Howard Goff, NCAB UK Managing Director
NCAB Group UK Ltd predictions for PCB’s manufactured in China are that factory prices will remain relatively stable during the course of 2013 as factories seek to consolidate their order books with trusted customers and supply chain partners, having become increasingly aware of the fragility of the PCB market within Europe during the past 12-24 months. With a gentle migration away from the higher cost Southern China provinces, many of the more established factories will continue to move production into lower cost regions.
Closer to home, when we look at our local UK market, NCAB believe that time to line and time to market will continue to play an increasingly important role in decisions made on PCB sourcing, with more frequent, smaller volumes purchase orders to mitigate product upgrades, reduce inventory levels, with a strong focus on even leaner supply chains. Lead-times therefore, will be a key driver as we approach 2013 with 15 working days becoming the expected, possibly, the norm.
PCB users are steadily moving up the technology ladder with good experience that high technology does not now necessarily equal unaffordable designs. There is wider recognition that China, with the technology leadership it now commands within the consumer high technology sector, is, very well equipped and ever capable of manufacturing increasingly complex products in high mix ,low volume (HMLV) quickly and accurately.