Corona virus ('COVID-19')
Please go to end of this page for latest update.
Concerning our Colleagues in China
I am pleased to report none of our colleagues in China have suffered infection and our immediate contacts are already back from the CNY and working from home. We would like to express our great sympathy to all our Chinese friends and wish them a speedy recovery from the unprecedented events of recent weeks. We have worked for a number of years now and feel greatly for their well-being.
Although much of the preparatory work involved in PCB fabrication is undertaken by Tecbridge Circuits here in UK, key manufacturing processes are undertaken in two substantial fabrication plants in Shenzhen, China.
Shenzhen has so far not been a significant centre of the outbreak, however like the rest of mainland China factories are being subject to compulsory closure until 10th February as part of the Government actions to bring the epidemic under control.
About 50% of factory workers have not travelled far for the CNY holiday and are estimated to be immediately available for work when the factories re-open. Another 50% have yet to return from holiday and their return travel may be disrupted in varying degrees.
Once factories start up again additional unplanned delays may result from manufacturing backlogs, customs administration capacity and courier operational issues.
Shenzhen is a large industrial area in SE China and PCB's are generally carried by UPS and TNT (now part of Fedex) and routed through Hong Kong.
Are PCB's safe to handle?
From what we have gleaned from public sources the virus can be transmitted by water droplets which could contaminate exposed surfaces. However, the tolerance of the virus to survive surface contamination for any significant time is very low. Taking into account the transit time from factory to UK is 2-3 working days the chances of infection from handling PCB's appears to be infinitesimally low.
Advice from World Health Organization
Should we become aware of any information to the contrary we will immediately make this information widely known to all our customers.
What about delivery times?
Based on the best currently available information we believe delivery dates should be computed using 17th February as effective start date for new orders placed between now and 10th February. Orders already in the queue will be delayed by approximately 1-2 weeks from the original quoted target delivery dates (which already factored in CNY and factory start-up delays but not the corona virus outbreak.
The loss of bare PCB fabrication capacity is likely to have a big knock-on effect on delivery times and prices throughout the industry irrespective of source for some time to come, even if the immediate threat from the Corona virus is quickly and successfully contained.
Please check back here regularly for updates.
Update 10 February
This morning we received notification that one of our two supply factories will not be opening today as we had expected. We have also been informed the delay is one week and factory start-up is now anticipated on 17th February. We are awaiting an update from our other supply factory. We believe 27th February is now the earliest effective start date for new orders.
Most PCB fabrication facilities in China are located in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. The extended factory close-down has been ordered by the regional government and will impact most if not all manufacturing facilities in the region.
Update 19 February
Fairfield and Mardale factories have reported they are open and have started manufacturing. It will take a few days to gauge the effect of the order backlog and shortage of staff that have not been able to travel back to Shenzhen. Some preparatory CAM work has taken place on existing orders over the extended close-down which will help jump-start production.
Expedited orders will not be available until the factories have caught up the backlog of orders and production is fully back to normal.
We would like to thank all our loyal customers for your support and understanding during this difficult episode. We do understand the worry and disruption caused by this global crisis and hope the knock-on effect has not been too disruptive to your business.
Last updated 19 February