Looking to technology to reduce cost

Increased demand for smart appliances a boon for laser stencil maker

As major brands of consumer electronics and home appliances race to stay ahead of one another, having the ability to manufacture cost-effective products will become a priority for electronic manufacturing service (EMS) providers.

“We realised this need and so, about 14 months ago, we acquired a new cost-saving technology known as NanoSlic Stencil for our EMS customers to produce higher quality electronic boards or printed circuit board (PCB) with components that are easy to maintain at a low-cost. It can also prolong the life-span of a product.

“A higher quality electronic board will, in return, prolong the life-span of the home appliances,” says Dynamic Stencil Sdn Bhd director CW Lee.

According to Lee, the company’s investment has paid off.

“Our orders have increased. In 2019, we are projecting a sales revenue of more than RM11mil compared to RM9.5mil a year ago,” Lee says.

Dynamic Stencil manufactures and supplies laser stencils to major EMS companies that make electronic boards. These EMS companies then use the electronic boards to assemble consumer electronic and home appliances for different international brands.

Electronic boards are the centrepiece of every electronic device. They serve as the “brain” that controls all the functions of the device.

“The main growth driver of electronic boards now comes from demand for consumer electronics and home appliances that are equipped with smart and Artificial Intelligence (AI) features.

“The trend now is to replace conventional consumer electronics and home appliances in households that have adopted smart home features and interconnectivity,” Lee says.

NanoSlic stencil helps EMS companies cut production cost by improving the yield and reduces the substantial use of solder paste.

“The EMS industry can reduce production cost by up to 8% with the technology,” he says.

Conventional stencils, Lee explains, use too much solder paste to print electronic components on PCBs. This causes solder waste to accumulate, making it difficult and costly to maintain the boards.

According to the latest Research And Markets report released in February 2019, the global AI-enabled kitchen appliances market is anticipated to reach revenues of more than US$600mil by 2024, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 49% during 2018-2024.

Separately, another report released last October notes that the global PCB market is expected to reach an estimated US$80.1bil by 2023 with a CAGR of 3.3% from 2018 to 2023.

“We are now seeing more international brands such as Samsung, LG and Kitchen Aid coming up with AI-enabled smart appliances such as smart refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers to compete in the global market.

“The growing popularity of using smart phones and AI assistants such as Alexa, Siri, and Ok Google to operate kitchen appliances will augment the transformation of the market. The new range of kitchen appliances with AI features now has voice control functions to blend into smart homes.

“The demand, therefore, for a cost saving technology is very strong. The more complex the functions, the greater the need to have a high quality electronic board that can prolong the lifespan of the appliance, requiring low-maintenance cost,” he says.

Lee adds that the AI-enabled kitchen appliances market is growing the fastest in Asia Pacific.

“The growth is due to government initiatives, rising investment in AI technology and high consumer adoption in Asia Pacific.

“The rising standard of living and the development of luxurious residential homes equipped with innovative technologies from the Middle-East will also spur demand,” Lee says.

On top of the AI-enabled consumer electronics and home appliances market, demand for its products will also come from the communication and automotive industries.

Growth in connected devices and advancement in automotive electronics will drive demand for PCB.

With its cost-saving technology embedded into its production, Dynamic Stencil is now looking to take on the European market. Notably, the market there has advanced electrical products and would benefit from core components at reduced cost.

“The sales in Malaysia is about 82% of our turnover. Asia contributes 13%, and North America 8%. We hope to penetrate into the European market in two years’ time,” he says.

The company aims to raise its production capacity to 18,000 pieces from 12,000 per annum presently.

“Our journey does not end with the acquisition of this technology. We need to improve on it every year.

“The company has set aside 3% to 5% of our annual revenue to improve on technology,” he says.

Operating with 35 engineers and technicians, Dynamic Stencil is located in a 8,000 sq ft facility in Diamond Valley Light Industrial Park in Batu Maung.

Source: The Star 

Posted on : 25 February 2019
Last Updated : Friday 17th May 2019