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FCI Microconnections inaugurates new Singapore plant today

Posted: 12 Oct 2010  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:flexible printed circuit  FPC  smart card 

Flexible printed circuit (FPC) for smart cards manufacturer FCI Microconnections today inaugurates a sprawling 18,000sqm facility in Changi, Singapore. This is the third Singapore plant of the France-based group, which has began manufacturing FPCs in 1989.

At a press briefing held yesterday, FCI corporate VP and FCI Microconnections general manager Christophe Duverne introduced the business unit explained the strategy behind this expansion, �The FCI group is one of the largest connector companies in the world. In 2009, we generated revenues of �935 million [almost $ 1.3 billion]. We have 25 manufacturing sites around the world and employ about 13,000 people. FCI Microconnections is one of the three divisions of FCI [in 2009 it contributed 16 percent of the group�s revenue] and we produce flexible printed circuits for smart card applications. [We are opening this plant because] we�re making sure we are ready for the future.�

In his presentation, Duverne highlighted FCI Microconnections� strength in technology and innovation. He also mentioned that �we have very high service levels.�

Regional sales and business manager Mok Wai-Ping discussed the near-ubiquity of smart card applications��Each one of you would have a smart card in your wallet or in your phone.��and the bullish prospects of the product line. �We started with 3,000sqm [in the Loyang plant] and now the EDB [Singapore Economic Development Board] helped us with a new facility which is about 18,000sqm. From a couple of million products we will be able to make billions [in Singapore].� To date, total smartcard contact shipments from various FCI Microconnections plants have actually reached 30 billion units.

Ng Ah-Ban, FCI Microconnections� Changi plant manager, continued the discussion on the company�s expansion, with emphasis on manpower. �Back then we only had�guess what�36 people. Today, we have a more than 330 people. People are a very important resource for us, we have highly trained people, highly qualified very motivated people.� He also underscored the company�s investment in equipment and facilities. �We have invested SG $51 million [about US $ 39 million] in infrastructure in our new Changi plant.�

FCI Microconnections produces FPCs in a reel-to-reel format that supports automated manufacturing processes. In 2008 the company introduced volume production of FPCs using NXT plating technology which minimizes the use of gold, thereby reducing the exposure to precious metal price volatility whilst enhancing corrosion resistance

In 2007, FCI Microconnections acquired Smartag, a Singapore based company specialising in the design and manufacture of RFID tags, inlays and tokens for applications that include inventory control in public libraries and the pharmaceutical sector. Smartag�s manufacturing facilities have now been moved to FCI Microconnections� new plant at Changi North.





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