Makers Ramp up Global PWB Production
anufacturers of printed wiring board (PWB) have bolstered their global production on the back of strong demand from automotive and tier 1 manufacturers, who are the main users of PWBs. Demand for PWBs have been increasing in many markets, and PWB manufacturers have responded to this trend by ramping up production.
Demand for PWBs, in particular, will be stirred by the anticipated rise of autonomous driving and hybrid and electric vehicles (xEVs), which will increase electronic components in vehicles and the number of PWBs incorporated in a vehicle.
Some manufacturers step up the production of PWBs for smartphones as well.
Boosts China, Southeast Asia Facilities
Manufacturers are producing PWBs mainly in China and countries in Southeast Asia. In China, Nippon Mektron, Ltd. steps up its production system at its Suzhou Plant when it acquired the flexible printed circuit (FPC) business of Nitto Denko Corporation. The company has established an integrated production system from the pre-process, such as drilling and plating, to the post-process for the mounting of components, and will commence mass production on full scale. Nippon Mektron plans to install a special line for automotive FPCs at its Suzhou Plant within FY2019 and to operate the plant also as a second production base of FPCs for automobiles in China after MEKTEC Manufacturing Corporation (Zhuhai) Ltd.
CMK Corporation is investing in its Wuxi Plant, which specializes in build-up PWBs, in order to bolster the production of PWBs for automobiles and improve the plant's production capacity by about 20 percent before the end of March. In Southeast Asia, Meiko Electronics Co., Ltd. and Nippon Mektron have been making large-scale investments in plants and equipment in Vietnam. In Vietnam, Meiko Electronics is producing build-up PWBs at monthly production of 70,000sq.m, automotive through-hole PWBs at monthly production of 40,000sq.m, and FPCs at monthly production of 20,000sq.m. At present, the company is building a new factory building (No. 3 factory) with a total floor area of 46,000sq.m with completion slated in April. Upon completion, the company will increase monthly production of build-up PWBs to 75,000sq.m.
Meiko Electronics also plans to bolster the monthly production of automotive PWBs to 80,000sq.m and then expand to 150,000sq.m in 2021. Furthermore, it has also started to extend FPC and electronic manufacturing services (EMS) plants, planning to increase the monthly production of FPCs to 45,000sq.m in 2021.