PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Dec2014

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30 The PCB Magazine • December 2014 trends to China are expected to service these competitive communication and networking market segments. China PCB Market Challenges With opportunities come challenges. From the macro view, challenges will come mainly from the unstable economic environment, in- cluding the ongoing financial drag in the Eu- rozone, the slow pace of the U.S. recovery,, the up and down policy-driven economy of China, and the long and extremely slow recovery of Ja- pan's economy. Additionally, inflation caused by the increase in money supply after the fi- nancial crisis drove increased costs in materials, labor and overhead, while the average selling price of PCBs trended downward, due to shrink- ing demand and surplus capacity from manu- facturers' expansion. Local challenges in China continue to linger in several areas related to rising costs. As Chi- na becomes more affluent and high-tech-con- scious, more stringent environmental require- ments are levied on production plants, which have inevitably driven environmental costs higher. GDP growth as well as active foreign in- vestment into China due to local market oppor- tunities has kept the local economy hot, though slower. PCB manufacturers these days face huge turnovers as workers hop between manufactur- ers for the sake of earning 100–200 more RMB, due to rising standards of living, especially in the coastal areas. This also translates into in- creasing labor costs and an unstable work force. Another factor associated with labor costs are PCB manufacturers' operation costs, which in recent years have further increased and been impacted by many customers who are now com- mitted to the new stringent code of conduct re- quirements (limited overtime, more rest hours, etc.) under the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) standard. Other factors affect- ing labor costs include policies on conflict-free minerals, and comprehensive mandatory provi- dent fund and insurance costs. All's Not Gloom In conclusion, China's market will con- tinue to grow, with the survival of the fittest. Companies will need constant innovation to manage rising costs; economies of scale may drive a consolidation in business services in the region. It is therefore important that com- panies remain focused on being either a lead- er in cost (low layer-count but large volume conventional PCB player) or being a leader in technology for high value-added products. In short, market conditions will be tough, but survivable, for those who manage their busi- ness correctly! PCB CHINA MARkET OUTLOOk FOR 2015 continues canice chung is chairman of the hong Kong Printed circuit association. researchers have made great progress in the creation of biological circuits—which, like elec- tronic circuits, can take a number of different inputs and deliver an output. but while individ- ual components of such biological circuits can have precise and predictable responses, those outcomes become less predictable as more ele- ments are combined. a team of researchers at mit has greatly re- duced that unpredictability with a device that could ultimately allow such circuits to behave nearly as predictably as their electronic coun- terparts, according to the journal nature bio- technology. MIT Furthers Development of Biological Circuits Pictured are lead author Deepak Mishra (r), and co-authors Domitilla Del Vecchio and Ron Weiss (l).

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