R&D spending remains stable in EMS industry

Bannockburn, Ill. — There was no significant change in research and development (R&D) expenses from 2008 to 2009 in the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry, according to a benchmarking study from IPC– Association Connecting Electronics Industries. The median 2009 R&D expenses as a percentage of net sales was 1.5 percent, while the median expenses for capital equipment as a percentage of net sales dropped to 1.2 percent from 2.0 percent in 2008, reports IPC.

A key finding reveals a median 95 percent internal yield for surface mounting, 94.4 percent for wave soldering and 95.9 percent for selective soldering. The median percentage of cost for poor quality (COPQ) to gross sales for rework was 0.8 percent.

The “IPC Study of Quality Benchmarks for the Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) Industry for 2009” provides information to EMS companies interested in comparing their key 2009 operating variables to those of other EMS providers by net sales and type of product.
The survey sample includes twenty-four EMS companies, primarily small and medium-sized, with 2009 net sales ranging from under $1 million to more than $100 million.

The survey-based study covers financial and production data, assembly attributes, yields, defect rates (DPMO), customer returns, supplier performance, customer satisfaction and certification data.

Participants provided point-of-reference data for sales growth, expenses on research and development (R&D) and capital equipment as a percentage of net sales, average collection and payable periods, and the number of printed circuit boards (PCBs) completed in 2009.

All of the respondents included relevant customer satisfaction metrics regarding returns and on-time customer deliveries.

The study sells for $475 to IPC members and $950 to nonmembers. Visit to purchase the report.