22 Oct 2008
Multiple Layers(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 01,2009)
Printed Circuit Boards
The all-encompassing variety of PCBs from Hong Kong makes sourcing an electrifying experience
A growing range of printed circuit boards (PCBs) is hitting the market to meet increasing demand for new electronic gadgets of different kinds, from information and telecommunications technology to automotive electronics.
Best sellers for Carven Circuits Ltd, for example, are models with plural layers. "Two-layer and four-layer PCBs are in highest demand, with automotive applications taking 55% of sales," says Managing Director Albert Mok.
The company produces multi-layer PCBs with up to eight layers, as well as single-sided and double-sided PCBs.
CEM-1, CEM-3 and FR-4 laminate thicknesses range from 0.4-1.6mm while the most commonly used finishes include immersion silver, flash gold, polymer thick film, HASL and lead-free HASL.
"We are increasing the quantity of 'green' PCBs that are free of harmful substances like lead, halogen and bromine," Mr Mok advises. "Green PCBs in compliance with RoHS and REACH make up the majority of our sales at present," he adds.
Carven Circuits uses copper-clad laminates from Korea and the Chinese mainland to produce PCBs.
A wide choice
Taking a different track is Evergreen (HK) PCB Ltd, whose top sellers are two-layer PCBs which account for 60% of sales. "The most popular applications for our PCBs are electrical appliances, at approximately 30%, and communications products, at 25%," says Sales Manager Y C Fok.
The company's PCBs have thicknesses ranging from 0.2-2.4mm, with the base materials used including CEM-1, CEM-3, FR-1, FR-2, FR-4, halogen-free and high Tg FR-4.
"The most often used finishes include OSP, immersion tin, immersion gold, flash gold, thick gold plating, gold finger, tin and lead HASL and lead-free HASL," Mr Fok notes, adding that Evergreen sources copper clad laminates from Taiwan and the mainland.
"In addition to our quality and range, our strengths include on-time delivery and quick turnaround in production, which is supported by our running statistical process control," Mr Fok remarks.
Operating in a similar niche is Nam Hing Circuit Board Co Ltd, which sees the greatest demand for two-layer boards of all its output, according to Sales Manager Michael Lo.
"A sizeable portion of our PCBs find their way into industrial and automotive applications as well as in power components," he advises.
"As a result, we also focus on developing new products such as laminates for specific purposes, like those for ultra-high frequency applications or operating in extreme environments," he explains.
Consequently, in addition to CM and FR base materials, a higher percentage of Nam Hing's PCBs is made from more robust substances such as aluminium, high Tg FR-4 and FR-4 with Rogers, and sport heavy copper plating.
"Our laminates come from our sister company, Nam Hing Industrial Laminates Co in Zhongshan, which enables us to offer very competitive pricing and to control quality," Mr Lo maintains.
Taking a different approach is Winmax Electronic Co Ltd. Initially specialising in the OEM of adaptor coils, power supplies and various transformers, the company now also offers PCB assembly and SMT services.
"We can provide a full system design and a turnkey solution by mounting components in a board assembly," says Tsoi Sing Fung, Director of The Transformer Division. "Towards this end, we work closely with our customers on different aspects such as design and assembly."
The PCBs and components used in Winmax's boards are sourced on the mainland and from Hong Kong.
The sheer variety of PCBs produced by these and other Hong Kong manufacturers provide the foundation for high-quality subsystems and finished products demanded by leading electronics manufacturers, designers and end-users around the world.
TEXT BY JOHN CASEY