Where is the In­dian SMT mar­ket headed?

Tech­no­log­i­cal advancements, which are a ne­ces­sity to meet the high per­for­mance ex­pec­ta­tions in the elec­tron­ics field , com­bined with toda y ’s hi g h s p eed p ro­duc­tion and q ual­ity as­sur­ance stan­dards, will drive for­ward the adop­tion of SMT man­u­fac­turin

Electronics Bazaar - - Industry Report - By Sudeshna Das

This study analy­ses the growth op­por­tu­ni­ties and cur­rent trends in the In­dian sur­face mount tech­nol­ogy (SMT) equip­ment mar­ket, in­clud­ing place­ment, in­spec­tion and sol­der­ing equip­ment, screen print­ers, as well as re­work and re­pair equip­ment.

Mar­ket size and op­por­tu­ni­ties

As PCBs and elec­tronic com­po­nents be­come more minia­turised, the chal­lenge that man­u­fac­tur­ers face is in ac­cu­rately plac­ing tiny com­po­nents on smaller, yet more com­plex boards. This has fu­elled the de­mand for ad­vanced SMT equip­ment with a high de­gree of re­li­a­bil­ity and ac­cu­racy.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­search re­port pub­lished by Mar­kets and Mar­kets, the sur­face mount tech­nol­ogy mar­ket is ex­pected to reach a turnover of US$ 5.42 bil­lion by 2022, grow­ing at a CAGR of 8.9 per cent be­tween 2017 and 2022. The mar­ket’s growth will be pri­mar­ily driven by higher de­mand for minia­turised con­sumer elec­tron­ics prod­ucts and the en­hanced adop­tion of elec­tric ve­hi­cles with ad­vanced fea­tures for con­nec- tiv­ity, en­ter­tain­ment and safety.

The In­dian SMT man­u­fac­tur­ing equip­ment mar­ket in In­dia is also bound to grow along with the elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor in the coun­try. The In­dian elec­tron­ics mar­ket is one of the fastest grow­ing in the world and is an­tic­i­pated to

reach US$ 400 bil­lion in 2022, with do­mes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ing climb­ing to over US$ 100 bil­lion. This bur­geon­ing mar­ket presents an at­trac­tive op­por­tu­nity to sup­pli­ers of SMT man­u­fac­tur­ing equip­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try ex­perts, since In­dia still doesn’t have a ma­ture elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­ing ser­vice (EMS) in­dus­try, the best es­ti­mate of the size of the do­mes­tic SMT equip­ment in­dus­try would be about 75 – 80 per cent of the EMS in­dus­try. The to­tal mar­ket is seg­mented ac­cord­ing to the type of SMT equip­ment and fur­ther sub-seg­mented based on the tech­nol­ogy used (Fig­ure 1).

Eighty per cent of the sur­vey par­tic­i­pants fore­cast that the In­dian mar­ket for SMT equip­ment used in the elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try will grow at a rate of up to 20 per cent per year (Fig­ure 2). How­ever, most of them also men­tioned the sud­den dip in the mar­ket over the last six months due to de­mon­eti­sa­tion and GST re­lated is­sues.

Mar­ket driv­ers

The elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­ing ser­vice (EMS) providers need an in­creas­ing num­ber of SMT equip­ment prod­uct lines in or­der to meet the de­mand from cus­tomers across dif­fer­ent in­dus­try ver­ti­cals. In ad­di­tion, many orig­i­nal de­sign man­u­fac­tur­ers (ODM) have also started man­u­fac­tur­ing plants, rather than just de­sign­ing equip­ment, in or­der to over­come the in­creas­ing com­pe­ti­tion from EMS providers. This will fur­ther drive the growth of the SMT equip­ment mar­ket.

The trend for adopt­ing SMT assem­bly lines will be bol­stered fur­ther by in­creas­ing de­mand for higher fre­quency, highly in­te­grated and smaller de­vices in con­sumer elec­tron­ics, au­to­mo­tive, in­dus­trial au­to­ma­tion, process con­trol, tele­com, In­ter­net of Things (IoT), com­put­ing, stor­age, aero­space and de­fence mar­kets.

Ac­cord­ing to sur­vey par­tic­i­pants, the ma­jor de­mand-gen­er­at­ing sec­tors are:

• Con­sumer elec­tron­ics (in­clud­ing mobile phones) • Au­to­mo­tive

The con­sumer elec­tron­ics seg­ment is tran­si­tion­ing from man­ual, ana­logue sys­tems to digi­tised and au­to­mated con­trol sys­tems. With the in­creased use of smart por­ta­ble de­vices and wear­ables, there is a heavy size con­straint on the PCBs used. This could give a first-mover ad­van­tage to a man­u­fac­turer who can in­vest in new SMT equip­ment that sup­ports minia­ture sized PCBs or com­po­nents. Feeder tech­nol­ogy, flex­i­ble gantries, and high-ac­cu­racy op­ti­cal en­coder sys­tems are ex­am­ples of prod­uct in­no­va­tions as a re­sult of tech­no­log­i­cal advancements. A ma­jor­ity of the in­dus­try ex­perts in­di­cated that set-top boxes were the most de­mand-gen­er­at­ing prod­uct seg­ment.

The de­mand for SMT de­vices in the au­to­mo­tive seg­ment has in­creased due to their abil­ity to meet the needs of the crit­i­cal sys­tems with zero de­fects. The num­ber of elec­tronic com­po­nents used in an elec­tric ve­hi­cle (EV) is more com­pared to any con­ven­tional ve­hi­cle, as the for­mer has an elec­tric mo­tor, bat­tery and other com­plex con­nec­tions to en­sure op­ti­mum util­i­sa­tion of power. Ow­ing to the crit­i­cal role of elec­tronic com­po­nents in th­ese EVs, sur­face mount de­vices are used as they are lighter, oc­cupy less space, are safe and last over a longer pe­riod of time.

De­mand for SMT equip­ment is also high in the tele­com sec­tor (in­clud­ing mobile hand­set man­u­fac­tur­ing) and en­ergy seg­ments. More­over, with the bur­geon­ing LED in­dus­try, low cost, light­ing-spe­cific SMT equip­ment have started mak­ing in­roads into the mar­ket.

SMT equip­ment in de­mand

Place­ment equip­ment rep­re­sents the largest prod­uct seg­ment within the SMT equip­ment mar­ket. Ex­perts unan­i­mously pre­dict a steady de­mand in this seg­ment. Sol­der­ing and print­ing equip­ment are also ex­pected to ex­pe­ri­ence de­cent de­mand (Fig­ure 3).

How­ever, 50 per cent of the ex­perts also em­pha­sise the im­por­tance of on­line qual­ity as­sur­ance dur­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing. They in­di­cate that the im­proved speed and flex­i­bil­ity of qual­ity as­sur­ance pro­ce­dures has gen­er­ated de­mand for ad­vanced SMT in­spec­tion sys­tems in­clud­ing au­to­matic X-ray in­spec­tion (AXI) sys­tems and au­to­matic op­ti­cal in­spec­tion (AOI) sys­tems. AXI equip­ment is ex­pected to gain from the in­te­gra­tion of com­puter to­mog­ra­phy and in­tu­itive pro­gram­ming. AOI equip­ment is ex­pected to be­come more pop­u­lar be­cause of the use of ma­chine vi­sion-based al­go­rithms that en­able easy pro­gram­ming, flex­i­bil­ity, and the en­hanced abil­ity to de­tect faults quickly while min­imis­ing false call rates.

Mar­ket pulse

In­dus­try ex­perts also shared some in­sights about emerg­ing trends that will shape the SMT man­u­fac­tur­ing equip­ment mar­ket in In­dia. They be­lieve that there are many ad­van­tages of us­ing this equip­ment, such as lower man­u­fac­tur­ing costs, higher com­po­nent den­sity, as well as sim­pler and faster au­to­ma­tion lead­ing to smart fac­to­ries. Here is a col­la­tion of their views.

Fo­cus on pre­ci­sion: The tech­no­log­i­cal advancements in SMT will largely fo­cus on bring­ing pre­ci­sion into the man­u­fac­tur­ing process to re­duce de­fects, while op­ti­mis­ing the use of assem­bly op­er­a­tions to im­prove productivity.

De­mand for ‘one stop’ so­lu­tions: There is an in­creased de­mand for in­te­grated so­lu­tions to en­able fully au­to­mated con­trol so­lu­tions. There­fore, cus­tomers are also shift­ing from us­ing in­di­vid­ual SMT ma­chines to in­te­grated on­estop SMT assem­bly lines to get a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage.

Shift to 0201 ge­om­e­try: One of the key trends is that In­dia has moved straight to the 0201 ge­om­e­try, leapfrog­ging the phase of mak­ing larger SMT prod­ucts.

De­mand for small ‘things’: With the rapid in­crease in the use of smaller IoT de­vices (known as ‘things’), the high vol­umes needed will drive the SMT mar­ket.

More­over, al­most all the com­po­nent ven­dors have mi­grated

their pro­cesses to SMT to in­crease man­u­fac­tur­ing speed, use ad­vanced CMOS (com­ple­men­tary metal ox­ide semi­con­duc­tor) tech­nol­ogy, and due to the de­creased in­ter­con­nect widths in ICs. This has es­sen­tially driven the com­po­nents in­dus­try to adopt smaller pack­ages.

Mov­ing for­ward

World­wide, the SMT equip­ment mar­ket is pri­mar­ily driven by the elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­ing ser­vices (EMS) in­dus­try. How­ever, this has not ma­tured enough in In­dia com­pared to other Asian coun­tries. Most of the Tier 2 and Tier 3 EMS ven­dors still act as as­sem­blers (they just do the job work of PCB as­sem­blies) rather than mak­ing the en­tire ‘box build’ unit or tak­ing on the com­plete pro­duc­tion of an elec­tronic de­vice. The trans­for­ma­tion of EMS play­ers from as­sem­blers to ‘box build’ ser­vice providers will not only en­hance the de­mand for SMT man­u­fac­tur­ing equip­ment but also help EMS play­ers to get a com­pet­i­tive edge in the mar­ket.

How­ever, for this, EMS play­ers need to de­velop three ma­jor ca­pa­bil­i­ties—in-house sup­ply chains (cov­er­ing com­po­nent engi­neer­ing), DFx (De­sign for X where x stands for cost, assem­bly, man­u­fac­tur­ing, test­ing and the en­vi­ron­ment) and fi­nally, test and re­pair ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

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