Government should give more focus on SMT manufacturing in India: Industry experts

  • The demand for SMT machines have increased in India because the utilization of PCBAs has also escalated across the consumer electronics segment
  • In order to give more momentum to the electronics manufacturing in the country it is very important for the government to understand the importance of SMT

In order to perk-up and help India’s electronics manufacturing cluster to reach its full potential, industry bodies in India feel that Surface Mount Technology (SMT) machine manufacturing should be given more importance and the government must take this as a priority. As demand has augmented and technology is continuously evolving, the utilization of PCBAs has also escalated tremendously across the consumer electronics segment such as smartphones, tablets, computers, liquid crystal displays (LCD) and LEDs.

Industry bodies such as IESA and ELCINA opine that as of now, the consumer electronics industry will lead the sector and the share is also high when compared to industrial electronics. Hence, placement and soldering equipment are used on a large scale in the manufacturing of numerous consumer electronic products, which ultimately increased the adoption and manufacturing of SMT devices. In fact, the SMT cleaning market has also gained momentum with increasing demand for industrial and smart electronic devices, which are basically used for cleaning equipment during the production process. 

The industry experts on the other hand also mentioned that in order to give more momentum to electronics manufacturing in the country it is very important for the government to understand the importance of SMT. The manufacturing of these machines has started well, but more thrust is to be given in accordance with the government’s ‘Vocal for local’ policy’ that will push the growth to a larger extent. As of now, it is speculated that the segment would have an average growth rate of 20-50 percent every year in the coming five years if the plan works successfully. 

Source: Advance Market Analytics; The Daily Chronicle

Highlighting the importance of SMT manufacturing in India, Sandeep Aurora, Vice President – Business Development & Govt Affairs, IESA, said exclusively to The Electronics, “We need to address the entire supply and manufacturing process chain in the country so that we are truly ‘atmanirbhar’. So with that in mind, SMT focus is a must-do, maybe not immediately but surely has to be done and then only we will be able to increase the strength of our overall electronics manufacturing cluster.”

Last year, a Frost and Sullivan report mentioned that as the industry for set-top boxes and smartphones is growing, Indian will witness immense growth in the SMT market soon. In fact, by the end of 2022, the international SMT market would see a growth of 9 percent in this segment. The biggest advantage is that India has a diverse population, and therefore, the market opportunity is huge, which in the end will offer a huge opportunity to the electronics and technology firms to continue their business operations in the country, to manufacture both entry-level, premium, and flagship electronic goods.

As of now, the SMT market is mostly captured by the telecom sector (mobiles, 5G devices) and premium consumer/medical electronic equipment LED TVs, LED lighting, security and automation products, laptops, etc). Because of the pandemic, many of the SMT based products that are manufactured in China will relocate to India in the coming five years, says research firm techARC. Also, by the end of 2022, India is expected to see growth in the SMT industry by about 25-30 percent. 

In spite of having initiatives and incentives, the SMT industry in India is surrounded by severe barriers. The major impediment will be SMT machine precision. Then, integrated machines have gained more traction as they have the potential to provide one-stop solutions for numerous requirements. Top-notch SMT machines furnished with state-of-the-art features with the ability to provide solutions for wide industry verticals will see more growth in demand.

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