© IPC Analysis | December 10, 2019
The pulse of the electronics industry
Growth is slowing worldwide and the industry’s outlook is less optimistic than in previous quarters, although it is still generally positive, according to the results of IPC’s fourth-quarter 2019 Pulse of the Electronics Industry survey.
Based on responses from 82 companies that make up a representative sample of the industry, global third-quarter 2019 sales growth, averaging 3.0%, was at its lowest level since the quarterly survey began in mid-2017. The sales growth the respondents predicted for the current quarter is down further, averaging 2.6%. This quarter’s composite score for the current direction of the business environment also fell to its lowest level since mid-2017. It remains in positive territory, but just barely. Current-state scores for Europe and the Americas turned negative this quarter. Sales, orders and profit margins are moving in a positive direction on balance this quarter, while labor and material costs, ease of recruiting, inventories and order backlogs are having a negative impact on the current state. The industry’s expected direction in the next six months remained generally optimistic, with all business indicators looking positive. Among the industry segments, PCB fabricators are the most optimistic about the next six months. Overall, however, the six-month-outlook score continued to weaken compared to the first three quarters of this year. This indicates that the industry expects its health to remain generally good through the first quarter of 2020 despite some slowing. The respondents’ outlook for the next 12 months remains positive but is down substantially from previous quarters. While a majority of respondents in all segments described the 12-month business outlook as very or somewhat positive, only PCB fabricators were unanimous in reporting a positive outlook. The composite scores on the business outlook for the next 12 months are positive in all regions except Asia, where the score declined to neutral (0 on the index). The uncertainty of trade relations between the U.S. and China is a contributing factor to the lackluster 12-month outlook for respondents in Asia. A ranking of opportunities that will drive the industry’s future business growth showed that the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart systems is seen as the number one driver, followed closely by growing markets and 5G/high-speed communications. Defense and aerospace topped the list of growing vertical markets cited by the respondents. Medical device and LED lighting markets were also cited. Respondents also ranked a list of major concerns about conditions in the business environment in terms of their impact on future business growth. Economic uncertainty is the leading concern. Asked about conditions or trends that are significantly increasing their costs, respondents predominantly cited the tight labor market and trade conflicts.
Fictiv and Jabil team up for agile 3D printing collaboration The collaboration aims to accelerate and de-risks product development in the move from prototyping and low volume production to large scale global fulfilment.
TT expands with new industrial electronics manufacturing facility The UK-based electronics manufacturing specialist is expanding the footprint of its Global Manufacturing Solutions division by opening operations in Kuantan, Malaysia.
GE Appliances invests $62 million at its Louisville facility The manufacturer is gearing up to build high-end refrigerators and expand capacity at its manufacturing facility in Louisville, Kentucky., creating 260 new jobs.
Eaton buys new facility – merges busway operations from multiple sites Power management company Eaton has purchased a new facility in Hodges, South Carolina, establishing a new home for Eaton’s busway product line currently spanning three facilities across Greenwood County.
AIM adds new facility in Brazil AIM Solder has opened a new wholly-owned facility in Manaus, Brazil. This new stocking facility, which represents the only legitimate source of AIM products in Brazil, enables the company to support a growing Brazilian market.
PFOA now in REACh and POP regulation On 4 July, PFOA - perfluorooctanoic acid, its salts and precursor compounds - was included in the POP (Persistent Organic Pollutants) Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 and at the same time also came into force in the REACh Regulation (Annex XVII, entry 68).
Manz AG receives further Battery order Manz AG is expanding its successful partnership with an international battery manufacturers in the Energy Storage segment with a further major order in the mid double-digit million euro range.
Advantech and Interlatin to set up JV in Mexico Industrial IoT specialist, Advantech, says it is establishing a joint venture subsidiary in Mexico with its channel partner Interlatin.
Mercedes-Benz takes equity stake in Farasis Mercedes-Benz is taking another important step on its journey towards CO₂--neutral mobility. The Stuttgart-based car manufacturer has launched a strategic partnership with Chinese battery cell manufacturer Farasis Energy (Ganzhou) Co., Ltd., including taking an equity stake.
A new EMS provider sees the light of day EMS providers DataED and Bestronics merge to launch a new player – Emerald EMS.
Tektronix joins the fight agains COVID-19 Tektronix has shifted its focus from supporting vehicle manufacturing to assisting with ventilator production.
ABB completes divestment of Power Grids to Hitachi ABB has reached a significant milestone in the company’s transformation towards a decentralized global technology company, with the completion of the divestment of 80.1% of its Power Grids business to Hitachi.
Germany amps up domestic battery production with massive state subsidies The German government is investing more than EUR 1.5 billion in battery cell research and production.
Internal promotions and executive retirements at Kimball EMS provider, Kimball Electronics, has made two new internal promotions aimed at contributing to the company accelerating its strategic growth plans.
Kyocera & TMDU team up for research on vitals measurement headset Kyocera Corporation and Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) have teamed up on a joint research project to develop a wireless headset that can remotely monitor high accuracy patient biometrics, such as blood oxygen saturation (SpO2).
German battery manufacturer receives funding for cell production facility VARTA AG receives public funding of EUR 300 million for battery cell production facility.
Scanfil to streamline its factory network The EMS provider is planning to combine the production of its Hamburg factory with its other factories in Germany and Poland
Kitron awarded new order within measurement technology Kitron has been awarded new business for measurement technology. The award covers a period of five years, and the expected annual value is between EUR 3.5-5 million.
NORBIT ASA awarded aquaculture contract Norwegian technology manufacturer, NORBIT, has been awarded a new contract from an existing customer within the aquaculture market.
Saki strengthens its Asian operations The AOI specialist is expanding its global sales organisation with new Asia sales department, and appointing Katsuhiro Eddie Ichiyama as Senior General Manager for the Asian region
Scanfil to sell its plant in Hangzhou, China The board of directors of the Finnish EMS prover has decided to sell the entire share capital of its subsidiary located in Hangzhou, China, for a total of EUR 18.4 million to Hangzhou Cabinet Technology Co., Ltd.
Staying put during the COVID-19 pandemic TPCA (Taiwan Printed Circuit Association) announced the production and sales data for Q1 2020; the output value of Taiwan cross-strait PCB industry totalled NT$136.9 billion (approx. US$4.541 billion) in Q1/2020.
North American PCB industry sales up 1.0% in May Total North American PCB shipments in May 2020 were up 1.0 percent compared to the same month last year. Compared to the preceding month, May shipments fell 3.0 percent.
Sensirion expands with new production site in Hungary In a response to positive business trends and the increasing demand for its existing and new sensors, Sensirion is expanding its production capabilities by establishing a production site in Debrecen, Hungary.Load more news
- A new EMS provider sees the light of day
- Global microelectronics market with overall stable development
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- Germany amps up domestic battery production with massive state subsidies
- ABB completes divestment of Power Grids to Hitachi