PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Dec2017

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54 The PCB Magazine • December 2017 Earlier this year we wrote in our blog about the elephant in the room. You know, the one everybody knows is there, but nobody talks about—the copper foil shortage. Nine months later, the copper shortage is still present but now perhaps the elephant is less visible. We have en- couraged open dialogue and information-shar- ing in order to minimize the effect of unwant- ed situations. The present global lead time development for components, with lead time increase for some components from 26 to 52 weeks' lead, has resulted in a state of temporary stabilization of copper-clad demand. However, once the com- ponent market stabilizes and/or in conjunction with the increased lithium battery production, one can expect a constrained supply situation. With several governments now desiring a shift towards cleaner new-energy vehicles, and an all-electric automotive industry, the copper shortage will last longer than first anticipated. One thing is certain: Now is the time to strat- egize, inform and plan. Copper output has not increased and the demand for copper in lithi- um batteries is not decreasing, so the copper foil shortage will persist. There are no signs in the near future that it will change, especially now with the recent governmental statements from France, England, Scotland, Norway and China, who have all announced a possible future ban towards fossil-fueled vehicles. China has set a goal that a minimum one- fifth of all new cars in 2025 shall be electric; that's four million cars per year in China alone and as of November 2016, a total of one mil- lion pure electric cars had been produced glob- ally. The electric car is also unique in relation to copper not only because of batteries and cop- per demand but the car is practically a comput- er on wheels rather than a car with a comput- er, and the PCB demand is consequently signif- icantly higher. The Copper Foil Shortage: Why, How and What to Expect by Didrik Bech ELMATICA THE PCB NORSEMEN

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