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VR Industries Blog

PCB Industry Continues to Grow

by VR Industries

The printed circuit board industry experienced excellent year-over-year growth, according to an IPC press release. As of April, 2016, yearly growth hit 5.6 percent, while sale and order volume eclipsed last year's statistics.

Market recap
It's not surprising the PCB manufacturing industry continues to experience gains - technology has taken over the spotlight and new devices like the Internet of Things, wearables and other technological breakthroughs are requiring assembly teams pay excessive attention to detail for electromechanical components.

Technavio analysts expect this trend to continue, IConnect007 reported. They expect the global market to reach $68 billion by 2020, spurred by a compound annual growth rate of 3 percent. The expected mass-introduction of smart cars and other technology-infused conventional products will keep growth alive for the most part well into the future.

"The PCB industry is expected to be worth $68 billion by 2020."

It's worth noting that book-to-bill ratio, the ratio of orders collected to the amount billed, for April 2016 was pegged at 1.02 - lower than expected, but still a good sign for the industry, according to the press release.

"Bookings exceeded shipments for the sixth consecutive month, but only by a small margin in April. This brought the book-to-bill ratio down although it remains positive," Sharon Starr, IPC's director of market research said. "April's 1.02 book-to-bill continues a positive trend indicating continued sales growth in the second and third quarters."

With the market expected to continue to do well, it's worth noting some of the products in the pipeline that could potentially elevate that CAGR.

Future of the industry
There are a few big names of products that stand out of the crowd, making it difficult to narrow down just a few key factors responsible for PCB manufacturing growth.

3-D printing has the ability to change the field in a couple of ways. In one sense, these printers will necessitate a need for PCBs simply based on the fact they need the boards to operate. On the other hand, PCB assembly teams can use the 3-D printer to possibly discover new forms of lean manufacturing. This type of technology may still be a few years away, though, according to Advanced Assembly.

3-D printers could be a game-changer for the PCB industry.3-D printers could be a game-changer for the PCB industry.

For these models to achieve proper conductivity they require certain materials that the market just doesn't have access to currently. While it's a novel idea that PCBs could be printed, it's unlikely to happen any time in the immediate future due to the overwhelming lack of research currently available. The news source reported that PCB assembly teams would be wise to pay attention to new standards hitting the market, as they could tell the tale of the tape as to when and how these models could be used. This will create a whole new realm of lean manufacturing methods, and the first company to jump on it will experience the most success.

Advanced Assembly also believes that PCB manufacturing for wireless devices, such as charging stations, headphones and other connected devices, could ramp up in the next few years. This, along with all the other interconnected technology, will ultimately make their way into commercial settings, such as hospitals or government use, and manufacturing facilities with the most experience creating these smaller, yet powerful, PCBs will likely be ahead of their competitors.

With the rapid pace that technology is evolving at, the one product that grows the industry exponentially may not even be developed yet. What is for certain, though, is that PCB manufacturers that incorporate lean manufacturing methods will ultimately be best positioned to take on any challenges that may come their way - most of them likely to do with size or manufacturing method.

Topics: News, Printed Circuit Board Assembly

Written by VR Industries