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Injection Moulding Asia Electronics/Electrical Industry

A sure growth for consumer electronics in SEA Asia is a hotbed of activity for consumer electronics products, with demand for smartphones, televisions and other items being egged on by new innovative products, falling selling prices and growing household incomes. Meanwhile, manufacturers are looking at countries other than China for their facilities, says Angelica Buan in this report.

Japanese semiconductor design company Renesas Technology has a Vietnamese plant for the manufacture of large-scale integrated (LSI) devices for applications in consumer electronics, mobile products and vehicles. E l s e w h e r e i n I n d o n e s i a , a c c o r d i n g to the Indonesian Electronics Association (Gabel), sales of locally produced electronic items in the country grew by 11% last year, especially in the first four months, driven by economic growth. Television sets accounted for nearly half of those sales, followed by refrigerators (22%), air conditioners (16%) and washing machines (13%). These rosy prospects have convinced several foreign electronics manufacturers to expand investments in Indonesia. Japanese firm Toshiba has increased its production of TV sets to 5 million units/year, while compatriot Sharp Electronics is setting up a US$127 million facility for refrigerator and washing machines in West Java. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology, a key supplier of components to Apple, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Dell and Microsoft, is mulling over the set up of a US$10 million facility in Indonesia. While Thailand was always a top choice for Japanese manufacturers, the 2011 floods in Thailand further disrupted the tsunami-earthquake stricken supply chain in Japan and had companies looking for more stable expansion options. The Philippines is now being looked at for its competitive labour cost and English-speaking market, with an estimated ¥15.51 billion worth of investments brought to the country in 2012 alone. Furukawa Automotive Systems (FAS) has already set up a ¥1 billion facility to produce wire harnesses for Japanese vehicles. Joining the league of business expansions are printer specialists Canon and Brother, with toy maker Bandai, electronics component firm Murata Manufacturing and optical lens maker Fujifilm, all of whom will be setting up facilities in the Philippines this year. US-based Knowles Electronics, a subsidiary of Dover Corporation, has also begun constructing a 20,000 sq m plant, which it expects to be completed by September this year. The acoustic components firm has two other Asian manufacturing facilities in China and Malaysia.

China dethroned hina’s subtle quandary arising from its inevitable shrinking labour force (due to its one-child policy); wages that are rising by 20% annually; concerns over quality and secure branding are already making consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers to look to other cost-competitive countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Myanmar. While the country’s lull is far from over, it is a wake up call for some China-based multinational manufacturing companies to minimise their dependency and maximise their chances to thrive by diversifying. Anchoring their businesses to other cost and consumer competitive countries (mostly in the ASEAN region), provides a safety net. Data from the Finance Ministry of China reveal that direct investments from Japanese investors, ranging from automotive to electronics makers, dropped to ¥63.4 billion in October last year (a further slide by 30% from the same period a year earlier). At the same time, Japanese investment in the ASEAN region, specifically in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, doubled to ¥201.9 billion.

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Diversifying to Southeast Asia n terms of contract manufacturing, Vietnam is in the lead with a CAGR of 120%, outpacing Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, according to consultancy firm Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA). A recent investment in Vietnam is from US-based Jabil Circuit that has started operating a laser printer facility in Ho Chi Minh. Meanwhile,

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Figures are rising he region’s affluence that comes with rising incomes, mobility and interconnected lifestyles are fuelling growth of the consumer electronics industry, which reached over US$1.25 billion in

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Electronics/Electrical Industry the first quarter of 2012, according to Germanyheadquartered research firm GfK Asia. The demand for flat screen televisions continues to surge, with over 8.3 million units sold in the first eleven months of last year, a 26% volume growth over the previous year. Meanwhile, from January to September 2012, consumers in Southeast Asia spent over US$4.72 billion on nearly 8.8 million tablets and laptops, a substantial growth of 26% in volume compared to the same period last year. Sales volume of ultrathin laptops, those that are 2 cm or less in thickness, grew 259% over the previous year while tablet sales more than doubled. Meanwhile, high consumer demand for smartphones and basic feature phones in Southeast Asia’s fast developing markets continue to drive buoyant performances with over 118 million units sold in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines, with a value of US$13.7 billion, according to the latest results from GfK Asia.

Both Samsung and LG unveiled 55-inch OLED TV a year ago at the CES, and this year they advanced the technology with a curved panel, which allows the distance between the user and TV screen to be the same from any angle. Samsung and LG said they planned to launch both the curved and flat OLED TVs by this year. Meanwhile, Japan’ s Panasonic upped the stakes and unveiled a prototype of 56-inch OLED screen, only an inch bigger than the ones unveiled by Samsung and LG. Samsung also showcased an ultra-thin, virtually unbreakable mobile phone prototype at the CES. The nameless phone has a screen that works as it is rolled and unrolled. For this new bendable, paper-thin phone prototype, the Korean electronics company laid the chemicals over thin plastic instead of glass. Meanwhile, Intel, Plastic Logic and Canadabased Queen’s University have collaborated to develop PaperTab, a tablet computer that mimics a sheet of paper. It features a flexible, high-resolution 10.7-inch display developed by UK-based Plastic Logic that is powered by a second generation Intel CoreTM i5 Processor.

Slimmer electronics ith the appetite for thinner appliances growing, it’s no wonder that electronics firms are in the race for innovation. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the US, South Korean consumer device makers Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics introduced curved, super-thin televisions, in the race for new organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV technology. Considered the future of consumer electronics displays, the OLED technology is more energyefficient and offers higher-contrast images than liquid crystal display.

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The PaperTab is a tablet computer that mimics a sheet of paper

The university says that “using several PaperTabs makes it much easier to work with multiple documents” and that within five to ten years, most computers, from ultra-notebooks to tablets, will look and feel just like sheets of printed colour paper. It also said that PaperTab can file and display thousands of paper documents, replacing the need for a computer monitor and stacks of papers or printouts.

Samsung showcased a television with a curved OLED panel to provide depth to the content displayed for a more life-like viewing experience

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IMA January-February 2013 Feature- Electronics and Electrical  

IMA January-February 2013 Feature- Electronics and Electrical

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