TAOYUAN City, TAIWAN – Maurice Lee, new chairperson of the Taiwan Printed Circuit Association (TCPA), says unfavorable factors, including the US-China trade war and the increasingly stringent environmental laws of mainland China, will be potential threats to Taiwan.

Although Taiwan’s PCB industry has a market share of 31.3%, as mainland China is currently the world’s major PCB production cluster, peer competition should not be overlooked, he says. He suggests Taiwanese PCB manufacturers should continue to strengthen factory operational management, such as reducing the labor cost with smart automation, quality improvement, and production cost cut, to raise competitiveness.

When asked if 5G is the next business opportunity for the PCB industry, Chairperson Lee replied, “Although 5G devices will be launched one after another in 2019, in lack of infrastructure and applications, it is estimated 5G application growth will only begin in the communications, computers, and consumer electronics sector in 2020. Also, as it is necessary to overcome the high-reliability technology involved with human safety, 5G application in self-driving cars will become more mature after 2020. Therefore, the high-speed and low-lag technology desperately required by 5G application and the stability and thermo solution required by 5G high-frequency signals will be key factors challenging the PCB industrial chain.

“The PCB industry is only at the Industry 2.2 stage, and Industry 4.0 is not necessitated by all industries,” he continued. “Take SMEs, for example. Industry 3.5 is the best mixed warfare. Particularly many PCB factory buildings in Taiwan cannot be demolished for reconstruction. It is necessary to implement smart automation by smartly and effectively exploiting resources. After all, instead of being the best, the most appropriate will sound much better. This idea simply coincides with the value and spirit of Industry 3.5.”

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