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N.T.I: 2017 Taiwan PCB Shipment May Jump 6-7% Positively
- Jan 06, 2018 -

     H. Nakahara, the president of N.T. Information, was visitng TPCAShow and IMPACT conference from Oct. 25th to Oct. 27th in Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, which was organised by Taiwan Printed Circutr Association. During a period of business stay, he selflessly shared his opinions in terms of the PCB industrial information and tech trend after this visiting:


 “ I visited 11 top Taiwan PCB makers in the last two weeks in Taiwan, of which three are major suppliers of high-end HDI microvia boards for iPhone X.   Their yield is still not so high compared to easier boards, but tremendous improvement since last year.   This 10-layer build-up multi-layer boards require modified semi-additive process, so called MSAP.   One of the most talked about topics during the TPCA show was "MSAP", from drilling,  imaging, plating and etching processes.  Equipment makers selling to PCB makers related to these processes have very robust sales this year and some indicate production capacity shortage caused by strong demand and shortage of certain essential components.  Will this "mini-boom continue to 2018"?   Many suppliers indicated their positive view.


     I was shockingly surprised by the number of equipment sales expected this year.   For example, if I believe what makers told me, the total number of mechanical drilling machines and routers may hit 5000 units this year, whopping 50% growth.  On the other hand, material sales (laminates, chemicals and process consumables) is better this year but not as high a growth as equipment.


     With stronger currencies against US dollar, 2017 PCB shipment may jump 6-7% this year when calculated in US dollar.   The price of copper foil and laminates seems to have been stable since the beginning of the summer, which is also a tail wind for PCB makers.  However, material cost increase is not reflected in PCB sales price and many PCB makers lament that their profit level is not proportional to the revenue increase.


     The most talked about topic during TPCA show was "automotive".   All laminate makers showed big pictures of automotive applications of electronics and their matching materials.   In my personal opinion, Taiwan PCB makers' automotive PCB output accounts for nearly 40% of the world followed by several big Japanese automotive PCB makers.   All exiting Taiwanese automotive PCB makers are expanding capacity either by adding more capacity to exiting capacity or building brand new plants to cope with growing demands.   Japanese are not standing still either.  The only non-Taiwanese and Japanese automotive PCB makers which are big to compete head to head against Taiwan and Japan are TTM Technologies, KCE Electronics and Kingboard Chemical PCB Group (Elec-Eltek, Techwise, Jiangmen Glory Faith etc).  Those which are in this market are trying to strengthen their positions and many which are not in this market are looking close look at it.


     The two-week trip to Taiwan was worthwhile from the viewpoint of information gathering although very tiring.


     H. Nakahara from Tokyo”


     H. Nakahara also said “ This two-week business trip was very exhausted, however, the value of information which was collecting by me is valuable and priceless.” His sharing is highly appreciated as it is a valuable information for all PCB industry. TPCAShow and IMPACT conference was held successfully this year and we look forward next year’s events.