Component | Materials
Automotive Functions Boost PCB Business
With the increase in invesments, PCB manufacturers have ramped up their production capacity, thus meeting the high demand from automotive makers.

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) for automotive use contribute significantly to manufacturers’ business expansion.

CMK Corporation and Meiko Electronics Co., Ltd. announced consolidated financial statements for Q2 (April to Sept.) of the term ending Mar. 2020. The companies attribute the increase in their production scales through investments in plants and equipment, leading to increase in production capacity.

The increase in the number of PCBs incorporated in a vehicle has offset the sluggish global auto sales. This reflects the increasing trend toward the adoption of more and more electronic components.

To bolster the functions of automobiles, including advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), the number of electronic components incorporated in a vehicle has been increasing, and so has been the number of on-board PCBs. This trend can also be observed to all types of vehicles, such as minicars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), and are not only limited to standard-sized cars.

The implementation of autonomous driving on full scale and the use of the fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications system will further drive the increase in base demand for automotive PCBs. At the same time, the popularity of electrified vehicles (xEVs) has been advancing worldwide. In this field, the demand scale for PCBs for powertrains is expected to expand.

CMK saw sales of its automotive PCBs in the first half of the year increasing 17 percent to ¥35.1 billion from the previous year. Although sales in the European and U.S. markets decreased, sales in Japan, China, and countries in Southeast Asia increased all together. The company has continued to infuse capital investments to strengthen and expand its production system, focusing on its production bases in Thailand and in Wuxi, China. As the company’s production capacity matched the increase in orders, its production scale also increased. As a result, the sales ratio of automotive PCBs jumped to 82 percent rose compared to 75 percent of the previous year.

Meiko Electronics secured ¥27.4 billion, an annual increase of 2.6 percent, as sales of automotive PCBs in the first half of 2019. Sales steadily increased on the back of the adoption of more electronic components and the growing integration of multilayered PCBs with more and more layers, including build-up PCBs. The company has made active investments in its plant in Vietnam, which is one of its main overseas production bases, bolstering its production system for automotive- and smartphone-use PCBs. The company will continue to make capital investments eyeing mass production of PCBs for automobiles and smartphones that meet next-generation technologies. The company’s sales ratio of automotive PCBs reached 46.4 percent, increasing 3 percentage point from the same period of the previous year.