San Jose, California (PRWEB) April 28, 2011
Fate of the SMT equipment market is closely intertwined with the global electronics manufacturing industry. As such the global economic turmoil had profound impact on the SMT equipment market, with growth rates shifting to the negative territory from the dizzying double-digit growth rates of the last decade. The recession forced financial institutions to adopt stringent credit policies, thereby drying up funds for the SMT manufacturers. Sales of the SMT equipment were also affected by increasing liabilities and low credit ratings of several electronic assemblers. Flexibility became the key mantra for survival, with manufacturers supplying flexible machines that facilitate electronic assemblers in reducing their manufacturing costs through optimum utilization of installed capacity. In addition, SMT equipment manufacturers also resorted to providing value-added services, extending financial assistance to electronics manufacturers and introducing innovative products to meet the changing needs of electronics manufacturers.
However, with the global economy rebounding from the financial crisis by 2010, the SMT equipment market also bounced back. With the increased confidence of investors, OEMs and other electronic assemblers are lining up plans for renewing capital equipment, capacity expansion and technological up gradation, spelling promising opportunities for the growth of the SMT sector.
As stated by the new market research report on Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Equipment, Asia-Pacific market was among the earliest to recover from the recession, growth mainly led by the emerging economies of China and India. Other developed regions such as the US, Canada and Japan are also projected to witness erosion in market share. Availability of low cost infrastructure, technical expertise and manpower in countries such as India and China coupled with high economic growth is luring electronic manufacturers and original design manufacturing businesses to set shops in the region, which in turn is enhancing the demand for SMT equipment. Growth is also being driven by end use sectors such as consumer electronics, communications electronics, industrial electronics, medical, and automotive.
Growing sophistication and shrinking size of electronic gadgets is fuelling advancements in the SMT equipment market. The rising demand for electronic appliances with smaller footprint and capable of integrating greater number of electronic modules is contributing to increased demand for compact printed circuit board assemblies. Consequently, there exists a need for efficient electronics packaging technologies capable of incorporating electronic components into militarized printed circuit board. SMT equipment holds an edge in this sphere, due to its ability to mount electronic components efficiently and quickly onto both the sides of the PCB. Rising demand for flexible and reliable equipment from the medical device sector are fuelling sales of high-end SMT equipment.
SMT Placement Equipment represents the largest product segment within the SMT equipment market. Design and process innovations enhancing the ease-of-use, productivity, versatility, and speed of the equipment comprise the key growth harbingers for the segment. The world of inspection systems continues to eye a new breed of systems that are primed to spearhead the sales of the segment. Automated Optical Inspection Systems and Automated X-Ray Inspection systems comprise the markets hottest sellers, owing to higher yield and profitability enhancing prowess. SMT inspection is gaining rapid impetus in the PCB assembly. PCB Assemblers are increasingly turning to the deployment of high-speed Automated Optical Inspection systems in their production processes in an attempt to curtail costs of rework and repair.
Accompanying the global shift in production from the West to East is the issue of patent infringements, which is becoming a serious cause of concern for large players. In addition, growing clamor for environment protection across the world is putting pressure on manufacturers to reduce energy wastage and adopt other environment friendly measures. Accordingly, manufacturers are opting for energy efficient and environment friendly SMT equipment. In order to retain or increase market share as well as to enhance profitability, value added services have become a key differentiating point.
Major players profiled in the report include ASM Assembly Systems GmbH & Co. KG, Assembl