Good news came from Bannockburn III., last month. It is good news to see the PCB book to bill ratio reach its top level since July 2010. Who would have thought the ratio would hit 1.10 after dancing around 1.0 for months on end.
We are still not hitting numbers like we did in 2012 but there are surprising improvements for this year. Being down 7.0 percent overall from 2012 is no surprise because bookings have been weak for a while. However, the great news is the rise in bookings to the tune of 7.2 percent year over year. While bookings are still outpacing shipments we find this to be good news considering shipments will eventually rise with strong bookings.
Strong sales growth continues in the flex market. This is an area we are particularly interested in seeing grow as our flex lines become stronger.
“North American PCB sales in April continued to lag behind 2012 levels, although sales in the flexible circuit segment are strengthening,” said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. “Rigid PCB orders for the month exceeded last year’s orders and continued to push the book-to-bill ratio up to a strong 1.10. This is the fifth consecutive monthly increase in the ratio, which reinforces our hope that PCB sales will strengthen during the coming months.”
PCB Solutions continues to see mild activity going into the summer. A lot of quoting activity has mellowed in the past months but repeat bookings have kept sales strong. Flex Circuits continue to be a strong focus as we execute flexible circuit orders with near flawless quality. The good news for us is we very seldom hear from our customers until a new order is placed…when there is nothing bad to report, placing the next order is all there is to do.
Look to tomorrow’s blog about the follow up of Nokia’s order and the words of praise from the Nokia engineer on our printed circuit board quality and service that accompanied their order.