At the start of 2022 we expected that components would become more readily available, which was a major problem back in 2021 and whilst it improved it is not as expected. At Eurocircuits we have seen increased interest in our services and we were looking forward to returning to normal operations after a couple of abnormal years.
Then after decades of peace in Europe Russia invaded Ukraine with a tragic impact on many people. For Eurocircuits and our customers, the effects of this war compounded other economic dynamics causing the markets to react with even greater price increases. This has affected every aspect of our operations and in particular we have experienced remarkable price increases for materials, energy, and construction.
We have been in business for over 30 years and have weathered many difficult situations that have made us more resilient and ready and able to cope with whatever comes our way – we’re still here after all! Now let’s look at what we have achieved this past year.
New building dedicated to component assembly
Component assembly is our fastest growing service and during last year we constructed a new building dedicated to assembly in Eger that is three times bigger than our existing building! We’ve based the design on everything that we have learned from assembling PCBs over the past 5 years and the result is a production flow that is optimal for the production of PCB prototypes and small series.
This building incorporates the latest techniques for efficient energy use for heating and cooling. It is insulated to the latest standards and equipped with floor and ceiling heating that are connected to heat pumps powered by solar panels on the roof. On another large plot of land we plan to build a solar park that will also supply power to our production machines.
New services and improved tools
We know that the engineering time is the most costly part of developing products. We therefore continually invest in tools that allow designers to make efficient use of their time. This is reflected in our guiding principle: ‘Right First Time’ for manufacturing. Part of the vision for achieving this is to become a ‘one-stop-shop’ producing everything our customers need in our own European factories. These are important points for many of our customers: local manufacturing and a single accountable supplier!
The new enclosures service that we announced in 2022 brings us closer to implementing this vision. We are also thinking about improving lead times. One way we helped to reduce the issue concerning component availability is by allowing customers to order key components from their bill-of-materials before their layout is complete; we call this service ‘Parts pre-order’ (PPO). Both services will have full impact in 2023 and so we will discuss them further in our communication Looking Forward to 2023 that will follow soon.
Investing in Europe, environment, and education
We are enthusiastic supporters of the European project and its welfare, ethical, and environmental standards. We contribute to the system primarily through paying our taxes, and through that, of course, our customers support it as well.
We produce everything within the EU in accordance with strict EU standards and have invested in solar energy together with only purchasing green electricity. For our assembly operations in the new building we aim to be self-sufficient and climate-neutral! These initiatives are important to us and despite the increased operational costs, we are thankful to our customers for their continued support through doing business with us.
Our PCB production in Germany, Eurocircuits Aachen GmbH, obtained ISO14001 certification in August 2022. ISO14001 is the internationally accepted standard that requires an environmental management system. The environmental management system is used to develop an environmental policy appropriate to your organisation and ensures it is implemented. Acquiring an ISO14001 is not an obligation but something we do out of genuine conviction.
Our European electronics industry has a shortage of hardware engineers needed to drive the local industry. Many European hardware engineers graduating today have participated in some kind of student project initiatives, the majority of which originate from the European Commission. This creates a competition on a European level, raising the quality of the proposed developments.
Because of this we feel duty-bound to support students and teachers, and also because these engineers will hopefully become our customers tomorrow. We supported the first student team over 20 years ago and continued to support some 60 of these teams until today.
You can find all the blogs written by the students teams and students we support on our website under Student Projects.
Without our loyal customers we wouldn’t be here and we would like to thank you for your business in 2022, which was a difficult year for many of us. Many thanks to our 500+ employees, and their families, who work hard every day to deliver our services.
2022 in Figures
* an order can consist of a PCB, a PCB + a stencil or a PCB + assembly or… All items that are ordered together with a PCB are considered as one order.
** a customer is a legal identity buying from us one or multiple items or services per calendar year.
*** Based on 250 working days per calendar year.