Order book activity is picking up

Order book activity is picking up
Richard Wilson Production equipment and test system firms at last week’s Nepcon exhibition in Birmingham said they were quietly confident about business prospects this year. The general consensus was that the UK’s electronics manufacturing sector was quiet, but in the last quarter there have been signs of new ordering activity. According to Mike Lowe, MD at Schaffner EMC, the company’s EMC component and filter division has had a good February and March. “The component business is buoyant. It picked up markedly in February and March,” said Lowe at the exhibition. “We’ve had busier years,” said Stan Edwards, assistant sales manager at Panasonic Factory Automation. But the PCB production equipment supplier indicated the outlook was far from worrying with software upgrade products doing well. “When hardware sales are down, software sales are invariably up,” said Edwards. Similarly production equipment supplier ITE is also seeing strong growth in its UK test fixture and handling system businesses. “Sales are over target after the first quarter,” said ITE’s UK managing director Mark Patmore. Patmore has a UK sales target of over ?2m this year and is seeing strong demand for test automation systems particularly in the contract manufacturing sector. “I have growing markets in PCs, automotive and domestic appliances,” he added.


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