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What is the charm of PCBs that are rising against the "market"?

2020-09-22

Under the epidemic, what is the charm of the PCB industry that is rising against the "market"? As a downstream industry, what kind of demand does it have for industrial robots and smart warehousing? With the conclusion of the 2020 Gaogong Robot National Research Activity-PCB Special Session, the Gaogong Robotics research team has a more intuitive understanding of the industry's 2020 after visiting eight PCB companies in depth.

High-end development, polarization

In recent years, devices in the electronic information fields such as consumer electronics, industrial control, automotive electronics, and medical equipment have continued to develop in the direction of lightness, thinness and intelligence. At the same time, the information transmission rate has accelerated and the number of functional components has increased. Therefore, the requirements for high-end PCB products have continued to increase. In the new stage, PCB continues to develop towards high system integration and high performance.

Coupled with the tide of domestic substitution, domestic high-tech PCBs will develop rapidly in the future. Taking IC substrates as an example, the compound growth rate of domestic IC substrate output value from 2016 to 2021 is expected to be 3.55%, far exceeding the global growth rate of 0.14% In the future, localized import substitution of mid-to-high-end PCBs will be one of the main directions of industry development.

In terms of production efficiency, domestic labor costs continue to rise and competition is becoming increasingly fierce. Improving efficiency and reducing costs have become important issues facing PCB companies. Therefore, automation and intelligent production are becoming the direction of the PCB industry's upgrade.

At the same time, it should be noted that under the current market competition environment, small and medium-sized PCB companies often face greater financial pressure, while leading PCB companies have achieved considerable development through listing and financing, and the polarization is becoming more serious. , The strong is always strong.

In the past five years, after the top-ranked PCB companies in China have obtained sufficient funds through the capital market, they have continuously increased their production scale, innovated product processes, obtained more orders, and further concentrated their market share.

During this tour, Liu Shifeng, R&D director of Shenghong Technology, said: “Due to the domestic substitution caused by the Sino-US trade dispute and the pandemic of the overseas epidemic, the orders in the first quarter under the epidemic did not shrink, but are now in a situation of exploding orders.”

Industry insiders also revealed that with the rapid development of the domestic semiconductor industry, the current major domestic PCB board factories are basically in a situation of exploding orders, and the production capacity schedule has been arranged in the next quarter, but at the same time, the survival of those small and medium-sized board manufacturers is difficult. Increasing.

5G winds up, soaring

Dapeng rises with the same wind in one day, soaring for 90,000 miles, this wind is 5G. Liu Shifeng said that Shenghong Technology will establish a 5G business unit in June to specifically connect with the 5G industry.

The industry now generally believes that in the next three to five years, 5G communications will surpass today's two major application markets, smart terminals and automotive electronics, and become the number one engine driving the growth of the PCB industry.

Compared with the number of base stations in the 4G era, millimeter wave development will push the scale of base stations in the 5G era to exceed 10 million. It is foreseeable that with the gradual arrival of the 5G commercial era, the mass construction and upgrading of communication base stations will create a huge demand for high-frequency and high-speed boards such as PCBs, and PCBs will meet a new round of upgrade and replacement needs.

Comprehensively considering the number of base stations and the value of a single base station, the market space brought by 5G base stations to PCB is more than 4-5 times that of 4G.

But at the same time, 5G also puts forward higher and more stringent requirements on PCB technology, with new requirements for the entire process from PCB materials, design, manufacturing process, equipment and instruments to quality monitoring.

Among them, in terms of equipment and instruments, high-precision equipment and pre-processing lines with less roughening of the copper surface are currently ideal processing equipment; and the testing equipment includes passive intermodulation testers, flying probe impedance testers, loss test equipment, etc. .

Industry insiders believe that sophisticated graphics transfer and vacuum etching equipment can monitor and feedback data changes in real-time line width and coupling spacing detection equipment; electroplating equipment with good uniformity, high-precision lamination equipment, etc. can also meet 5G PCB Production needs.

Derived from the robotic arm, Zhou Dingzhong, general manager of the Multilayer Board Division of Shenghong Technology, said: "Compared with traditional PCB boards, the weight, size, and thickness of 5G PCB boards are different. At present, most of them are 4-layer boards. , 5G development will drive the number of 4-16 layers, so the board weight can reach 10kg, so a robot with a load of at least 30kg is required."

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