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Printed Circuit Boards and The Electronics Industry, Europe
Posted on 26/09/2014

On a global scale, the value of manufacturing services in the electronics market is estimated at €800 billion. Communication technology accounts for only €185 billion of that value and consumer electronics only takes a share of  €160 billion. The remaining €455 billion can account for the automotive and industrial electronics industries in Europe.

Approximately 300,000 people are employed in the European Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) Industry for the design and assembly of electronics in the European Union. In recent years the electronics industry in Europe has had to adapt its practices due to increasing competition from low-cost to labour and production countries that produce these similar products that as a result has caused a significant decrease in the production of high volume, low cost electronic products in the European Union.

The focus of the electronics industry in Europe is now concentrated on non-consumer electronics and rather focused on more specialised applications. These are low volume, high value products, or those that are based upon cutting-edge technology where sustained performance and reliability are critical. Typically, these might include applications in diverse industries such as telecommunications, automotive, aerospace, medical, industrial control systems and many other niche applications. The requirements of such products are widely different from those of normal high volume consumer electronics. In particular, they are often required to have very good in-service performance reliability and much longer in-service lifetimes. These key factors are strongly influenced at the Printed Circuit Board manufacturing stage by the choice of solderable finish.

The PCB fabrication industry is a key supplier to a wide range of EU-based electronics assemblers, systems manufacturers and end-users across many strategically important industry sectors, all of whom will also directly benefit from this project as a consequence of being able to source circuit board assemblies with enhanced reliability at more competitive prices.

Most of companies cover all the quality requirements and technology standards. Due to specialization and highly educated staff South-East European (SEE) companies can offer the global market state-of-the art technology of Printed Circuit Boards produced. All the production is compatible to global industrial standards in all the aspects, from design, materials used, lamination, manufacturing, etc. (including compliance to new EU directives WEEE and RoHS).

Though relatively developed Contract Electronic Assembly Industry in several South-East European countries most of the PCB production is export oriented. Bigger number of PCB manufacturers in the region exports more than 90% of their production which is not far from the situation with the local Electronic Assembly Industry. The main exportation direction are European countries, generally members within the European Union.

The year 2006 was the first year in which electronics production in the US, Japan and Western Europe accounted for less than 50% of global electronics output as there was an increase in relocating to lower-cost countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Asia. Many EMS providers from Western Europe such as the UK and France relocated business due to a decline in the period 2004-2007 and as a result repositioned production to lower-cost countries such as South America, Hungary and Thailand.

Within Europe the shift in electronic production locally can be seen to have shifted from Western Europe to Central and Eastern European countries. Closeness to markets for many European countries remains an important decision factor in production and market value as this could become even more important due to the growing attention for climate change and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Demand for EMS in Europe can be seen to demonstrate quick growth, starting in the period 2004-2007 with a 10-15% year increase. Worldwide in 2008 around 20% of all electronic assembly activities was subcontracted to EMS providers, resulting in a global EMS market of €160 billion. The EU was responsible for about 15-20% of this value (€24-30 billion).  The US and Japan also saw a  similar market value share while Asia claimed the remaining value share for their markets. 

The largest EMS provider in the EU, although it is not in the top ten of the largest EMS providers in the world, is from Finland. In total, Europe counts about 1,350 EMS providers with some 1,450 factories, which are usually small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). About 80% of the EMS providers record annual sales of less than €10 million.

Without being classified the largest EMS provider in the EU, Germany has the largest number of EMS providers with around 400 companies totaling an estimated €4.0 billion sales per year and is recognized as the largest market for EMS in Europe, closely followed by countries including the UK, France and Italy. Hungary, Spain, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic are smaller markets, but are still classified as medium-sized EMS providers in the EU.

In 2011 Germany accounted for over 40% of the PCB production in Europe as a whole while the addition of Switzerland an Austria (both German Speaking countries) equate to a total of 75% of all European PCBs. The end-uses of these PCB’s are dominated by automotive, industrial and some photovoltaic and medical applications.

Throughout the European Union whether you are a large OEM or small Electronics design Engineering company, with today’s constant demanding deadline pressures in Research and Development Projects for many electronics products and service relying on Printed Circuit Boards, PCB Global is your ideal partner for rapid quote, ordering and delivery options for your Printed Circuit Board requirements.

Shipping days are as per the matrix provided; Standard, Fast and Express for 2 Layer to 20 Layer Printed Circuit Boards that no other competitor can offer on this global scale. PCB Global’s Sales and Administration is based in Sydney, Australia and our high technology quick turn joint venture printed circuit board manufacturing facility is located in Huizhou, China.  This proximal location to all European Union nations enables PCB Global to deliver your PCB’s through the worldwide with the preferred and trusted shipping company DHL Express in a timely and efficient matter.

Unlike our competitors, PCB Global will not only offer an extremely competitive quote but will enable you to receive a quotation simultaneously for all three delivery options giving you control of both cost and delivery at your convienience as mentioned above. Try our professionally crafted Instant Online Quotation and ordering system as this will allow you to compare all possible prototype services with your preferred delivery options of Standard, Fast and Express Delivery on our web site www.pcbglobal.com