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China's film capacitor industry on track for 10% growth

Posted: 12 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CECA? SMT? film capacitors?

China's film capacitor output will continue to hit 10 percent growth rates, according to the China Electronic Components Association (CECA). The country's output for the segment reach 22.5 billion units in 2004, and is projected at 24 billion units in 2005, and 26.4 billion units in 2006. Demand drivers include inproducts, electronic ballasts, consumer electronics, automotive electronics and telecom devices.

Large-scale international makers such as Arcotronic of Italy, the Epcos Group, Vishay of Germany and Panasonic of Japan have built their production bases on the mainland, speeding up local film capacitor production. In turn, foreign companies have strengthened the competition, resulting in local manufacturing shifts to small-sized high-end products with high capacitance, higher operating temperature and higher reliability capacitors. The trend also leans toward surface-mount products and film. Huge demand from overseas markets is also stimulating mainland China film capacitor exports; shipments from the mainland experience another 10 percent growth in 2007, as estimated by CECA.

Today, over 100 film capacitor manufacturers are handling operations in this line, most of them located in the Pearl River and Yangtze River Delta regions. Most local film capacitor makers supply polyester and polypropylene film capacitors. To maintain their edge, many makers, production equipment and raw materials are developed in-house.

Some makers produce their own polypropylene films, as well as Al and AlZn metallized films and pattern films. R&D efforts are also focused on thinner widths and higher operating temperature capacities.

Xiamen Faratronic Co. Ltd, one of the largest film capacitor manufacturers on the mainland, has an annual output of 2.5 billion units. Its yearly output of metallized films reaches 1,600 tons. The company targets a 10 percent raise in output this year, said James Lu, Faratronic sales manager.

Faratronic is also constructing a new RoHS-compliant factory at the Haicang Xingyang Industry Zone of Xiamen with investments of $9.7 million. The new facility will mainly produce lead-free capacitors and films. The expected annual production value for the new plant is $100 million. "We plan to move into this new factory at the end of 2007. Our capacity for film capacitors and films is estimated at 3.8 billion units and 2,400 tons, respectively," says Lu. Faratronic aims to be the world's third-largest film capacitor maker, and claims to be the only maker of chip film capacitors on the mainland. R&D areas of emphasis are miniaturization and increased operating temperature ranges.

Faratronic has recently begun mass-producing 1608 (0603) surface-mount film capacitors and its CLN51 series of metallized polyethylene naphtalate SMT film capacitors in 3216 (1206) footprint. It will develop a new X2 capacitor, which can endure higher temperatures.

Another big player in mainland China, Anhui Tong Feng Electronics (Group) has been recognized as a key high-tech enterprise by the Ministry of Science and Technology since 1999.

Tong Feng also said its film capacitor output will grow by at least 10 percent this year as it optimizes its production line. Tong Feng's R&D team is currently developing high-end polypropylene film capacitors that can endure up to 110C, as well as polyester film capacitors that can operate under temperatures of up to 120C. It also plans to develop and produce 1.5?m-thick polyester films this year.

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