The PCB is one of the most important inventions of the last century. As a backbone of almost every electronic device, it creates the prerequisites for cutting-edge technology and also for mass-produced electronics. Consequently, the PCB & EMS Cluster is one of the most important exhibition areas at productronica 2019. The world’s leading trade fair for electronics development and production will take place at the Messe München exhibition center from November 12 to 15.
Electronics have become an indispensable part of our lives. This ensures constantly rising sales revenue for the electronics sector. According to the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI), last year in Germany the industry achieved record sales of EUR 195 billion—a 1.9 percent increase on the previous year.
Approximately sixty percent of the market is accounted for by the three big “Cs” (computing, communication, consumer). Asia is clearly dominant in this respect. On the other hand, European PCB manufacturers continue to service mainly the industry and medicine segments. They are responsible for 15 percent of worldwide PCB sales, ten percent of this from European production. In all areas, the increasing mobility and miniaturization of the devices requires the use of corresponding PCB technologies with extremely small connection solutions.
PCB manufacturers are hoping for a considerable burst of growth from the new 5G cellular network standard. The automotive industry plays an important role in this regard. It uses about ten percent of global PCB production, as the proportion of electronic components in vehicles is increasing continuously. Automated driving, infotainment, alternative drive systems, and all-encompassing networking will continue to drive the trend.
However, companies wanting to get on the 5G bandwagon will have to invest considerably in new PCB technologies so that they can offer leading technological, cost-efficient products with innovative solutions in the future.
For EMS providers, modern machinery and high production skills on their own have not been enough to guarantee success for some time. New capabilities are in demand. And factors such as process technology and leadership, together with logistics and organization, are increasingly important. The agenda even includes accepting innovation and market risks and after-sales management. Current challenges facing the industry include delivery bottlenecks for components and shrinking component sizes, which represent high technological hurdles for every electronics production company.
According to in4ma statistics from Weiss Engineering, total sales in the EMS industry in DACH were close to EUR 9 billion last year, after EUR 8.38 billion in 2017. German EMS companies recorded an approx. 7.4 percent increase in sales. The analysts predict 6.2 percent growth for this year.
Companies that want to remain competitive in this highly dynamic market environment need high tech equipment.
For example, with in-house rapid PCB prototyping from LPKF Laser & Electronics AG, a PCB can be developed and produced in just one day. All problems with the draft design are identified at an early stage, which enables the second and third versions to be produced the same day.
The Schmid Group supplies advanced vacuum processes for the production of high-end PCBs and IC substrates. Vacuum-based cleaning and coating processes support a range of applications that are not possible with conventional wet processing.
As one of the original exhibitors at the fair, Posalux will be exhibiting high-precision drilling and milling machines for PCB production. A new laser processing machine that allows holes to be drilled with a corner radius of less than 5 µm is tailored precisely to the demands of micromachining and can be used also to process challenging materials like polymers and ceramics.