the ESD Industry Finished?
By Steve Fowler
ESD Industry as a separate entity may be finished. Our reports of
the business for the true ESD suppliers is dismal. We hear numbers
of up to 80% off last years sales. We have seen some of our more
active members go Chapter 7 in a period of a few weeks from a record
January sales month. (UTP
Out of Business,Julie
Assets). We have not heard from all companies but the general
response to the business situation is down - down - down!
Distributors seem to have been
the most hard hit. Small Manufacturers are struggling to
keep the doors open. Only those businesses who have diversity are
even for the year or are up somewhat. Julie Industries and Botron
seem to have weathered the storm so far with sales over last year's.
Testing Labs have also been hard hit. Most report the amount
of work over the past two to three months is down to near zero.
From our perspective at Fowler Associates, we have less and less
ESD type testing. Our overall total sales this year to date are
up 13% but the ESD portion is down approximately 50%. If we did
not have the diversity of training, consulting and testing in other
areas such as Radiation, our business would be in the dumps also.
Companies which use ESD products have been laying off their
This leads back to original thought of this article:
Is the ESD Industry finished?
I believe it is. This does not mean
the need for ESD products and services no longer exists. It means
the era of the separate industry dedicated solely to the ESD industry
is over. In other words, the industry has matured into a known commodity.
The products and services will be supplied in the near future by
diversified companies who service the broad fields of Munitions,
Electronics, Plastic Manufacturing, etc.
If any company is to survive this "depression",
it is clear that diversity is the key. How we in the industry respond
to these indicators of change will determine our individual survival.
Send us your comments on the outlook
for business for our industry. We will post them as they are received.