Skilled Labor Shortage for Quartz Tube Fabricator Concerns
TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm providing business and technology information—announces that the market for quartz components and parts used in Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) tools is now forecasted to decline 3-5% in 2020 to reach US$1,187M. However, this market is still expected to experience a 4% CAGR from 2019 to 2024 as shown in the figure.
Other highlights from the 2020 Critical Materials Report (CMR) on Quartz Components, Fabricated Parts, and Base Components for Semiconductor Applications include:
• With the COVID-19 pandemic in 1H20, a few large fabs started increasing purchase orders by 15-20% MoM to increase safety-stock levels,
• China’s market experienced mild growth in 2019, since new local suppliers are still climbing a learning curve; only a handful of companies are able to pass qualification as suppliers to top-tier IC fabs,
• Quartz suppliers in Taiwan will generate +15% revenue growth from Taiwan chip fabs which have continuously run throughout 1H20, and
• Although reports of orders in 1Q2020 appear positive, TECHCET expects softening to start occurring in 2H2020 which will effect overall 2020 revenues.
“The global slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a good time for quartz suppliers to catch up on the talent shortage,” remarked Kuang-Han Ke, TECHCET Analyst and author of the report. “While machined parts capacity can be ramped up easily, quartz diffusion tube supply depends on experienced craftsman and talent. Many of the mid-size quartz fabricators have been able to out-grow the market with strategic hiring.”
During 2018, legacy equipment parts including furnace tubes faced longer lead-times for the second-tier fabs. This was the result of limited hot fabrication production spots taken up to fill orders from larger volume first-tier fabs and OEM equipment demand.
TECHCET sees the hot growth areas for ICs in 2020 to be in foundry logic and memory chips for high-performance computing and ultra-mobiles. Demand for semiconductor quartz components is largely supported by spares sold by local suppliers, though new furnace and etch equipment OEM sales are important market segments.
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