The circuit board industry in Taiwan released its shipping data for November. The revenue declined by 5.61% compared with the previous month and declined by 0.29% for the same month last year. Year-to-date revenue increased by 0.29% comparing year over year.
Shipments for rigid circuit boards were relatively stable over the last four months. November shipments declined by 2.72% compared with the previous month, and volume was flat from August through October. Volume for flexible circuits took a nosedive during November. This segment grew between June and October but declined by a whopping 11.21% during November.
In my opinion, the Taiwanese printed circuit industry can be the barometer for global consumer electronics markets. The relatively flat performance during 2019 does not provide a definitive direction for global markets in 2020.
Most of the products from Taiwanese flexible circuit manufacturers are earmarked for mobile equipment that includes smartphones, smart watches, tablet PCs, laptops, and notebooks. The global smartphone demand was weak during 2019. We are optimistic that new products, such as Apple’s iPod Air, will fill the pipeline next year, and flexible circuit manufacturers will remain profitable.
Shipments of raw materials (copper-clad laminates) declined by double digits year over year, and manufacturing equipment investments declined. These variables are included in the equations for sales forecasting. Taiwanese printed circuit manufacturers work closely with EMS companies and end customers to provide accurate forecasts for their quarterly standing orders. These companies order raw materials and equipment based on their future manufacturing contracts. One can surmise that a reduction in the purchase of raw materials and equipment could be a sign of a slower quarter.
I remain optimistic that the Taiwanese companies will remain strong during 2020. They are very aggressive in finding alternatives when small downturns occur.
1. Fujitsu (electronics company in Japan) 12/2
Started shipping the supercomputer FUGAKU, which is 100 times faster than the previous machine, KEI.
2. Toshiba (electric and electronics company in Japan) 12/6
Developed a cancer diagnosis system. With just a drop of blood, can detect 13 kinds of cancers with 99% accuracy analyzing micro RNAs in two hours.
3. SMK (component supplier in Japan) 12/10
Commercialized a BtB connector series PB-F2 for floating circuit boards of automobile applications. Volume production will start in April 2010.
4. Panasonic (electronics company in Japan) 12/10
Agreed with Nishikawa, a bedding product supplier, to start support service in March 2020 for comfortable sleeping.
5. Asics (sportswear supplier in Japan) 12/11
Co-developed a low-cost wearable motion capture suite with Tokyo University for analysis of various sports.
6. MinebeaMitsumi (device manufacturer in Japan) 12/12
Co-developed a stepping motor with high precision with Renesas Electronics for robots, OA equipment, medical devices, and more.
7. TE Japan (connector manufacturer in Japan) 12/12
Commercialized a high-reliability connector series “SFP + stack-type dual-line connectors” for high-speed, double-sided printed circuits.
8. Toshiba Device and Storage (semiconductor manufacturer in Japan) 12/12
Commercialized a system power source IC TB9045FNG for automobile modules.
9. TDK (component supplier in Japan) 12/12
Commercialized a noise suppression filter MAF1608GAD-L type with high efficiency for smart speakers or tablet PCs.
10. Taiyo Yuden (component supplier in Japan) 12/15
Developed an entirely solid-state lithium secondary battery with SMT package utilizing multilayer ceramic capacitor technologies (size: 1005~4532).
11. Murata (component supplier in Japan) 12/15
Developed the smallest chip capacitor (0.25 x 0.125 x 0.125 mm for 0.1 microfarads). Volume production will start in 2020.
Dominique K. Numakura is the managing director of DKN Research LLC. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and news.