Aspocomp is all set to emerge India''s first manufacturer
of highdensity interconnection Printed circuit boards.
Venkatachari Jagannathan reports
Chennai: The country''s first high-density interconnections
(HDI) printed circuit board (PCB) plant will come up in
the Nokia Telecom Special Economic Zone, Sriperumbudur
is going to be put up by Aspocomp (India) Co Ltd, the
Indian subsidiary of the Finnish Aspocomp Group, the €75-million
plant, and is expected to be operational during the second
half of 2007 though full production will start only in
plant will initially stamp out 50 million pieces (over
2 lakh per day) and later scale up production based on
€154- million turnover Finnish group has followed
its major global customers (Nokia, Flextronics, Motorola,
Alcatel, Sanmina-SCI and others) who have set up production
bases in India.
Chennai facility will turn out to be largest Aspocomp
plant for the group in the world as we intend to double
our initial investment," says president and CEO Maija
Liisa Friman, Aspocomp Group Oyj.
two-phase project will first cater to the domestic market
- mainly meeting Nokia''s needs and later the needs
of other mobile phone manufacturers in India, and even
cater to global demand.
to L Balachandran, project manager and general manager
India operations during the first phase the company will
employ 1,500 people and 2,700 at the end of the second.
also make PCBs for other handheld devices, telecom infrastructure,
automobiles, and consumer electronics. But our current
focus is on the mobile phone market, which is registering
phenomenal growth," explains Rami Raulas, senior
vice president, marketing and sales.
to him the global mobile phone instrument market is expected
to touch the 1-billion mark in 2007, up from 970 million
global PCB market is fragmented though a few manufacturers
offer the most value. The big players in this field are
AT&S, Aspocomp, Matsushita, Samsung, Compeq, Unitech
the major players are expanding their capacities,"
PCB production plant in India is a feasible proposition
when compared to the landed cost of imports from China.
However, Aspocomp India would have to contend with other
issues like raw material sourcing, availability of continuous
power and water and regulatory environmental compliance,
before it hits the profit trail.
major factor confronting Aspocomp is waste disposal, as
PCB plants are known to generate huge quantities of hazardous,
non-degradable waste material. These include acids, chemicals
and metals. Even though the proposed Chennai plant is
being planned as a `zero discharge unit'', the solid waste
containing copper and other metals requires proper disposal.
economic viability of the Chennai plant depends on the
recovery and recycling of its wastes. In India waste recovery
is still in its infancy unlike in the West, where recycling
waste products is a thriving industry. According to Friman,
in Finland, the Finnish government owns and manages the
out the waste from India would prove costly for Aspocomp,
though the company has held talks for outsourcing its
waste recovery, though Friman categorically rules out
Aspocomp investing in any third-party waste- recycling
other major concerns are availability of raw materials.
Since the PCB industry is relatively new to the country,
there are not many major suppliers of plastic laminates,
chemicals and copper foils the major raw material.
Therefore, Aspocomp India will initially depend on imports
of raw materials from China, South East Asia and other
the raw materials are available here then manufacturing
in India would be very cost competitive like China,"
proposed plant requires 20 MW power per day, making the
plant largely dependent on the grid for that. Since the
company does not have a firm commitment for the supply
uninterrupted power from the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board,
it cannot depend solely on the grid.
Friman, "Two to three weeks'' production will be lost
if uninterrupted power is not provided to the plant. There
will be a need for backup facility atleast during the
water is another major requirement for running a PCB manufacturing
unit, as these plants are water intensive they
need huge quantities for rinsing and washing off the chemicals.
to Balachandran the Chennai facility would require 1,200-cubic
metres of water per day. "After recycling the waste
water, the net requirement would be 350-cubic metres per
day. The State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil
Nadu (Sipcot) has assured water supply from the near by
these concerns Friman is confident that the Indian plant