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Printed Circuit Boards Making Plant

1.     Product Description: Printed circuit boards (PCB) are widely used in both electrical and electronic equipment and appliances as they provide a base on which other components can be easily mounted. PBC circuits are reliable as there are few interconnecting wires and all the components are firmly mounted. PCBs. consist of an insulating material. Metal is deposited or clad upon that. The insulating materials usually used are fibrous sheet material like cellulose, paper glass or nylon impregnated with a thermosetting thing resin binder and then consolidated under high temperature and pressure into solid sheets. The metal used is generally copper. PCBs are used to transmit power from one end to another. PCBS are largely used by manufacturers of electronics components like. T.V sets, transistors, radios, amplifiers, ampligrams, Voltage stabilizers, calculators, telecommunication equipment, power suppliers, public address equipments, computers. etc.


2.         Rationale: Printed circuit boards are needed in almost all electrical and electronic products and these products are many both in kind and number. One can witness the type and quantity of electrical and electronic products that are available in the market by going through some market areas in Addis Ababa and all other large and small urban centers in the country. There is too much in variety and too many in number.  Most of these numerous electrical and electronic products use printed circuit boards for their operation. They can not repartee without CPBs. The volume of imports of electrical and electronic products certainly justifies the establishment of plants which can produce some of the major electrical and electronic products such as radio, tape recorders, television, etc. PCBs are the brains of these and other products.


In our country, there are expanding markets to justify the establishment of radio, tape recorder and other household electronic and electrical products making plants. The PCBs are the most essential components of these products. Hence any attempt to develop the electrical and electronic industries should be accompanied by the development  of PBCs components, With its surplus labour force, the Amhara Region is ideal for the development of industries which require extensive assembly and fabrication works of which electrical and electronics are parts of these industries.


3.         Market Potential: The market for printed circuit boards is based on the markets for electrical and electronic products which are partially listed above. The markets of these products have been expanding in the country mainly due to growing urbanization, population increase, growing awareness about the benefits of using electrical and electronic products and to some extent increase income. Even with this growing demand, the per capital consumption of electrical and electronic products Ethiopia is one of the lowest in the world. With 75 million people, Ethiopia has a long way to reach world average level of consumption in electrical and electronic products. This indicates that the market for these products will further expand. With 19.2 million people, the Amhara Region has also a good market for electrical and electronic products and also for printed circuit boards. If we assume that the potential demand for radio is one radio for one family, the potential demand for radio is 3.84 million. This means that 3.84 million printed circuit boards will also be required. These indicative figures give a general picture on the potential demand for PCBs.


4.         Source of Raw Material: About 18 different inputs are required to produce printed circuit boards almost all of them will be imported.


5.         Process & Technology: PCB is a board of insulating material which is given a coating of conducting material such as copper/gold. This conducting material is removed or etched away from certain places so as to form conducting and insulting paths as required. Holes are dilled through the board at desired points so that components may be mounted through them. After suitable processing, the board is dipped into a tank containing a solution of ferric chloride or cupric chloride with sulphuric acid or hydrogen peroxide to etch those portions of the copper layer which are not covered by protective materials. The etching agent reacts with the copper and is removed to reveal the insulating material below.


For the manufacture of PCBs, photo resist is first applied to the surface of the PCB where the copper is to be etched. Then a photograph is taken of the drawing made on cellophane paper of the circuit with tracks covered by tape. The negative of the photograph will have the areas covered with track markings in tape which is a shade lighter than the rest of the board. (Other processes follow for the completing the PCBs.)


The list of plant and machinery includes about 21 pieces of machines, equipment, instruments, tools, etc. Some of these are negative making equipment, negative retouching and art work equipment, positive making equipment, stencil making and photo resist printing equipment, metal halide reproduction lamps for printing down set of two, screen printing system and 15 other machines, tools and instruments.


6. Estimated Investment:  For a plant which will produce about 10 m2 of printed circuit board, the required investment will be

§         Building/ shade 200 m2 at Br 2000/m2…………..=Br 4,00,000

§         Machinery ………………………………………..=Br  300,000

§         Working capital ………………………………….=Br  400,000

                                         Total……...........................=Br 1, 000,000


7. Benefits:- Saves foreign exchange resources, promotes self sufficiency, stimulates the development of the electrical and electronic industry, introduces new skills and technology, has the potential of earning financial resources through export.


8. Location: Debre Birhan, Combolcha