AGC continued its consolidation of the laminates market this week, reeling in Taconic for an undisclosed amount. The Japanese company also acquired Nelco last winter, giving it two of the remaining US-based PCB materials manufacturers.
That leaves Isola and Rogers as the last two major players of a once formidable domestic laminate industry to call the US home. And neither company produces the majority of its product in onshore. (Sound familiar?)
With Rogers’ capacity consumed by the 5G rollout, some OEMs and fabricators have been turning more to Taconic as a source for high-rel end-products that required a Made in USA stamp.
The largest vendors — KingBoard, Shengyi, Nanya, ITEQ, and so on — are all based in Southeast Asia. The volume and variety of materials that can be sourced in the US continues to erode, and its hard to see that reversing course. To wit, in its announcement, AGC allowed that “Over time, materials made in Taconic’s Petersburgh, NY, location will be moved to another facility.”
Isola makes FR-4 in Ridgeway, SC, and AGC Nelco makes the same in Tempe, AZ. They join Rogers, Taconic and Arlon as manufacturers of electronics materials in the US.
Will trade tensions peaking, and 5G creating supply issues around the globe, is that enough?