestic PCB manufacturer and is ranked 67th in the World’s Top PCB Manufacturers by N.T. Information Ltd in 2006. It mass-produced its first 2-C-2 HDI boards in Q4 2006 and projects to rollout 60,000sqm to 80,000sqm in 2007 and 100,000sqm to 120,000sqm in 2008. Its three-lamination (3-C-3) products are on trial production at present.
Shenzhen Shennan Circuits Co. Ltd, on the other hand, can provide a PCB with nearly 30 layers, Huang added. At present, Shennan is doing trial production for PCBs with more layers while Beyond Sci-Tech is doing investment and trial run on HDI products but might take two to three years before the line can be mass-produced, said Huang. Double-sided PCBs take up nearly 70 percent of Beyond Sci-tech’s business. The company produces multilayer PCBs with less than 10 layers. Its revenue is estimated at about $20 million in 2007 in which nearly half came from export sales.