The fast-approaching 2006 deadline for the removal of lead from the electronic manufacturing process has helped bring about the revival of the mature surface mount technology (SMT) equipment market. As ‘green’ manufacturing gains currency, notably in regions such as Eastern Europe and China, this market is likely to experience renewed growth in the future.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan World SMT Cleaning Equipment Market, reveals that the market generated revenues of $34.3 million in 2005 and is likely to reach $55.0 million in 2012.
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“Lead-free manufacturing has caused process changes in the SMT line that have placed more emphasis on cleaning,” notes Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Keith Robinson. “With more residue left on the assembly during lead-free manufacturing, industries that did not historically clean are likely to do so between 2006 and 2010, thus creating new market opportunities.”
The nature of lead-free manufacturing is such that it requires higher preheating and heating temperatures, causing changes in the flux that make it more difficult to clean. It also calls for an increased amount of flux, which leads to more residues on the assembly. Defects can occur in products if the assembly is not thoroughly cleaned, thus creating increased demand for SMT cleaning equipment.
Lead-free assemblies are therefore more difficult to clean than those using lead, causing concerns among electronic assemblers about the feasibility of becoming truly lead-free compliant in 2006. Moreover, cleaning lead-free materials is highly demanding and places increased stress on the entire cleaning process – right from the machine itself to the chemicals involved.
This has led to many assemblers expressing doubts about the efficacy of SMT cleaning equipment in cleaning lead-free assemblies, which has created a major challenge for equipment vendors.
“To overcome this challenge, some companies have been very proactive in educating customers on how to clean lead-free assemblies effectively,” says Robinson. “SMT vendors will need to be very aggressive in addressing customers’ needs in 2006, because this is a critical year for the SMT cleaning equipment market.”
Apart from electronics manufacturing, the medical device, aerospace and defense industries are likely to increase their demand for SMT cleaning equipment. These industries are anticipated to be the primary markets for SMT cleaning equipment in North America and Western Europe. In China, the expanding space program is likely to provide new opportunities to equipment vendors during the forecast period.
World SMT Cleaning Equipment Market provides a comprehensive analysis of the above-mentioned market and discusses key opportunities as well as major technology trends. In this research service, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following cleaning technologies: aqueous, semi-aqueous, and solvent. Interviews are available to the press.
Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services, and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics.
World SMT Cleaning Equipment Market