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The Substrate-like PCB which enabled by Apple become a major competition in 2017, the major manufact

o-leading.com o-leading.com 2017-04-13 11:37:11
     PCB as one of the main application market of copper foil, its influence is self-evident. Recently, according the market news, starting from the first quarter of 2017, PCB industry from upstream equipment factory, raw material factory to downstream production plant all shows good performance in off-season. The main benefit from two aspects, on the one hand is the proportion of vehicle-mounted board increased, on the other hand, it is said that in the second half year, Apple's new iPhone8 will use the smaller line width & line spacing Substrate-like PCB technology (Referred as to SLP), it will replace the previous HDI PCB technology, Substrate-like PCB is still a kind of rigid PCB, but it‘s production process is more close to semiconductor specifications. Currently, the Substrate-like PCB required line width/ line spacing is 30/30UM, but the manufacturing process, raw materials and design plan (one or more pieces) has not yet been determined.

     By the above-mentioned two aspects of good news, the PCB manufacturer in Taiwan opened a  new round of expansion plans in 2017, it is include COMPEQ MANUFACTURING CO LTD、 Tripod Technology Corp, and Unitech Printed Circuit Board all has a large-scale capital plan in this year. Especially in the market of Substrate-like PCB, the biggest difference in this upgrade of Substrate-like PCB is : in addition to the existing high-end HDI manufacturers, substrate factory also can production, and become a new supplier. Both Substrate factory and high-end HDI manufacturers need to adjust the production equipment, for the substrate factory need to adjust to use low-end equipment, and high-end HDI factory is need for new equipment and processes

    It is understood that from point view of the advantages and disadvantages, the technology is the threshold for high-end HDI manufacturers, yields may be lower, but the advantage is cost lower after use adjusted HDI equipment for production, such enterprises as COMPEQ MANUFACTURING CO LTD and Tripod Technology Corp .  For IC Substrate-like PCB manufacturer, the advantage is the experience and technology, but cost is higher, such as KINSUS and so on. While the manufacturer has both capability of high-end HDI and IC loading boards both, in theory, it can adjust the balance of production capacity between HDI and loading board, but the production process there is still a challenge, Product portfolio and capacity utilization should be weighed against the impact on the overall operating efficiency, like Unimicron.

     In order to meet customer demand in 2017, the current Substrate board manufacturers have increased capital expenditure, Including Kinsus factory in Xinfeng which produce Substrate-like products, the company determine need at least 2 billion NT capital expenditures, and Substrate-like PCB will become the main power of revenue growth next year. And Unimicron officially announced enter into the Substrate-like PCB, increase  the capital expenditures, in the fourth quarter of 2016 invested more than 1.5 billion new Taiwan dollars, start to purchase equipment, in order to increase exposure machine and gold-plated process to enhance the thin lines.

    In addition, Tripod Technology Corp planning capital expenditures will reach NT $3 billion in 2017, compared to last year showed a multiple growth, mainly is used for investment of the second plant construction in Hubei XianTao, Its main product category is still locked in the high growth of automotive PCB demand, meanwhile, the supervisor of Tripod has indicated that, Under the strict certificate process for automotive PCB, to invest new plant  is more easily approved by a certification. The Tripod Technology Corp capital spending in 2016 is about 1 billion new Taiwan dollars , mainly is used for updating the original factory AOI optical detection equipment, it plans to build a second factory in Hubei Xiantao in 2017, will mainly attack the market of  vehicle-mounted board, The planning capacity of 40 square meters, and in Taiwan Ping town, Jiangsu wuxi factory is to maintain the original capacity.

    Tripod Technology Corp has change the shipping product structure obviously, the automotive board proportion has jumped to 19% of the total revenue, at the same time, Along with the increase of the number of customers, product category, the proportion is expected to break through the 20% in 2017. Co-tech as the upstream of the copper foil suppliers, the manager Mr. Lisixian also pointed out, the increased degree of automotive electronics is a large driving power for the market demand of PCB even copper foil.

    COMPEQ MANUFACTURING CO. as  the supplier of Apple, , after spending $6 billion New Taiwan dollars in 2016, will invest $4 billion New Taiwan dollars in 2017, it will mainly used for the production of Substrate-like PCB which will used for Apple Iphone8. Flexium as another Taiwan supplier of Apple,it's capital expenditure was 1.3 billion NT last year, which also invested $3 billion in Taiwan for new plant, and will start production in the third quarter of this year, is expected to start the advanced process and at the same time,  will invest no less than NT $2 billion capital expenditures in 2017, the new plant in Kaohsiung is higher-order process oriented, will also become a major driving force for performance growth of this year. Focus including Taiwan higher- order fine line, the production capability of the Substrate-like PCB is further increased from 30 um to 25 um, After the slight expansion on the third phase of the Chongqing plant also changed the existing capacity increase strategy, it may also turn the technical ability and production equipment to Substrate-like PCB in future.

     KINSUS also actively seize the opportunity of Substrate-like PCB ,especially in the early stage, it has the technical advantage, it will have the opportunity to lead the supply chain. The follow-up worth observing and noticing is that the Substrate-like PCB profit is low compared with the products of IC substrate factory at current stage, if with the HDI plant technology and yield increase in future, and more suppliers involved, prices and profit pressures will emerge.

     Unitech actively develop three type niche products as any layer of high density connection board (Any-layer HDI), as well as Flex-Rigid board and high-frequency board , the planning capital expenditure is about 2.5 billion yuan, mainly used for the expansion of Anylayer HDI and Flex-Rigid board, the epansion benefit of Unitech factory which located in yilan will be fermented in this year

      Due to the increased proportion of the vehicle-mounted board which used in automobile electronics, also become a battleground of Taiwan PCB factories, except  CHIN POON INDUSTRIAL respect as first throne, the growing revenue proportion in this market of other factories, such as Tripod Technology Corp, APCB GROUP’S ,  is also an important indicator shows market boom of PCB industry in 2017. Another focus of vehicle-mounted board is the advanced automatic driving assistance system (ADAS), This product in this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) make a hit ,but the related PCB must have high frequency, high speed characteristics, for the PCB factories in Taiwan  BoardTek Electronics Corp be considered as an important indicator of ADAS board .

       In the upstream equipment factory of PCB, due to the increased degree of automation production, in recent years, the expansion of Taiwan's PCB production line in mainland China seems stagnant, but including the expansion of HannStar Board Corporation and Hubei HuangShi, and the investment of Unimicron & WUS Printed Circuit (Kunshan) Co., Ltd.& Dynamic Electronics Co., Ltd, another as the construction of second factory in Hubei Xiantao of Tripod Technology Corp,  coupled with China's local PCB plants such as Victory Giant Technology(HuiZhou)Co.,Ltd. , Suntak and other enterprises to expand production capacity, all these bring new business opportunities for equipment factory, such as Ta Liang Technology Co., Ltd(manufacture molding machine and mechanical drilling machine), Machvision, Inc.’,  Symtek Automation and so on, their order is more and more since the first quarter of 2017.

       In the upstream raw materials market of PCB, in the fourth quarter of 2016, copper foil, glass fiber cloth, copper foil  increased with the international copper price and copper processing costs, promoting excellent  business revenue of  major enterprise, price of product & corporate profits are higher, PCB factory rush to supplement raw materials, the original inventory replenishment efforts in the first quarter is greatly increased in 2017, such as during the Spring Festival holiday in Fulltech, it’s glass fiber cloth factory shortened holidays from 6 days to 2 days, to work overtime in order to meet the customer demands.

       From the overall view, Apple will launch the new iPhone 8, It is expected to be equipped with flexible OLED panels, dual cameras, Glass casing as well as power modules which support for fast charging, wireless charging, high-capacity battery, etc., and through use OLED panel and Substrate-like PCB to reduce the thickness, the line width & line spacing and area of Substrate-like PCB is more smaller, that can squeeze more space in the phone, the required line width& space of HDI PCB for smart phone is 50μm/50μm, but the Substrate-like PCB is required 30μm/30μm, it can save more space for dual cameras. For the printed circuit board, driven by the demand of Apple and vehicle-mounted board in 2017, the Substrate-like PCB and vehicle-mounted board will become the main two competition focus and hot spot, from each of the major manufacturers have increased capital expenditure is enough to see the market demand for Substrate-like PCB. However, from the point of view of equipment and raw materials, it may not be able to meet the needs of the major substrate manufacturer in the short term