News from the UK

21 April 2017

CAF TV for Material Characterisation Project Start

The CAF TV for Material Characterization project is kicking-off.  Below is a description of the project and how you can join.

CAF (Conductive Anodic Filamentation) is normally characterised as an effect subject to the influences of design, process and materials. This adds complication to product development for laminate manufactures as lengthy failure analysis is normally required when CAF testing is performed using standard test vehicles.

The project aim is to develop a test vehicle that will allow performance evaluation to be limited to laminate material only, thus eliminating the variables of design and process.

It is expected that the project will lead to more focused and quicker laminate testing and development for CAF resistance.

To join this project go to the project page on the HDP website,, or contact the project facilitator, Alun Morgan, at



UK Electronics Production Year-end Stats and January 2017 PCB Production Stats – 2016 year-end

Electronics production output remained strong while January 2017 PCB production remains buoyant.

Electronics output continued to improve through to the end of 2016. Electronics production value in December was up 9% on the previous month and up 8% compared with December 2015. For the whole year, the value of electronics production in the UK resulted in 3.7% growth in output for the export market and 1.3% growth in output for the domestic market. Overall growth in 2016 was 2.55% compared with 2015.

For PCB fabricators in the techUK group, the January B2B ratio declined to 0.95. A relatively strong B2B of 1.07 for the export market was not enough to pull up the UK market B2B of 0.91. However, it should be noted that while the total order book for January was up more than 3% compared with January 2016, the total billings were up more than 10%.

In January export sales of PCBs declined slightly compared with December 2016 and sales into the UK recovered strongly after the dip in December. The sales and order book data also includes product which is imported by the fabricators for resale. If these resales are excluded then the trend in actual production of PCBs in the year was 2.5% lower than in 2015. This continues the trend of UK PCB production declining even in a growth market. The rebound in January 2017 imitates almost exactly the rebound in January 2016.

UK PCB manufacturers continue to be put at a disadvantage over importers of finished PCBs, which attract zero tariffs. This is against the backdrop of material costs rising sharply and forecasted shortages in copper foil through 2017. The German industry is also starting action to seek a reduction in tariffs to aid EU-based manufacturing. Meanwhile, companies in China are feeling the pinch more than here in the UK since they already operate on wafer-thin margins. Follow this link for more information on this and the call for tariff removal on PCB materials.


ICT 43rd Annual Symposium at the Black Country Museum

 Tuesday 9th May 2017

Registration 09:30 for 10:00

KEYNOTE SPEAKER _ Martin Cotton of Ventec International

2017 will be Martin Cotton’s 50th year since he designed his first PCB in 1967 at International Computers and Tabulators (ICT) in Letchworth.

As the Keynote Speaker, Martin will have the opportunity to speak about those 50 years of PCB design involvement, included  some key moments, probably one involving a Mr Goodwin!

Michael Ford of Mentor Graphics will deliver a paper on tackling DFx

Joan Tourne of NextGen Technologies in Holland will talk on VeCS technology, about creating high density routing with an alternative to micro via connections.

Market Analyst and ICT Council Member Francesca Stern will give her annual update of the UK PCB Industry.

Neil Chamberlain of Polar Instruments will also give a presentation.

Enquiries to:-


A Low cost event (free for members) in Bristol on 25 April …… Book now as places are limited !

Title: To the Smart Phone and Beyond…
The widespread demand for mobile devices has revolutionised micro-electronics assembly techniques over the past 20 years. Join us at the IMAPS-UK local event in Bristol on Tuesday 25 April 2017 from 18:00 to 20:00 to learn about the history, present and future of electronic assembly methods, network with electronic packaging experts and find out how these techniques can be applied to new product designs.

The event is free for IMAPS-UK members and a nominal £10.00 +VAT (£12.00) for others.  Places are limited so book now for this….

Click HERE for more information on this event.

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