Despite current stability and positive sales growth in the circuit board indus-try, it must be presumed that consolidation has not yet come to an end. Circuit board manufacturers are facing enormous price erosion caused by Asian circuit boards, as well as rising manufacturing costs in Europe and generally intense global competition.
Reliability, investment in new technologies and manufacturing processes, and innovation are the key to future success.
Since the beginning of the year, Wuerth Elektronik and FELA, both circuit board manufacturers from Baden-Württemberg/Germany, have been col-laborating on the development of digitalisation of circuit board technology. The visionary approach of 3D-printing solder masks offers brand new pos-sibilities for miniaturisation and a technological quantum leap in the realm of circuit board manufacture. It is expected to bring about not only economic success, but also long-term security for local production plants in Germany.
“Working together successfully to make something happen can only be done through honest and equal partnership. We SMEs still see a lot of value in a handshake. We work on research and development on an equal footing – it's a ‘win-win’ situation for both companies,” says Norbert Krütt, FELA’s managing director.
FELA and Wuerth Elektronik are reinforcing their ability to innovate and pool-ing their resources and expertise. Together as partners, they are taking on the latest technical developments and customer requirements, in order to shape these in a sustainable way. As well as sharing findings and covering a wider spectrum of research, it takes less time for concepts to be firmly integrated into the process chain. Collaboration takes place at every level - from company management and research departments to joint communications.
Andreas Gimmer, managing director of Wuerth Elektronik in Schopfheim, is delighted: “We know our industry and know where other companies on the market excel. As well as a personal relationship of many years’ standing, the partnership with FELA is based on both companies’ passion for innova-tion, with the aim of securing sites strategically using future-forward technologies.”
According to the latest research findings, clear advantages in the area of assembly are emerging. The possibilities for implementing individual cus-tomer requirements are very promising.