IPC suppliers focus on cultivating deep verticals

Ninelu Tu, Taipei; Angie Li, DIGITIMES Asia 0


Just as the supply chain of consumer electronics has been impacted by blurred end demand, the IPC industry has been affected regionally due to turbulance in the Chinese market. However, the risk of volatility in a single industry is reduced as IPC suppliers have developed unique applications in automotive, medical, retail, and edge computing in the past few years.

According to IPC suppliers, IPC products have been mostly used in production sites as an aid to the automation of production equipmentt. But more recently, production has changed and growing factories want automated or unmanned production. The inclination to be automated or unmanned fastened in many applications and services in the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, creating more opportunites for IPC suppliers.

Apart from smart factories, Taiwan's IPC suppliers have penetrated into different industry appliations and tried to separate routes from each other. The market is big enough for shared prosperity and diversification is needed as demand has emerged simultaneously in separate markets. Based on the difference of industry, scenerio, and region, IPC suppliers develop their own applications to target different markets from peers.

Large IPC makers such as Advantech and Ennoconn are able to simultaneously penetrate the manufacturing, retail, traffic management, energy, and zero carbon segments. Demand scale is huge in these applications. But for small and medium IPC suppliers, the resources they have are limited. It is necessary for them to pick up the application that has most competitive advantages first.

Such developing suppliers include DFI in embedded applications, Lanner in Networking, Avalue in medical, Nexcom in manufacturing, Adlink in edge AI and AMR, Sintrones in auto application, and Aplex in public roads and IoT survelliance.

Developing a deep vertical does not mean their development is limited to that category only. IPC suppliers try to extend from the core to peripheral applications or use similar products in different scenarios. For example, IPC suppliers with a focus on auto applications can extend to fleet and railway management. Those with focuses on retail and logistics frequently penetrate to other industries as retail and logistics industries have up- and down-stream industry chain.

IPC suppliers say there is a promising demand ahead as many industries are now seeking for intelligentization and digitizalition. Given the barrier of indutsry know-how and differentiation among peers, only large IPC suppliers can cope with multiple industries simultaneously in the path of development. For an ordinary IPC supplier, stem from a single territory, create a solid foundation, and then extend to peripheral applications or homogeneous industries seems to be the best choice.