Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The PCB industry is a “Case study for European manufacturing
Article Type: Industry news From: Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, Volume 23, Issue 3
Many European industries are confronted with the same nature of problems. Therefore, our concern about the PCB industry at the same time may serve as a case study for all other European industries. We have to think about which products could remain in Europe and how to support this action on a European level.
There is no doubt that products with high labour content, high volume, long life cycle and little or no technical changes will always be manufactured at the most competitive and cheapest location available. This place, of course, can change at very short notice and it is clear that it most likely will not be in Europe. On the other hand, however, Europe remains engaged in manufacturing which involves:
low volumes in a large variety of alternatives;
short-life cycles and fast changes in demand;
high transport costs, but low labour costs;
frequent technical changes in demanding technology;
innovative products and NPI; and
product requiring high security for clients like banks and the military.
As long as this is the case, manufacturing companies in Europe (mainly SME) are able to accept the challenge – but only if they can meet this challenge in a position of cooperation and strength with their customers. In these cases, the challenge is open for Europe to participate in this global contest. Certainly, all this will represent a potential of high value added and at the same time it is an efficient complement for larger companies as it secures necessary supplies. And this trend of down sourcing from a large to a smaller unit will hardly go to the expense of jobs.