Printed Circuit Board Laminate Material Trends
Recently, we at Bay Area Circuits, have seen an increase in demand for Ventec’s laminate materials in part because of the proliferation of LED lighting and IoT (Internet of Things) products which often have greater than normal requirements for thermal management. In this special guest post from Ventec USA President, Jack Pattie, Jack shares his views on the latest laminate trends in the US:
As always at Ventec, we are working hard to stay ahead of the demand for laminates and with this in mind we have been growing our resources to make sure we can get the voice of not just our customers, but also of their customers.
We have been busy building an OEM team within Ventec to work closely with the brands that drive the demands in the printed circuit board fabrication process and the findings of that group will influence our product development and ensure we can meet demands for materials and design and technology support.
One of the demand drivers we’ve seen recently has been that for metal core laminates due to a demand for improvements in thermal management and control. This demand has led to a four-fold expansion of the manufacturing space for these products in our facility in China. The biggest industry driver for this is the expansion of the use of LED lighting in applications from automotive, to home and to large-scale urban lighting projects. What’s particularly exciting for us is to be able to support the demand here in the USA through the product development and introduction when volumes are low and support is demanded, all the way through to very high volume served directly from our China facility, when the volumes rise and production moves overseas. Being able to support a supply chain with our own product anywhere in the world is one of the unique elements of Ventec and not something that can be supported through a distribution channel. There is a reason we own and operate our own supply chain.
We have also seen growing demand for polyimide, particularly for the Mil/Aero space, where being the only laminate vendor with AS9100C has served us very well. This market has grown steadily for us and as you can imagine demands the highest levels of compliance and traceability, another benefit that is derived from ownership of the supply chain.
Our OEM group has been working closely with purchasing teams, the engineering teams and the design teams to make sure we get buy in throughout the design and specification process, advising, not just on materials, but also on how best to specify and select those materials at the design stage to achieve the best results in terms of performance and value.
In the USA, Ventec has been busy growing our footprint and increasing our ability to deliver direct to our customers. We just opened a new facility in Fremont on the edge of Silicon Valley. This new facility along with further investments in New England, Chicago and Fullerton in Southern California will allow us to serve our customer base quickly and effectively. We are the only laminator that owns everything in the supply chain right to the fabricators doors, and even beyond sometimes, and we’re very proud of that.
Customers regularly say to us: “I’m coming over in twenty minutes I’ve got a hot project and I need something immediately”. We support that, we say come on over. This level of commitment to direct service into the US market is unique and we’re not going anywhere. Everyone else is going through distribution, and that model is suffering. The margins just aren’t there anymore and I’m unsure how long that model can last.
At Ventec our approach is simple. Owning the supply chain means we can customize the supply chain to suit demand. We see greater technical demand, greater demand for agility and flexibility and we are ready for that, and with our OEM group we think we can see a little further ahead, and that has to be a good thing.
Circuit Board Materials
Need to know the right material for your project? You can find many of the Ventec circuit board materials available for manufacturing printed circuit boards by taking a look at our material library. If you have any questions about what circuit board material is right for your next project a member of our experienced sales staff can help!
Thank you Jack and Ventec for your insights and your support of Bay Area Circuits and our customers!