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Thermistor makers gear up R&D to keep up with demand

Posted: 14 Jun 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:automotive? thermistor? mobile communication? consumer electronics? automotive electronics?

Mainland China's thermistor output reached 451.8 million units last year, an increase of 40 percent from 322.7 million units in 2003, data from the China Electronic Components Association (CECA) shows. This year, output is expected to further increase by 30 percent.

With the development of mobile communication, consumer electronics and automotive electronics over the past years, requirement for enhanced features of thermistors are also increasing.

According to the China Sensors Trade Association, by 2010, demand from the automotive sector is projected to reach 150,000 million, while demand from the medical appliance sector, 200,000 billion units.

In the next three to five years, the PTC/NTC thermistor segment is expected to have more categories and application fields. Meanwhile, mainland China makers are boosting output, as well as focusing R&D on high precision and high stability thermistors, to grab a share of the booming market.

Formed under mainland China's 1st Year Plan, Chengdu Hongming Electronics Co. Ltd turned out 68 million units of thermistors last year, up from 48 million units in 2003. This year, the company expects a 20 percent output growth.

Chengdu Hongming, which claims to be one of the largest thermistor makers in the mainland, is investing 5 percent of annual sales in R&D. Its R&D team is currently concentrating on high-precision PTC thermistors suitable for automotive applications, as well as NTC and surface-mount models.

To keep pace with increasing demand, Chengdu Hongming will expand output and invest $2 million for production equipment this year. The company mainly caters to the international market. Export revenue reached $2.7 million last year, and this year, it expects a 35 increase in export revenue, worth about $3 million.

Another maker, Nanjing Ke Min Electrical Equipment Co. Ltd, has a monthly output of 10 million units of thermistors and is still unable to meet customer's demand. Thus, it will increase its monthly output to 15 to 18 millions units this year. It has invested $1.21 million to build a new 6,000m2 factory in the Binjiang Development Zone in Nanjing.

Ten percent of Nanjing Ke Min's products is exported to Russia, the United States, Turkey and Spain. Export sales is expected to increase by 10 percent this year. The company will maintain its price for exports, while price for the domestic market will drop due to fierce competition.

Nanjing Ke Min's R&D spotlight is on small, high power, quick response, long service life and highly reliable thermistors.

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