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Printed Circuit Board Shipments Rise

The book-to-bill ratio for both rigid boards and flexible circuits remained over 1.00 for the seventh consecutive month.
Combined shipments of rigid printed circuit boards (PCBs) and flexible circuits in June increased from May, but were down from June 2011, according to the Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC).

Shipments of rigid PCBs and flexible circuits in June 2012 increased 13 percent, and bookings increased 12.1 percent. The combined (rigid and flexible) industry book-to-bill ratio in June 2012 was 1.02, down slightly from 1.03 in May, the IPC reported. A book-to-bill ratio of 1.02 means that board manufacturers received $102 of orders for every $100 of orders they shipped in June.

Compared to June 2011, rigid board and flexible circuit shipments decreased 6.6 percent and orders booked fell 2.7 percent from June 2011.

Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research, said while rigid PCB business was below last year’s levels, “orders continued to outpace sales, which is encouraging.”

Starr noted that the June book-to-bill ratio remained above 1.00 for the seventh consecutive month and maintained an especially strong performance in the flexible circuit segment.

The flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio was 1.16, down slightly from 1.17 in May. Shipments of flexible circuits in June increased 29.7 percent, and bookings were up 14.9 percent.

Shipments of rigid PCBs increased 11.6 percent and rigid bookings gained 11.8 percent in June compared to May. The book-to-bill ratio for rigid boards was 1.01, down from 1.02 in May.

Book-to-bill ratios and growth rates for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined are heavily affected by the rigid PCB segment. This is due to the fact that rigid boards represent about 90 percent of the PCB industry in North America, according to IPC.