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China is still the SMT manufacturing center

1. The SMT equipment market rebounds
Ten years ago, when the entire SMT industry was at its peak, the global sales of SMT processing equipment was about 3.6 billion U.S. dollars. After the financial crisis in 2008, it fell to only 2.6 billion U.S. dollars last year, but there is a trend of recovery starting this year, expected to rise to more than 3 billion US dollars.

There are several reasons for the market's rebound. The first is that this market is irreplaceable, and circuit board assembly is still needed. The second reason is that many EMS or ODM manufacturers have bought a lot of equipment in the past, but because the overall demand has not grown significantly, they have tried to postpone the need to update the equipment, but now it has reached the point where it will affect productivity if new equipment purchase delayed, so PCBA manufacturers must seriously consider purchasing new equipment.

2. U.S. research and development, made in China
From the perspective of the global distribution, the electronic assembly industry in Europe and the United States has little growth. There may be some large manufacturers that have a new product introduction line to do research and development there. The real mass production is done to China, so the product research and development of the electronic assembly industry is still in the United States, but the manufacturing center is Asia. The investment focus of major ODM and EMS manufacturers is still in Asia, mainly mainland China.

3. Distribution in Southeast Asia
Although there are already SMT processing manufacturers building production bases in Southeast Asia, there are still relatively few manufacturers that really move high-end SMT processes outside of China. Most of them are doing complex circuit board assembly in China, then proceed to the next simple assembly in Southeast Asia.

Of course, with the maturity of personnel and technology in Southeast Asia, it is possible that these SMT processing plants can upgrade their technology after a few years. By then, manufacturers will transfer high-end products such as surface mount to Southeast Asia to save their manufacturing cost.