JANUARY 3--IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries (Northbrook, IL; www.ipc.org) has announced the findings from its monthly Interconnect Manufacturing Services (IMS)/Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. The IPC PCB Presidents Council selected IMS as a better designation for the PCB industry to better reflect the services provided to customers.
The North American IMS/PCB Industry book-to-bill ratio for November 2003 was 1.13. The ratio is calculated by averaging the index numbers for orders booked over the past three months and dividing by the average index numbers for sales billed during the same period. A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which indicates probable near-term growth.
Industry sales billed (shipments) in November 2003 increased 6% from November 2002, and orders booked increased 19.7% from November 2002. Compared to 2002, shipments of PCBs are down 18.5% year-to-date, while bookings of PCBs are down 7.6% year-to-date.
The IMS/PCB Business Report, an IPC statistical report that tracks the dynamics of the U.S. IMS industry, reported the IMS/PCB shipment index was 129.9 and the IMS/PCB booking index was 141.4 for November 2003. The IPC IMS/PCB shipment index in November 2003 increased 16.5% from 111.5 in October 2003, and the IPC IMS/PCB booking index in November 2003 increased 7.8% from 131.2 in October 2003.
The index shows how current PCB shipments and bookings relate to an index point. In this case, 1992 was chosen as the index point because it was a stable growth year for U.S. PCB manufacturers. A shipment index number of 117.0, for example, indicates that shipments are 17% higher than average shipments for the same time period in 1992.
Year-to-date, current survey participants report shipments have decreased 0.2% and bookings have increased 10.2% over the same period in 2002. Together, these figures show a North American PCB industry that has contracted, but the companies that remain in the industry are doing better than last year.