PCB manufacturers to address regulatory concerns, opportunities for military electronics on Capitol Hill

A recent IPC analysis shows that North American PCB manufacturers are currently under-utilized for DoD electronics and spurs discussion about the role of these manufacturers in the US military market.

A market analysis prepared for the US Air Force byIPC (Bannockburn, IL, USA) has flagged the fact that an estimated 33% of all printed circuit boards (PCBs) for US defense or military systems are produced outside North America.

Based on data from IPC’s market research as well as data from N.T. Information and other electronics industry consultants, the study estimates the value of the US military market for PCBs between $1.05 billion and $1.23 billion. Depending on the market size estimate used, between 27% and 39% of allPCBs in electronics sold for US military purposes are manufactured outside North America.

“North America has a competent, competitive and organized supply base to support current and future Department of Defense (DoD) requirements for PCB technology,” says Denny McGuirk, IPC president and chief execuive officer. “In IPC’s Electronic Interconnect Industry Policy Recommendations to the DoD Printed Circuit Board Executive Agent, the industry recommends that DoD should also source noncritical technology from North American manufacturers to support a robust and technical advanced domestic supply base.”

Policy recommendations also note that the North American PCB manufacturing base competes for very complex, high-tech DoD products that are characterized by high material content, long build cycles, and low yields. Playing a larger role in fulfilling the DoD’s lower-technology needs would support a stronger infrastructure for North American manufacturers, according to the report.

During IPC's Capitol Hill Day in Washington, DC (June 15-16, 2011), participants are expected to meet with members of Congress to engage in discussions about complexities of conflict minerals regulations, the impact they have on companies, and addressing government over-regulation. The events are intended to draw attention to the importance of the North American PCB industry's potential role in strengthening and protecting US national security.

Attendees will have the opportunity to network and learn about how they can use government resources, such as federal technical assistance, trade adjustment assistance grants, small-business innovation grants, and other resources, to enhance their businesses.

More information and registration can be found at theIPC web site.


-- Posted byVision Systems Design

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