ACL - celebrating 24 years of Electronics, Design and Manufacturing
Welcome to the ACL quarterly report

With this we aim to inform our industry colleagues of any relevant news, component lead-time updates or market conditions that may affect the manufacture of your product, or the electronics industry in general.
ACL Factory Image With ACL as your manufacturing partner you receive unsurpassed manufacturing quality, delivered on time ever time by our IPC trained, experienced workforce. We have hundreds of accounts with suppliers worldwide giving us the ability to source components where others may struggle.

Our sophisticated bespoke (written in-house) purchasing, QA, and production control software is continuously modified in response to market changes. Materials are always purchased well in advance of delivery dates giving you peace of mind.

I hope you find the following informative. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or comments.

Supply Chain & Manufacturing

This quarter has again seen component prices and lead times remain relatively stable. As the year progresses, however, suppliers are likely to pass on recent Sterling losses. Sterling could also fall further as a result of the issues highlighted below.

As in previous years the demand for rare earth metals and other minerals used in the electronics industry looks set to rise by another 20% this year.
A jump in tantalum prices by a factor of 7 has been witnessed this quarter whereas others, including Lithium are relatively stable.
Tantalum capacitors are to be avoided in new designs where possible. Please feel free to contact us should you need any assistance in this area.
It is good to see the major manufacturers waking up to the need for ethical mining.

UK & Global Trends

After major slides Sterling remains low this quarter against the Euro and the US Dollar. March has seen some recovery against the Euro but the same cannot be said against the Dollar. The UK government is holding off on intervention suggesting it a necessity to "rebalance" the UK's economy. While on the one hand this may help UK manufacturing exports it does not account for the immediate higher costs of fuel and materials.

Talk of a UK triple dip recession has been revived recently.
UK inflation remains relatively stable, albeit still above Government targets, at ~2.8% with rises attributed to higher fuel costs and increases in duties. This is likely to remain with a weaker Sterling. Let's hope that policy doesn't allow the slide of Sterling to continue resulting in increased inflation.

The surprise this quarter has been the swing of the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) to negative growth. Disappointing given the month on month increases in manufacturing output in the later part of last year.

Some market stability may be found with Cyprus striking a bailout package this week. However they may not be out of the woods yet as the Country's economy relies heavily on the banking sector.

The message to be taken from this is that there will be benefits in placing the longest possible scheduled orders. Material costs can then be fixed before any potential price increases.
Please find enclosed ACL's brochure together with a component pricing and lead time breakdown.
If you would like to discuss any manufacturing requirements please don't hesitate to get in touch with me.
Arthur Woode