21 April 2004
Printed Circuit Boards(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 02,2004)
Vol 2, 2004
Printed Circuit Boards
Wires & Cables
Carven Circuits Ltd uses laminate from the Chinese mainland and Korea for its PCBs, which sell mainly to the US and Germany
Once viewed as primitive and environmentally disastrous, the electronic printed circuit boards industry is today keen to advertise its allegiance to international quality and approval standards.
Carven Circuits Ltd, for example, manufactures in excess of 250,000 square feet of board each month to the highest industry benchmarks. "Our major product line is the FR-4 type, double-sided, gold plated, silver immersion, and hot air levelling rigid boards for the telecommunications, automotive and equipment sectors and industries," says sales manager Margaret Mok.
However, Mok says the company still looks upon itself as a learning organisation, despite having been a leading player in the sector since 1989. "We continuously upgrade our competitiveness by using top quality systems such as TQM and MBNQA self assessment, providing intensive training, using an advanced, fully automated non-touch approach, and employing test equipment that leads to traceable national standards," Mok adds.
"We also take the utmost care with all environmental and safety issues, are totally committed to ISO14001 and OHSAS 18001 requirements and have attained most recognised international standards."
Production takes place at a 65,000-square-foot, 100-worker-plus plant in Hong Kong, and raw materials such as laminate come from the Chinese mainland and Korea.
Regular customers include many reputable and quality conscious contract manufacturers in Asia, Europe and North America. Minimum order value is US$4,000 for delivery within two weeks of order confirmation, and payment terms are by T/T.
Equally quality conscious is ISO 9001 and ISO 14001-certified Elec & Eltek Co Ltd, which manufactures and distributes high-density double-sided and multi-layered printed circuit boards.
Founded 32 years ago in Hong Kong with three partners and less than 40 staff, today the firm has 18 offices worldwide, 15 plants across Southeast Asia - one in Hong Kong, two in Thailand and 12 on the Chinese mainland - and a skilled workforce of more than 9,400.
"We mass produce PCBs using microvia technology with ultra fine lines up to 32 layers and achieve an annual output capacity of approximately 35 million square feet," explains CEO Canice Chung.
"Our diverse customer base includes worldwide market leaders in different electronics sectors, such as communications/networking, computers and computer peripherals, automotive and consumer electronics."
Chung claims Elec & Eltek provides "one-stop-shopping" for customers with a wide array of PCB requirements. "On the upstream, through vertical integration, our two PCB material plants supplying prepreg and laminate give us a competitive edge in quality, cost and on-time delivery."
Laying claim to being possibly the oldest manufacturer of PCBs in Hong Kong is 36-year-old Nam Hing Circuit Board Co Ltd, now a subsidiary of Nam Hing Holdings Ltd. "One of our original plants, Nam Hing Metal Mfy, specialised in the fabrication of single-sided PCBs back in 1964," recalls marketing manager Samantha Lau.
"Today we have multilayer boards, with up to eight layers, in addition to double- and single-sided boards, and monthly production reaches 700,000 square feet."
PCBs from Nam Hing come from a 400-worker plant in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland, which is already ISO 9001 certified and is in the process of obtaining TS 16949.
"Local electronics firms with production facilities on the mainland account for 40% of our business," explains Lau. "Buyers in Europe take a similar percentage, while we ship smaller quantities to the US and elsewhere in Asia."
Nam Hing employs a sophisticated quality assurance system to ensure the highest possible reliability for its products. "We established a quality improvement committee to constantly monitor all procedures from purchase of raw materials right through to packaging," says Lau.
A company established in 1993 offers contract manufacturing and component sourcing in addition to PCBs. "We are vertically integrated with several different sections that allow us to offer more comprehensive and one-stop services," claims Leadway Technology Corp Ltd director Eddy Tsoi.
He says it was a logical move by the PCB manufacturer to offer its OEM clients assembly facilities as well. "This means we can offer plain PCBs or assemblies such as control boards, MP3 boards and consumer products."
Leadway proactively helps its customers to drive costs down without compromising quality. "We do it by adopting an ongoing process enhancement to improve production efficiency and effectiveness," explains Tsoi.
Production takes place at an 11,000-square-metre, 800-worker facility in mainland Shenzhen, and delivery time is approximately 3-4 weeks after order confirmation.
Owing to the wide range of products available, Leadway says prices are available on request, but notes that major markets include Japan and the US as well as mainland electronics firms.
For all quality electronics needs, it is clear that Hong Kong has the circuit boards business well and truly laid out.
WRITTEN BY ANTHONY WT MOORE
PCB Fty Ltd
Rms 3-4, 6/F, Blk E
Tuen Mun Ind Centre
2 San Ping Circuit
Tuen Mun, New Territories