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SMT & Inspection | January 18, 2010

SMT equipment makers must be flexible to survive

According to Frost and Sullivan, the surface-mount technology (SMT) placement equipment market has witnessed weakening demand in major end-user markets due to the economic decline. Fewer buyers have resulted in intensifying competition amongst the key market participants.
Additionally, it has resulted in increasing market share concentration among the few market participants who have strategically positioned products to serve end users in the tough scenario. The SMT placement market is focusing more on the flexibility segment to survive the economic downturn.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Global Surface-Mount Technology Placement Equipment Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of $1,740.5 million in 2008 and estimates this to reach $2,498.5 million in 2015. The markets covered in this research are total SMT placement equipment, low-speed SMT placement equipment, medium-speed SMT placement equipment and high-speed SMT placement equipment.

“The strategic focus of SMT placement equipment manufacturers has increasingly been on producing flexible machines which cater to the unpredictable volume and scenarios of electronics assemblers,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Harish Natesan. “This approach would help them fully utilise their existing installed capacity and reduce manufacturing costs.”

The placement equipment market has been one of the worst affected SMT segments due to the global economic slump. There has been a steep fall in the demand globally for SMT placement equipment, particularly due to the reluctant spending patterns of electronic manufacturers and tightening credit from financial institutions.

“Introducing innovative products to cater to the changing demands of electronics manufacturers will be the key to survival in the current situation,” advises Natesan. ”Moreover, extending financial help to electronics manufacturers as well as offering value-added features will also be critical to overcoming the ongoing economic slowdown.”

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