Today's we are perhaps only scratching the surface of what we’re capable of day-to-day with the aid of smart technology, but it’s no secret that our expectation of a more connected world - both as consumers and electronics manufacturers - is increasing at an unprecedented rate.
What does that mean for the PCB (printed circuit board) supplier? With the PCB being one of the essential building blocks for electronics manufacturing, a demand for more complex, wearable, and mobile technology means more unique and intricate components, and of course, more PCBs.
A surge in market growth drivers
The global PCB market is set to reach $76.9 billion by 2024, and there is a growing pressure for PCB suppliers to stay relevant, adaptable and sustainable. As we know, the PCB should be at the heart of the EMS supply chain and it’s one of the most critical components, but the role of the PCB supplier is ever-changing. To compete in such a prolific market, it’s not enough to simply have a high-quality product; they need to deliver value to every aspect of the supply chain.
It seems that during the past year, the PCB has been the only constant in a very challenging component market but, the feeling within the industry is that this is about to change. Major growth drivers include the surge of wearable smart devices such as watches and high-quality headphones, the popularity of gaming consoles, smart appliances and products, plus the widespread adoption of 5G. As technology demands continue to increase it’s important to select a PCB supplier that can not only support your demands now but can adapt to requirements in 5-10 years time.
Sustainable partners and long-term relationships
With technology developments still happening at an unprecedented rate, transparency, trust and sustainability are the major drivers. As PCB equates to around 0.5% - 2% of the overall assembled products value, pricing is no longer the major driver in a long- term relationship.
As the services provided by EMS companies increase, so too does the pressure for PCB suppliers to stay relevant. This is dependent on a synergy between the two companies. When this is balanced, it can deliver incredible results for customers. The most successful outcomes come when three-way discussions are had between the end customer, EMS company and the PCB supplier. A focus on building long term relationships means time spent developing these relationships aren’t wasted and it also means they are well placed to react to any future marketing changes.
New horizons for the next decade
With the roll-out of 5G globally, the demand for PCBs has increased significantly and the belief is that this will continue as more countries adopt the new technology. This is putting more strain on the supply chain. New tech such as HDI (High density interconnect) must be adopted to support the surge in multipurpose, portable devices. Increased global demand will result in greater market share and a surge in overall industry size. The new decade looks set to be an exciting time for the PCB market. But while it poses opportunities and avenues for growth, it does present many challenges. A volatile environment will push PCB supplies to disrupt their strategies and adopt new technologies but a strong, long-term relationship between EMS providers and their PCB suppliers is one of the simplest ways to achieve continuous growth and success.