|Viewpoint - Valentijn van Velthoven|
January 7, 2021
VIEWPOINT 2021: Valentijn van Velthoven, Commercial Director, Boschman Advanced Packaging Technology
COVID affected us in the two typical ways:
1. The first challenge was internally, essentially maintaining ongoing operations for our existing business and delivering on-orders throughout the various lockdowns. We currently manufacture in the Netherlands and in Singapore, with both countries having different approaches to the pandemic locally. Luckily, in both cases, our business is considered a critical part of a global supply chain, as such we succeeded to keep our operations running smoothly with only a few short-term hick-ups.
Meanwhile in our facilities we implemented a set of effective measures to ensure employee health while maintaining day-to-day continuity. I would also like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to our customers: they have been very accommodating and supportive throughout, with an open and flexible mindset, for example switching to virtual Factory Acceptance Tests, online meetings and increased remote support, so this is much appreciated!
2. Our customers were off course also affected. Most of our projects are with automotive customers, an industry seriously affected by Corona, as a result, some investment decisions were postponed, or larger programs were broken down in smaller phases. I guess our advantage was that we are not so much exposed to legacy automotive systems, but rather involved with the development of next gen power electronics and systems, programs that remained a key and strategic priority for our customers.
How has the pandemic affected your business plans for 2021?
Even with potential vaccines at the horizon, we believe travel and large gatherings will remain restricted for a while, so we will experiment with virtual tradeshows etc.
The risk of disruptions due to a global pandemic created an even stronger case to diversify our supply chain, so we are accelerating our plans to set-up an operation in China, both to support the local market and expand our ramp up our capacity.
Despite the impact of Corona in 2020, we forecast substantial growth for next year:
1. We expect some level of catch-up from Corona related delays; these investments are simply needed for our customers to keep their strategic programs on track.
2. Some of the package development projects started in the last couple of years will reach SOP in 2021-2022, meaning a shift from development to high volume systems as our customers next generation packages will start to hit the market.
3. If nothing else, we are witnessing acceleration of several customer projects as the competition in the EV space is heating up with 30m EV/HEVs expected by 2025!
Overall, our overall strategy has not changed because of the pandemic. We continue to believe in the long-term opportunities and the fact that Boschman is uniquely positioned to take advantage with our one-stop-shop approach "from Idea to Industrialization". As a result, I’m proud to say that we have not reduced our work force, in fact we continue to hire new talent with our eye on future growth.
What are your expectations for the Semiconductor industry next year?
The global energy transition is one of the biggest challenges for our generation. At the same time, it offers unprecedented opportunities as entire market segments are starting to electrify more and more. If you think of it holistically, from power generation (renewables) to power transmission and distribution (smart grids) to power consumption (cars, heating, cooling, electronics, etc), pretty much every element of the chain will need to be changed and optimized with power semiconductors playing a major role throughout the chain.
The drive for more power efficiency and increased power density will spark an entirely new generation of products and technologies including: WBG (SiC and GaN), new materials and processes such a sintering, high temp encapsulation materials, all new designs and functionality.
These technologies are pioneered and scaled today in automotive, but once they reach critical mass and cost advantages, they will quickly spread beyond automotive in numerous adjacent industries, we are starting to see interest for applications that we could never have imagined a couple of years ago!
Valentijn van Velthoven, Commercial Director
Boschman Advanced Packaging Technology
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