We’re on a roll! Life as we know it has seemingly eased back into its normal routine (for the most part), and Aurora Circuits is seeing dramatic growth. We couldn’t be more proud of our team members, account representatives, and our loyal customers, new and old, for pulling together during the COVID-19 reopening process.
Although we know there is a long way to go and an abundance of caution to be had, we are excited for the changes that are to come to the PCB Industry.
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Speaking of change, Aurora is excited to announce that our Director of Marketing and Sales, Brian Zirlin, has put together a very exciting opportunity for fellow designers, engineers, VPs/CEOs, industry reps, and even students. We are pleased to announce that we are rolling out a new “Collaboration Webinar Series.” This series is intended to bring thoughts and ideas about industry trends to the table for discussion. We will share information on not only how Aurora Circuits is utilizing cutting-edge technology, but how we are also focusing on proven methods of PCB manufacturing.
That being said, we wish to invite you to Aurora Circuits’s first in a series of free collaboration webinars covering new technologies, processes and insights from our Aurora team and partners. Our presenters, Dr. Chris Kalmus, Thad Bartosz, John Holquest, Brian Zirlin, and Steve Taylor will use their vast experience to discuss and educate on the advantages and uses for “Ultra Heavy Copper” in the printed circuit board industry.
DATE: Wednesday, August 12, 2020
TIME: 12:00 – 12:45 PM CDT
Message from the President
Well, it took a long-time, but it has finally happened. It took almost thirty years before people open their eyes to the threat to our infrastructure and a global pandemic is the “smoking gun.” The “it” I am referring to is our ever-increasing dependency on goods from the Asian region. Our current, dependent situation did not happen overnight; rather, years of wishful thinking and reluctance to confront the large trade deficit, investigate vast instances of intellectual theft and trillions of dollars of one directional investment has cornered and depleted our economic might.
We have been hooked to the idea of buying everything from global hubs like China, Thailand, and India at prices so deflated (due to the aforementioned reasons stated above) that the average American family saves about $900 a year by shopping at Walmart! I wonder if $900 a year is worth the potential societal, economic, and political pitfalls we are currently experiencing.
As we have discovered in the past few months, it has harmed all of us. Every US citizen, whether they truly understand or feel it, has been compromised by the decades long manufacturing and financial exodus to low cost labor markets. At no time has it been more evident than during this COVID-19 crisis when we were faced with the facts that key medical devices, life-saving ventilators, could not be manufactured by US-based companies like GE Medical because many key components that it took to build those products were coming from China.
Here are the facts: Thirty years ago, there were almost 2,000 PCB manufacturers in the United States, producing almost 70% of the world’s printed circuit boards. All printed circuit board research, innovation and development came from here, Western Europe or Japan. Then, our large American OEMs took a look at doing business in other places in the world where they might be able to manufacture their products, cheaply and efficiently.
In the end, as we have come to realize these past few months, we have erred for decades, raising an economic giant that is looking us in the eye.
And the result? Today there are fewer than 200 PCB shops in the United States…nay, in all of North America! We build less than four percent of the seventy billion dollars-worth of PCBs produced annually throughout the world. Meanwhile China leads the way and builds almost 75% of the $70 billion PCB market, including, of course, those precious ventilator boards.
Which draws out the question: Was that $900 in savings really worth it?
On July 2nd, John Mitchell, IPC president and CEO, released a statement concerning the DOL’s unemployment report for June. According to the information and data released, the IPC estimates the electronics manufacturing industry gained 20,000 jobs!
John stated, “Headwinds remain, given economic uncertainties and operating restrictions related to COVID. But the employment numbers suggest electronics manufacturers are successfully adapting to the new environment by putting in place worker health practices that allow them to return to normal operating levels. If Coronavirus-related restrictions ease in the coming months, IPC predicts further job gains will wipe out a job deficit of 23,000 from April and May.”
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We’re exaggerating, of course, but we can’t stress our experience in the PCB industry enough, especially with single-sided, full production boards. Our vast history began with screen-printed boards, and we have evolved the past 70 years, but the knowledge and “know-how” make us the go to shop for large, single-sided needs. So keep it domestic and give us a holler.
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