Moving Forward



World manufacturing growth continued to slip in March (Chart 1) but manufacturing activity still remained well in positive territory (PMI>50). Growth continues, but at a more subdued pace. 

In our last column we noted a large drop in February China/Taiwan electronics output due to both seasonality and weaker post-holiday season mobile phone activity. However March 2018 rebounded driving a 13.2% global increase in electronic equipment sales vs. March 2017 and an 11.8% sequential sales rise over February 2018 (Chart 2). 

Electronic equipment looks to be on track for another good year (Chart 3) – more modest growth compared to 2017, but still respectable.

Semiconductor sales are predicted to rise again this year bolstered by both memory and non-memory (Chart 4). Wafer foundry revenues rebounded sharply in March (Chart 5) signaling continued solid industry demand. 

Printed circuit board revenues (in US$) also are increasing, both due to end market need and the currency effect of converting stronger non-dollar currencies to weaker dollars, thus amplifying US$ denominated growth.

2018 looks to be on track for another decent year. Hopefully global political unrest won’t create too many detours.




End Markets


Global IT spending is expected to grow 6.2% y/y to $3.7 trillion in 2018. –Gartner

South Korea’s information and communication technology industry output increased 8.6% y/y to new high of 468 trillion won in 2017. –Ministry of Science and ICT


Australian mobile phone market shipments increased 15.7% y/y to 3.36 million devices in 4Q17. –IDC

Mobile substation market value is expected to grow at 7.6% CAGR from an estimated USD 789 Million in 2018 to USD 1,140 Million by 2023 –MarketsandMarkets


Device (PCs, tablets and mobile phones) shipments are forecast to grow 1.3% y/y to 2.3 billion units in 2018 after declining 3% y/y in 2017. –Gartner

PC shipments declined 1.4% y/y to 61.7 million units in 1Q18. –Gartner

Traditional PCs (desktop, notebook, and workstation) shipments recorded 0% y/y growth in 1Q18, remaining at a total of 60.4 million units. –IDC


Smart camera market expected to grow at 18.7% CAGR from US$ 4500 million in 2016. –Future Market Insights


5G network equipment market value is expected to expand at a 59% CAGR from $1.1 billion in 2019 and to more than $18 billion in 2025. –Persistence Market Research

Cloud IT infrastructure revenue from sales of infrastructure products (server, storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud IT, including public and private cloud, grew 27.3% y/y $12.8 billion in 4Q17. –IDC

IT infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage, and Ethernet switches) total spending for deployment in cloud environments is expected to grow 10.9% y/y to $52.3 billion in 2018. –IDC

Public cloud services market is projected to grow 21.4% y/y to $186 billion in 2018. –Gartner

Server shipments reached 3.66 million units (based on motherboards shipped) in 4Q17. –Digitimes Research


Augmented and virtual reality consumer content and apps market grew by 72% y/y to $3.2 billion in 2017. –IHS Markit

Augmented reality and virtual reality headset shipments will grow at 53% CAGR from 12.4 million units in 2018 to 69 million units in 2022. –IDC

Cognitive and artificial intelligence systems spending will increase by 54% y/y to $19 billion in 2018 and then continue to expand at 46% CAGR to $52 billion in 2021. –IDC


Electronics market projected to grow beyond $290 billion by 2024. –Hexa Research

Cockpit electronics market will expand at 12% CAGR from USD 31 billion in 2013 to USD 62 billion in 2020. –Persistence Market Research

• In-Dash navigation system market will grow at 11% CAGR from $10.5 billion in 2016 to $22 billion by 2023. –Allied Market Research

• Head-Up display market value is expected to expand at 30% CAGR from USD 1.27 billion in 2018 to 4.7 billion USD by 2023. –Markets and Markets

• Adaptive front lighting market value will grow at 52% CAGR from US$7.7 billion in 2016 to US$354 billion by 2025. –Market Research HUB

• Driver assistance system market is expected to grow at 19% CAGR to USD 67 billion by 2025. –Grand View Research

• Telematics market value will expand at 22% CAGR from US$10 billion in 2016 to US$76 billion by the end of 2025. –Transparency Market Research


IoT Healthcare market value is growing at 28% CAGR from USD 28 billion in 2015 to USD 337 billion by 2025. –Wise Guy Reports

IoT security spending will increase 28% y/y to $1.5 billion in 2018. –Gartner


Consumer Robotics hardware revenues will grow from an estimated $6.4 billion in 2018 to nearly $23 billion by 2022. –Juniper Research

North America robots total sales reached $1.896 billion for 34,904 total units in 2017. –Association for Advancing Automation

Service robotics market shipments are forecast to grow at over 20% CAGR to USD 22 billion by 2024. –Global Market Insights

Smart home devices shipments grew 28% y/y to 433 million units in 2017 and are expected to grow at 19% CAGR to 939 million devices shipped in 2022. –IDC


Wearable devices shipments will grow 15% y/y to 133 million units in 2018 and continue growing at 13% CAGR to 219 million units in 2022. –IDC

Europe’s wearable medical device market value is expected to grow from $1.4 billion in 2015 to $3.3 billion by 2020. –Market Data Forecast


Space electronics market is projected to reach an estimated value of US$ 1.6 billion in 2023. –Stratview Research

EMS, ODM & Related Assembly Activity

Top 50 EMS providers sales increased 11.4% y/y to $300 billion in revenue in 2017. –Manufacturing Market Insider

PCB and multi-chip module electronic design automation industry revenue grew 2.4% y/y to $241 million in 4Q17. –ESD

Smartphone ODM and EMS assembly shipments decreased 13.8% y/y in 4Q17. –IDC

U.S. medical sector contract electronic manufacturing market revenue is expected to grow at 8.8% CAGR to $20 billion by 2023. –Market Research Future

ACDi added a Nordson Asymtek select coat SL940E machine in Frederick, Maryland.

AWS Electronics Group installed an additional SMT automotive line in Námestovo, Slovakia.

Bomin Electronics acquired Juntian Hengxun for RMB 1.25 billion.

Celestica purchased Atrenne Integrated Solutions.

Compal Electronics increased its 2018 capex to NT$6 billion (US$206 million) to purchase automation equipment.

Creative Hi-Tech added a Nordson Novo 102 selective solder machine.

Datest introduced its newly acquired VJ Technologies 225kV Microfocus CT Lab and has a new website at

EC Electronics opened an electronics assembly facility in Petrosani, Romania.

Éolane relocated into a new building in Tallinn, Estonia.

Fabrinet UK added a Class 8 clean room to its On-Demand facility in Calne.


sold its Multek’s China operations to Multi-Fineline Electronix for $273 million.

spent HUF 3 billion to expand its car industry manufacturing plant in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary.

Flextron Circuit Assembly added a Nordson Yestech F1S AOI system and two 3D SPI systems from Koh Young Technology.

Foxconn/ Hon Hai 

received U.S. approval for duty exemptions for its planned Wisconsin TV manufacturing facility in Mount Pleasant.

subsidiary, FIT Hon Teng acquired Belkin, which also owns Linksys, Phyn and Wemo brands.

plans to expand development of automotive, industrial networking, and smart home manufacturing services in India.

Hindley Circuits acquired Magnum Electronics

IEC Electronics invested more than $20 million to relocate and construct a 150,000 SF facility in Newark, New York.

Jabil is spending $67.3 million to remake its HQ in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Libra Industries promoted Tim Bell to Production Manager.

Microart Services added an additional factory in North Tonawanda, New York.

Milwaukee Electronics added an X-SPECTION 6000 system from Scienscope to their facility in Oregon and another for their facility in Mexico.

Northern Coatings moved into new facilities in Orangeville Ontario.

OSI Electronics increased its production space from 3,250 to 5,100 m² with purchase of a new building virtually next door in St Neots, UK.

Plexus named Ex. VP, CFO and Treasurer of National Instruments, Karen Rapp to their Board of Directors.

Protolabs purchased a 152,000 SF facility in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

Sanmina received FDA registration for its manufacturing facilities in Chennai, India.

SMTC appointed Steve Waszak, CFO and Sr. VP of Mergers and Acquisitions.

Solve Direct Electronics invested in Seamark Cutting-Edge Rework System in South Africa.

Stadium Group appointed Gabriel Iancu as Quality and Test Manager and Paul Adgar as Sr. Test and Technical Engineer for its Hartlepool UK electronics assembly plant.

Sumitronics Manufacturing (Cambodia) set up a factory in Poipet Special Economic Zone.

TactoTek added an Essemtec Paraquda multi-functional pick-and-place system.

Time Chain Holding acquired Fittec from Camsing International for HK$140 million.

Z-AXIS added more than $250,000 worth of PCBA equipment to its factory near Rochester, New York.

PCB Fabrication

FPCB market is growing at 11% CAGR from US$13.5 billion in 2016 to US$33 billion by 2025. –Research Report Insights

Substrate-like PCB market is estimated to grow at CAGR 64% from US$1.9 billion in 2016 and US$2.24 billion by 2023. –Yole Développement

A.C.T. (USA) Int’l LMT. attained ISO 9001:2015 Registration.

Advanced Circuits appointed Michael Ekladyose to succeed retired Jim Hellmer as Director of Technical Support.

APCT named Greg Elder EX. VP, Finance.

Aspocomp acquired a production facility in Oulu, Finland from Technopolis.

Cirexx International installed two Orange Engineering Manufacturing high temperature lamination press systems.

Enigma Interconnect added a new line, which offers double sided selective and flash/full body electroplating in hard gold options.

Guangzhou Hi-tech subsidiary, Jiangxi Hong Hi-Tech is building a new facility with annual output of 600,000 SM of high-multi-layer, high-precision HDI circuit boards and 5 million PCBA intelligent terminal products.

Printed Circuits received accreditation to the new ISO standard, 2001:2015.

SCL PCB Solutions Group appointed Nicolae Mihoc as Plant Manager at their BATM Systems SRL production facility in Craiova, Romania.

Shennan Circuit Tongzhou built a new PCB manufacturing plant with 1.25 million SM/ year capacity.

Zhuhai Chongda Circuit Technology is building a PCB manufacturing site in Zhuhai, China.

Materials & Process Equipment

Polyimide film is forecast to increase at 10% CAGR from USD 1.7 billion in 2018 to USD 3.1 billion until 2023. –HNY Research

Conductive inks market value will expand at 7% CAGR from US$2.3 billion in 2016 to US$4.3 billion by 2025. –Transparency Market Research

Conformal coatings market value will grow at 5.6% CAGR to $15.7 billion by 2024. –Grand View Research

Electrodeposited copper foils market value is estimated to expand at 12% CAGR from 6.6 billion in 2017 to US$ 16 billion in 2025. –Persistence Market Research

Photoresist market size will grow at 6% CAGR from USD 4.7 billion in 2017 to USD 6.7 billion by 2023. –HNY Research

Selective soldering equipment market is projected to reach $68 million by 2024. –

3M appointed Kristen Ludgate Sr. VP, Human Resources and Sarah Grauze, Treasurer and VP, Finance.

Arlon Electronic Materials received IPC-4101 QPL for all polyimide specification sheets.

ASM Pacific Technology acquired TEL NEXX from Tokyo Electron.

BASF set up 20,000 SM R&D facility in Mumbai, India.

Chemence bought electronics adhesives business from Supreme Resources.

Dover named Richard Tobin, CEO.

Dow Electronic Materials expanded its Asia CMP Manufacturing and Technical Center in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Gelest promoted Jonathan Goff to VP of R&D and named Youlin Pan, Sr. Research Fellow.

Indium Corporation appointed Andy Seager, European Sales Manager and Michael Schmitt, Production Supervisor for its Rome facility.

IPTE Germany opened a new production facility in Fürth, Bavaria.

JBC opened a new sales and support office in Chennai, India.

KIC promoted Ryan Wilshusen to R&D Manager.

Kulicke & Soffa opened a China Demo Center at their Suzhou manufacturing facility.

LPKF Laser & Electronics named Goetz Bendele, CEO.

Nano Dimension 

appointed Gilad Reshef as Regional Director in Hong Kong. 

sold DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D Printers to Korea’s HDC and Taiwan’s General Integration Technology.

Nordson appointed Lara Mahoney as VP of Investor Relations & Corporate Communications.

Panasonic Factory Solutions Company of America began doing business under the name Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America, Process Automation.

Physik Instrumente named Thomas Bocher, Marketing Segment Head, Microscopy & Life Sciences in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Sono-Tek Corporation promoted Bennett Bruntil to VP, Sales & Marketing. 

Versum Materials opened a R&D facility in Rush Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. 

VITRONIC France SAS established as service and sales office in Rungis, France. 

Zhongxiaoshan Group is investing 2 billion yuan to build a copper foil plant with annual output of 50,000 tons of high-precision copper strip copper foil and 2 million SM of copper clad laminate in China’s Guanjia Village. 

Semiconductors & Other Components 

Semiconductor revenues grew 21.7% y/y to US$429 billion in 2017, the highest y/y growth in 14 years. –IHS Markit 

Top-5 semiconductor suppliers accounted for 43% of the world’s semiconductor sales in 2017, while top-50 suppliers represented 88% of the total $445 billion worldwide semiconductor market. –IC Insights 


sales increased 37% y/y to $56.6 billion in 2017 and spending is expected to grow 9% y/y in 2018 and 5% y/y in 2019. –SEMI 

spending from Chinese players will double from $3.6 billion in 2017 to $7.1 billion in 2018 and increase to over $11 billion in 2019. –Bernstein Research 

North American Semiconductor equipment industry billings increased 22.2% y/y to $2.37 billion in February 2018. –SEMI 

South Korea became largest semiconductor equipment market in 2017 with US$17.95 billion in equipment sales. –SEMI 

Semiconductor photomask market increased 13% y/y to record high $3.75 billion in 2017 and is forecast to exceed $4.0 billion in 2019. –SEMI 

China’s IC packaging and testing generated $29 billion in revenue in 2017, making the country the world’s largest consumer of packaging equipment and materials. –SEMI 

IC market growth forecast raised from 8% to 15% y/y for 2018 with DRAM and NAND flash markets driving expansion. –IC Insights 


ECU market value is projected to grow at 6% CAGR from at USD 45 billion in 2016 to USD 96 billion by 2025. –Markets and Markets 

IC market is estimated to surpass US$40 billion in 2018 after surging 11% y/y to US$35.7 billion in 2017 from US$32.2 billion. –Digitimes Research 

microcontrollers market estimated to grow at 14% CAGR from USD 990 million of 2018 to USD 1.9 billion in 2023. –HNY Research 

GaN power business value is forecast to expand at 79% CAGR from about US$12 million in 2016 to US$460 million by 2022. –Yole Développement 

semiconductors devices market is expected to grow at 17% CAGR from USD 711 million in 2017 to USD 1.8 billion by 2023. –Market Insights Reports 

Automotive connectors market size will expand at CAGR 7.6% from USD 5 billion in 2018 to USD 7.4 billion until 2023. –HNY Research 

Optoelectronics, Sensors/ Actuators, and Discretes’ total revenues climbed 11% to $75 billion in 2017 with market being driven by high demand for sensors, actuators, CMOS imaging devices, light sensors, laser transmitters, and power discretes. –IC Insights 


Smart sensor market value is growing at 19% CAGR from $20.8 billion in 2016 to $82 billion by 2024, with automotive industry revenue expanding at 19% CAGR from $4.9 billion in 2016. –Esticast Research & Consulting 

Image sensor market value is projected to grow at 9.8% CAGR from USD 14 billion in 2017 to USD 25 billion by 2023. –Research and Markets 

Nanosensors market is expected to grow at 69% CAGR to $5,550 million by 2024 from $85 million in 2016. –Fior Markets 

Connector industry sales expected to grow 6.8% to over $64 billion in 2018. –Bishop & Associates 

Power electronics market size will grow at an estimated 4.7% CAGR from USD 4.4 billion in 2017 to USD 5.6 billion by 2023. –HNY Research 

Wiring harness market value to grow at 7.6% CAGR from USD 42.7 billion in 2017 to USD 7.4 billion by 2023. –HNY Research 

Industrial 3D printing market is estimated to grow at 27% CAGR from USD 1.7 billion in 2018 to USD 5.7 billion by 2023. –MarketsandMarkets 


Chinese AMOLED capacity will rise at 145% CAGR from 228,000 SM/yr. in 2016 to 8.3 million SM/ yr. in 2020. –IHS Markit 

Electronic display market value will grow at around 8% CAGR from approximately USD 119 billion in 2017 to USD 191 billion by 2023. –Zion Market Research 

Flexible displays market value is expected to grow at 27% CAGR through 2025 from US$ 5 billion in 2016. –Research and Markets 

Worldwide brand motherboard shipments slipped 15% y/y to less than 13 million units in 2017 and shipments are expected to drop another 10% in 2018. –Digitimes 

Printed electronic market will grow at 22% CAGR from USD 3 billion in 2015 to USD 10 billion in 2021. –Zion Market Research 


Start typing and press Enter to search