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There have been quite a few predictions and studies, along with plenty of wishful thinking, about the cost of manufacturing in the U.S. The onshoring/re-shoring movement has gained a lot of attention from media like ours over the last couple of years. IPC even issued a report last year providing their take on the movement, which garnered a lot of interest from the industry.
Now, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consultant, has released new research on the “dramatic” change of manufacturing cost competitiveness around the world. BCG’s press release is entitled, “Study Reveals Striking Shifts in Global Manufacturing Costs over the Past Decade.” I found the use of the word “striking” to be interesting. It almost leads me to believe they were surprised by the trends in manufacturing costs.
For those of us watching the shift over the last few years, it isn’t striking at all. It’s been coming for some time. As I’ve said in the past, all things come back into balance. The rising costs in Asia, and China in particular, have made it very clear that you can only sustain dirt-cheap manufacturing for so long. At some point, lax or non-existent labor and environmental standards, ridiculous lending policies, manipulated currencies, etc., will yield a day of reckoning. People get tired of breathing bad air and drinking polluted water. Trading partners say “enough is enough” and demand fair currency valuations. And banks struggle to survive under the weight of bad loans made during the heady days of unbridled growth.
Read the full column here.
Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of SMT Magazine.
I-Connect007 Editorial Team
There has not been a time in recent memory when the U.S. legislative body is putting as much focus on the microelectronics industries. One bill, the CHIPS Act, was signed into law last year. A new bill introduced this year seeks to allocate funding for printed circuit board fabrication. In this exclusive interview, our team spoke with Travis Kelly, CEO of Isola Group and president of the Printed Circuit Board Association, and U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah), who has co-sponsored the bill now before the House. Travis and Blake both express optimism about onshoring domestic production, but the realities of the legislative calendar may pose some risks.
Randy Cherry, IPC
If you work for a U.S. defense prime contractor, do you have concerns that the controlled unclassified information (CUI) for your printed circuit boards, your printed circuit board assemblies, and your cable and wire harnesses is safe? What about the design and the development process for your products? Is the controlled technical information (CTI) safe and protected? Are the suppliers that your company selected maintaining a quality system, a supply chain risk management process, a security system to protect products and services from unauthorized access, and a Chain of Custody policy for electronic and physical materials?
Barry Matties and Andy Shaughnessy, I-Connect007
IPC Mexico has been growing for the past few years, and it’s no wonder: Mexico has become a major hub in the world of PCB manufacturing, spurred in part by reshoring as companies pulled work back from China during the pandemic. As the country’s maquiladoras thrived, IPC began expanding the Mexican educational and training operations, and the group recently named Lorena Villanueva as director of IPC Mexico. Andy Shaughnessy and Barry Matties recently spoke with Lorena and IPC Vice President of Education David Hernandez about IPC Mexico’s growth, as well as the office’s plans to provide PCB manufacturers the training resources they need to succeed.