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Electronics Industry Welcomes Bipartisan Congressional Proposal to Boost U.S. PCB SectorMay 9, 2022 | IPC
Estimated reading time: 1 minute
The electronics manufacturing industry is welcoming a new, bipartisan proposal in the U.S. Congress that would help bring back the country’s printed circuit board (PCB) sector.
The Supporting American Printed Circuit Boards Act of 2022, introduced by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Blake Moore (R-UT), would incentivize purchases of domestically produced PCBs as well as industry investments in factories, equipment, workforce training, and research and development. The bill’s provisions are modeled on the kinds of support provided to the closely related semiconductor sector under the CHIPS Act of 2021.
IPC President and CEO John Mitchell said: “This bipartisan bill addresses vulnerabilities in a key segment of the electronics manufacturing value chain, taking a ‘silicon-to-systems’ approach that prioritizes innovation, resiliency, and innovation across the electronics industry. We thank Reps. Eshoo and Moore for their leadership in helping to rebuild U.S. electronics manufacturing, and we call on all Members of Congress to support this bill.”
PCBs are as integral to electronics as semiconductor chips, their better-known partners. They are the physical platform upon which microelectronic components such as chips and capacitors are mounted and interconnected. Electronic systems cannot function without PCBs.
However, according to “Leadership Lost,” a report recently published by IPC, the United States “has lost its historic dominance in the PCB sector.” Since 2000, the U.S. share of global PCB production has fallen from over 30% to just 4%, with China now dominating the sector at around 50%. Only four of the top 20 electronics manufacturing services (EMS) companies are based in the United States. Any loss of access to non-domestic sources of PCBs would be “catastrophic,” the report said.
Numerous government and industry reports have raised the alarm for almost 20 years. Most recently, a 2018 Commerce Department report characterized the sector as “dying on the vine,” and the department’s 2022 report on the information and communications technology (ICT) industry noted the same supply chain risks.
I just finished counting the percentage of times in which artificial intelligence/machine learning/data analytics topics appeared in the I-Connect007 news this week. What do you think the percentage is? AI has moved well beyond a technical term; heck, it has clearly also eclipsed catch-phrase status. It seems a foregone conclusion that AI applications will be inserting themselves into manufacturing just as they are appearing in our handheld devices. Speaking of handhelds, that market seems to be growing as well. This week’s five must-reads include smartphone market data, telecom infrastructure development, a new white paper on the influence of data analytics, a report on the European market, and the launch of a new podcast series on PCB 3.0, a new design methodology.
DuPont today announced that Jon Kemp, President, DuPont Electronics & Industrial, has been named Chair of the Board of Industry Leaders of SEMI, a global industry association serving the electronics design and manufacturing supply chain.
With the seemingly endless ways that electronic products are worming their way into our lives, what was once “nice to own” is increasingly considered indispensable. The capabilities of these products have been driven by relentless improvements at every level of the manufacturing chain, from individual transistors (which are approaching Angstrom levels) to systems the size of buildings supporting Bitcoin mining and increasingly distributed AI products.
HARMAN, an automotive electronics technology company and subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. focused on delivering consumer experiences at automotive grade, confirms it will continue as an Official partner of Scuderia Ferrari for a second Formula One season. The on-track marketing partnership extends to technology on the road, with Ferrari becoming the first automotive OEM to adopt a number of solutions from HARMAN’s in-cabin monitoring system, HARMAN Ready Care, for its next-generation road cars.
Maggie Benson was in an expansive mood. It had been almost three years since her grandfather asked her to take over Benson Electronics. By using Lean techniques, cost modeling the assembly process, and implementing continuous improvement, the company made significant profitability improvements.