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Book to Bill Ratio for Rigid Boards and Flexible Circuits Reaches 100

The book-to-bill for rigid printed circuit boards and flexible circuits combined climbed to 1.00 in June.
Combined shipments and new orders for rigid printed circuit boards (PCBs) and flexible circuits increased in June compared to the previous month, according to the Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC).

Shipments increased 14.4 percent and bookings of new orders increased 11.5 percent in June, according to IPC. The book-to-bill ratio in June for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits was 1.00. A book-to-bill ratio of 1.00 means that for every $100 of products that board manufacturers shipped, they received $100 in new orders. If the ratio increases to more than 1.00, it indicates that demand is stronger than supply.

Compared to June 2010, shipments of rigid boards and flexible circuits increased 4.4 percent, while new orders booked declined 4.2 percent.

Shipments for rigid PCBs in June increased 5.4 percent, while new orders declined 7.3 percent compared to June 2010. In June 2011, rigid board shipments increased 15.3 percent, while new orders increased 10.4 percent over May 2011 numbers, according to IPC.

Flexible circuit shipments in June 2011 declined 5.9 percent while bookings grew 30.8 percent compared to June 2010. Shipments of flexible circuits increased 4.7 percent and new orders for flexible circuits rose 21.9 percent over the levels recorded in May.

“The industry’s book-to-bill ratio has returned to parity due to unusually high growth in flexible circuit orders in June,” said IPC President and CEO Denny McGuirk. “This indicates strong sales in the flex segment over the next several months. Rigid PCB sales growth is still positive, but trending downward due to weaker orders.”

Book-to-bill ratios and growth rates for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined are heavily affected by the rigid PCB segment. Rigid PCBs represent an estimated 89 percent of the current PCB industry in North America.

Flexible circuit sales typically include value-added services such as assembly. In June, flexible circuit manufacturers in IPC’s survey sample indicated that bare circuits accounted for about 48 percent of their shipment value reported for the month.