Slow PCB Growth Results in Increased Client-Manufacturer Communication

The PCB industry seems to be facing more obstacles as the US economy slowly tries to rise from financial depression. Recently, IPC published its findings on the industry’s year-on-year sales growth. The findings showed that while PCB sales were improving, they were still quite slow. As compared to 2013, the total shipments from North America increased in 2014 by 1.6%. However, this has moved the year-to-year growth to -0.2%. PCB bookings were also in the negative with sales ending at 1.5%. When these numbers were compared with those of April 2014, total shipments had reduced by 20%, and order bookings by 8.1%.

This is certainly not good news. However, every dark cloud has a silver lining. This slow growth period has influenced small to medium sized PCB manufacturers to strengthen communications with clients, and ameliorate their manufacturing processes.

Why Client-Manufacturer Communication is Important in Today’s Times?

The advancement of PCB manufacturing technologies and equipment have led to a change in PCB design. Manufacturers are now designing rigid-flex and rigid printed circuit boards that are small in size but just as powerful. Such PCBs are usually sought after by critical industries such as medical, military, and aerospace. These sectors rely heavily on rigid-flex and rigid printed circuit boards. Small PCB designs are ensuring that the capabilities and reliability of PCBs in these applications remain the same.

However, this cannot be accomplished if there isn’t a strong collaboration between the manufacturer and the client. Both parties have to ensure that communication is constant, and that both of them are on the same page during the entire PCB manufacturing process.

Everyone knows that small and medium sized PCB manufacturing companies bear the brunt when the economy takes a hit. However, with increased communication and collaboration with clients, SMEs can continue to hold down the fort and maintain a balanced position in the markets.

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