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IPC Study Finds More Electronics Manufacturing Will Return to North America

OEMs and electronics manufacturing services providers will bring back about $2.5 billion of manufacturing operations to North America over the next three years, according to a new study by Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC).

A May 2012 IPC survey of 229 North America electronics manufacturers with revenue totaling more than $935 billion found that onshoring will continue for the next several years. Onshoring is the returning of overseas manufacturing to North America or the opening of new manufacturing facilities in the region.

The survey reported that OEMs were largely responsible for manufacturing operations returning to North America from overseas since 2009. OEMs accounted for more than 90 percent of the manufacturing and the jobs that were brought back. One quarter of the manufacturing operations that returned to North America since 2009 came from China, according to the IPC.

The EMS industry accounts for the largest share of overseas operations that participating companies plan to bring back to North America in the next three years. New operations, however, represent a much larger share of future North American production, and these planned new operations were reported primarily by OEMs, IPC reported.

Electronics companies cited quality control as the primary reason for bringing operations back to North America from overseas. However, being closer to customers is the driving force for companies establishing new operations in North America, according to the survey.