Southern Metal Finishing

Re: 1/3 of Chinese PCB Manufacturers NOT RoHS Complient

This interesting  article was found a great website that we read regularly trying to stay up to date with current trends.  Check out the Supply and Demand Chain Executive Website for more articles like it..

Hong Kong December 5, 2006 Thirty-four percent of flexible printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturers in Greater China have not yet started to produce Restriction on Hazardous Substances-compliant products, according to Global Sources' "China Sourcing Report: Flexible PCBs."

The European Union's Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) regulations, which took effect in July, limit the amount of lead and other environmentally harmful substances in electronic devices.

"Most Greater China manufacturers have updated facilities to phase out lead soldering materials," said Mark A. Saunderson, publisher of the report. "However, many smaller manufacturers are finding the necessary equipment upgrades to be cost-prohibitive."

Output Growth Projected

Despite rising raw material costs and the cost of RoHS compliance, Greater China manufacturers are expected to increase production by 15 percent annually through 2008.

"This is nearly double the expected 8 percent annual growth rate for PCB makers worldwide," said Saunderson. "Strong demand is being driven by Asia's booming consumer electronics sector, with flexible PCBs used in products ranging from LCD TVs and digital cameras to cellular phones and other consumer electronics."

Manufacturers to Absorb Costs

Manufacturers plan to absorb the costs of RoHS compliance in the short term in order to remain competitive. Among surveyed mainland China and Hong Kong manufacturers:

    * 59 percent project no price change during Q4 2006; and,

    * 24 percent expect to increase prices by 10 percent.

Of Taiwan's flexible PCB manufacturers:

    * 56 percent project no price change for Q4 2006; and,

    * 33 percent expect to increase prices by 10 percent.

The report shows that manufacturers expect price hikes in Q1 2007 due to the increasing costs of raw materials.

The 86-page "China Sourcing Report: Flexible PCBs" provides proprietary market information from in-person factory visits to 20 manufacturers and interviews with 26 more suppliers. The surveys, supplier profiles, products, price trends and supply forecasts aim to help buyers make better-informed purchasing decisions.

China Sourcing Report: Flexible PCBs is available at www.chinasourcingreports.com/Flexible-PCBs.