The Growth of PCB Manufacturing in Mexico
In this blog, we’ll talk about Mexico’s PCB makers. So far, they’ve got a good reputation in the business. But have you ever wondered how they keep abreast with the industry? With the constant evolution of technology, it’s no surprise that the electronics industry is growing rapidly. As a result, PCB manufacturing has become an increasingly important component of this industry.
To understand how Mexican PCB manufacturers prosper, let’s have an overview of the global electronics industry. The electronics industry is one of the most significant and fastest-growing industries globally. Expenditure on consumer electronics alone (i.e., smartphones) was 505 billion US dollars in 2022. This industry has seen substantial growth due to increased consumer demand and rapid advancements in tech. There’s also the sweeping use of electronics across all sectors, previously not automated.
Factors contributing to Advancement
The rising demand for electronics worldwide is a key element driving the expansion of PCB manufacturing. PCBs are necessary components of electronic devices, and with the increasing demand for electronics, the need for PCBs has also grown. The industry has also seen significant growth due to technological advancements, such as Smart Devices, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and faster connectivity. These technologies require increasingly complex PCBs, leading to growth for advanced PCBs.
Comparison to Other Major Players
The country has emerged as a significant player in the electronics industry and has positioned itself as a leader in PCB manufacturing. Compared to other major players in the electronics industry, such as China and the United States, Mexico offers several advantages, such as lower labor costs, a favorable geographical location, and a well-established supply chain infrastructure. Additionally, the country has a highly skilled and educated workforce focusing on engineering and technology.
Mexican PCB manufacturers are also keeping pace with the electronics industry through investment in advanced technologies and equipment. Many manufacturers have invested in state-of-the-art equipment, such as automated assembly lines, Surface-Mount Technology (SMT) machines, and automated testing tools. These investments have allowed Mexican PCB manufacturers to produce superb, avant-garde PCBs that meet the demands of the industry.
Typical Equipment Your Mexican PCB Maker Uses
Many devices used in PCB manufacturing are available globally, including in the USA and Mexico. The standard ones which your Mexican PCB maker might have in their factories are:
- Automated Optical Inspection (AOI)
- 3D Printing
- Surface Mount Technology (SMT)
- Laser Direct Imaging (LDI)
- High-Speed Milling Machines
- X-Ray Inspection
- Through-hole plating
- Plasma Etching
- Environmental Test Chambers
- Wire Bonding
Here is a video showing PCBA equipment in action:
Major PCB and Electronics Hubs in Mexico
Since you’re reading this blog, you’ll likely find yourself exploring some of the major electronics hubs in the country. Let’s be specific, naming them:
Located just south of San Diego, Tijuana has become a major center for electronics manufacturing in recent years. It is home to Medtronic, DJO Global, and Greatbatch Medical. Other notable companies in Tijuana include Plantronics, known for its high-quality audio products such as headsets, earphones, and speakerphones. Also, Viasystems, a leading provider of electronic manufacturing services, offers everything from PCB assembly to supply chain management.
This place has emerged as a hub for software development and IT services, attracting companies such as IBM, Intel, and HP. In addition to these tech giants, other notable companies in Guadalajara include those that provide EMS services and supply chain management. Guadalajara is given the nickname the “Silicon Valley of Mexico,”
Situated in the north, it is one of Mexico’s largest industrial centers. Giant brands Whirlpool, Siemens, Samsung, Honeywell, and LG have facilities here. All of these are world-class electronics companies with lots of loyal customers.
As the capital of Mexico, Mexico City is a major epicenter of electronics fabrication. The city has a large pool of skilled workers and a strong infrastructure. Philips, HP, Schneider, Electric, Toshiba, and Sony are just a few electronics and technology companies operating in the city.
Secret to Mexico’s Competitive Advantage
Potential savings, strategic position, open commerce agreements, and the prevalence of major players in the electronics sector provide Mexico with a leg up in the production of circuit boards. We’ll elaborate in the next sections.
Mexico’s cost-effective PCB manufacturing is one of its main advantages, particularly for North American markets. With its proximity to the United States, these manufacturers can offer cheap pricing without sacrificing quality. This has attracted many businesses looking to streamline their supply chain and reduce manufacturing costs.
Supply Chain Advantage
What’s more? Mexico plays a crucial role in the global supply chain. As a leading exporter of electronic components and products, the country is an integral part of the business. Its strategic location and access to ports (e.g., Ensenada, Veracruz, Cardenas Ports) make it a prime location for logistics and distribution centers. This kind of advantage has resulted in the growth of the local electronics industry, with an increasing number of renowned electronics companies investing in the country.
Free Trade Agreements
The country has over 12 free trade agreements with various countries. Analysts credit these agreements to the economic growth f Mexico. The deals encompass the ff:
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – USA and Canada
- European Union (EU)
- European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
- Central America
- Mercosur – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay
- Pacific Alliance
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Trade agreements make it easier for the nation to export their products to international markets. So if your business wants to expand globally, you’ve got an edge if you’re on Mexico’s side.
Key Players, Market Dynamics & Workforce
Some of the major corporations in the industry have set up operations in Mexico. (We’ve named them earlier when we elaborated on specific regions of the countries. )
Meanwhile, the country’s competence can also be attributed to its skilled workforce. The government has a strong education system, particularly in engineering. Many universities offer specialized programs in electronics and associated degrees. This has led to a large pool of skilled professionals in the IT and engineering sectors. So it makes the country an attractive location for businesses looking to tap into the talent pool.
Ten Excellent PCB Manufacturers in Mexico
In this section, we will take a glance at ten of the top PCB manufacturers in Mexico and what sets them apart from their competitors.
Committed to providing its customers with innovative and reliable PCBs, Benchmark makes PCBs for many industries. Especially for aerospace, defense, and industrial machinery, this company is great at production. They have a particular focus on PCBs for human-machine interaction, RF PCBs, PCBs for space systems, and surveillance. They utilize SMT technology, hybrid manufacturing, automated systems, and microelectronics to ensure a sound level of precision and efficiency in production.
Use their website to find them: https://www.bench.com/tijuana-mexico
The company was established before 1990 and is a subsidiary of the Kinpo Group from Taiwan. Cal-Comp’s expertise in PCB manufacturing extends to printers and other related machines. They specialize in semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing. They are known for producing high-quality electronic capacitors and PCBs and providing a range of services, including in-house jig and fixture design, mechanical and tooling design, and industrial design.
Utilize their site to send a message: http://taipei.calcomp.co.th/english/index.html
They are famed for manufacturing single, double-sided, and multilayer printed circuit boards. Circuitech complies with RoHS and OSP guidelines, and their services cater to various sectors such as lighting, domestic applications, telecommunications, control and instrumentation, aeronautics, and automotive, among others. They are particularly known for their knowledge in IoT-based electronic solutions. Likewise, the company uses materials like FR-4, CEM1, and aluminum (MCPCB). Their offering includes surface finishing such as ENIG (gold), Hard gold, immersion silver, HASL, HASL-lead-free, and copper up to 3 Oz. They offer anti-welding masks in various colors: green, white lighting, black, red, and blue.
Contact them using their website: https://www.circuitec.mx/
It’s a company that specializes in providing PCBs made from different materials such as 22F phenolic material, PC75 phenolic material, FR-4, and aluminum. They offer PCBs with typical measurements of 5cm x 5cm, but they can also create larger ones that measure up to 50cm x 60cm. In addition to PCBs, they offer other products and services, such as inks for screen printing boards, solutions for engraving PCBs, and Tuxtene carbide drill bits for drilling.
Get in touch here: https://easycircuits.mx/
This company specializes in producing a wide range of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and providing assembly services for electronic components. They offer various types of PCBs, e.g., large-sized PCBs, membrane keyboards PNBs, and 10x10cm PCBs. The company has several certifications, such as ISO9000:2015, IPC, Antistatic Control 20.20, and CID. Their devices are certified by UL, FDA, NOM, and IFT. MexTronics provides PCBA services and SMT and TH assembly too.
Use their online communication tools to check them out: https://www.mextronics.com/
A company in Mexico known for the design, programming, and manufacturing of PCB FR4 and CNC PCB electronic circuits, MX is well-respected. They also make PCB using Surface Mount and Through Hole technology. But for multilayer PCBs, they can only accommodate up to 16 layers. The company uses a range of materials for PCBs, including FR-4 TG 130, FR-4 TG 150, FR-4 TG 170-180, Aluminium, and Flexible, and can create PCBs in a variety of colors, including colorless. Note that The maximum size of PCB they can manufacture is 500mm x 500mm.
Connect with them via: https://mexicopcb.com/
Known as a company specializing in producing various electronic components and services, it’s named after the country. Aside from just PCBs, this company can provide SMT assembly courses (education). Their unique product offerings are line and space cards. They also accommodate prototype building for PCBs, PCB Assembly, and new product development (NPI).
Their online avenue for communication: https://www.pcb-mexico.com/
For Pcbrapido, it’s a company that offers raw materials for circuit boards and PCB manufacturing services. They provide reflux ovens, pasting stencils, and solder paste for PCB manufacturers. They can make PCBs with up to 16 layers with a minimum card thickness of 0-16″ and a maximum card thickness of 0.236″ S= 0.62″. The company is UL certified, and its PCBs have a flammability rating of 94V-0. They can produce PCBs with a minimum hole diameter of 12mil and a maximum hole diameter of 263mil.
Visit their website: https://www.pcbrapido.com/
What’s unique about Rutronic is its wide network of partners in different countries. It has a unique advantage in the EMS industry due to its extensive network. This allows them to provide their customers with global access to a wide range of electronic components and solutions. Rutronik has a strong presence in the US and Mexico through its headquarters in Plano, Texas, and regional sales offices and Field Application Engineers throughout the country.
Additionally, they have a strong presence in the Asian region, with seven offices in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Thailand. The company specializes in producing semiconductors, electronic parts for displays, monitors, storage technologies, lighting, and photovoltaic solutions.
Send them an inquiry here: https://www.rutronik.com/
A corporate giant, Sumitronics is another EMS (Electronics Manufacturing Services) company with a factory in Tijuana. But they also have offices in Europe and Asia, including Japan. They offer services to various markets such as consumer electronics, computers, industrial, automotive, communication devices, medical, and more. They have offices in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia in Asia.
Sumitronics provides end-to-end solutions, including product design, manufacturing, and logistics. Their services include PCB assembly, box build, cables, and more. Their expertise and reputation make them a reliable partner for companies looking to outsource their manufacturing needs.
This is their website: https://www.sumitronics.co.jp/en/base/smm/
Future Outlook for Mexican PCB Manufacturing
As the world recovers from Covid, several global trends are expected to impact the PCB manufacturing industry in Mexico. With the rise of work-from-home and the need for greater digital connectivity, there is likely to be an increase in demand for IoT-related products and services. This could mean an expansion of the already strong future-focused PCB manufacturers in Mexico. Opportunities are also rife for new entrants into the market.
Push for Sustainability
Another global trend expected to impact the PCB manufacturing industry is the continued push toward sustainability and green technologies. With more and more consumers and businesses demanding environmentally-friendly products and services, PCB manufacturers in Mexico will need to adjust to this changing landscape. This could mean a shift towards using more ecological materials and processes and increased investment in research and development of new technologies.
Despite these potential opportunities, there are also several challenges that PCB manufacturers in Mexico are likely to face in the coming years. One of the key challenges is the ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips, which has impacted the global electronics industry as a whole. This shortage will continue into the foreseeable future, making it difficult for PCB manufacturers to source the necessary components to produce their products.
In addition to the semiconductor shortage, PCB manufacturers in Mexico may also face challenges related to rising labor costs. There is increased competition from other countries. Mexico’s biggest trade rivals for electronics are typically China and the United States. China is known for its large-scale electronics manufacturing capabilities and competitive pricing, while the United States is a major electronics consumer and has its manufacturing capabilities.
Other countries such as Japan, Korea, and Taiwan compete in the global electronics market. Still, China and the United States are generally considered the most significant rivals for Mexico in this sector. As more countries invest in their PCB manufacturing industries, Mexico must find ways to remain competitive and attract new business.
However, despite these challenges, the outlook for the Mexican PCB manufacturing industry remains positive. In 2021, Mexico exported approximately $US494bn worth of goods, significantly increasing from pre-pandemic 2019 levels. That’s partially because it has more free trade agreements than any other country, making it an attractive country for businesses looking to expand their global reach.
A Suitable Alternative
In conclusion, if you require high-quality PCB manufacturing, Mexico has a wealth of excellent options to choose from. From large manufacturers with years of experience to newer companies specializing in IoT and other emerging technologies, you have viable options.
The nation does have an edge in the production of electronics. That is especially true for aerospace, transportation, and medical equipment industries. Their physical nearness to the United States is the main cause. (A significant market for electrical goods is the US.) For further consideration is Mexico’s involvement in several free trade agreements with nations like Canada, Japan, and the EU. Lastly, the country is a desirable locale for businesses wishing to produce electronics at a reduced cost due to its affordable labor expenses compared to highly industrialized nations.
A Suitable Alternative: PCBMay from China
However, if you’re looking for a steadfast and low-cost alternative to Mexican PCB manufacturers, look no further than PCBMay. Our expert team has years of industry experience and utilizes cutting-edge technology to produce top-quality PCBs at competitive prices.
For product offers, there’s a lot, including PCB layout, design, programming, and mass production. We don’t just make FR4 PCBs. We make all sorts, even transparent PCBs. We’re specialists in multilayer boards and can accommodate 20oz copper weights and extra-large panels.
At PCBMay, we understand the importance of quality and reliability in PCB manufacturing. We’re committed to give positive results to our customers. Our thorough quality control processes ensure that every PCB we produce meets the highest standards of excellence.