Over 15 years have passed since North America and Europe ceased being the center of worldwide PCB fabrication and were supplanted by a Chinese market with low-cost labor, lax environmental requirements, and strong government support. In just a few short years, the superior offshore cost advantages of this new dynamic put volume PCB production in the West out of business, aside from the military and specialty technology applications contained in the few shops that continue to exist today.
Recently, however, the conditions that created the current equilibrium appear to be shifting again. In this new dynamic, automation, innovative green wastewater technologies, and next generation process equipment innovations have combined to make new factories capable of achieving rapid ROI for PCB fabrication almost anywhere in the world. This paper means to illustrate this new dynamic, and provide case study examples from the new greenfield installation at our captive facility in New Hampshire.