Semiconductor crisis: Awareness to reindustrialize electronics in Europe?

Laurent COLIN
By Laurent COLIN
Graduate Engineer in Physics/Instrumentation at the CNAM completed by an M2 in Business Administration at the IAE, Laurent Colin is in charge of the development of the electronic manufacturing services activity on the Bosch Mondeville site. Specialising in electronic manufacturing services for many years in various international markets (automotive, etc.), he has held the positions of Quality Manager and Production Manager at Bosch.

The made in France is well adapted to certain areas such as the craft industry, particularly for textiles, cosmetics, food … But, in the field of electronics this notion is a little more vague for consumers. The stake of the made in France in electronics is played on the aspect of reindustrialization as well as to be able to continue to make electronics in France.

The loss of electronic enterprises in France

In the past, we have partly abandoned the industrial electronics sector, whether it be semiconductors or others. We are therefore faced with a problem: how can we eventually repatriate a complete electronics industry in Europe, or even in France? Now, to reindustrialize the electronics sector, we need very heavy investments, which will make it very difficult for us to catch up.

For example, the majority of PCB manufacturers have left France. Nevertheless, there are still suppliers of printed circuit boards that are more suitable for small series and prototypes than for large series production.

Companies have mainly relocated to Asia. These countries now know how to train and develop their know-how, unlike France, which is gradually losing its skills.

It’s important to note that in the industry in general, some sectors are returning to France, even if on a small scale. For example, for the medical sector, it would be strategic in the long term for the manufacture of certain drugs and products to return to France.

Supply problem: Covid and semiconductor crisis

There is a real concern about product availability in Europe. If global manufacturing is only located in Asia and several customers have the same need in the world, we risk not being served. The objective is therefore to be able to produce in France. The case of masks is a perfect example, the production of masks during the Covid crisis was insufficient, unlike now. We have seen an awareness of the importance of producing in France to be able to supply locally.

For semiconductors, this is extremely complex. The current crisis is a one-off tension linked to Covid and the shape of demand. Once this tension is resolved, Asia will once again have excess capacity to supply us. As a result, we will have difficulty competing with the factories and large smelters in Asia.

Recovery Plan: Solution to deindustrialization

Faced with the current health crisis, the government has decided to launch a 100 billion euro recovery plan* based on three priorities: ecology, competitiveness and cohesion. It reinforces the immediate and continuous mobilization of the Government since the beginning of the crisis. It is in line with the 470 billion euros already mobilized since March 2020 to finance emergency measures for companies and employees affected by the health crisis of the COVID-19.

Concerning the industrial sector, financing aids have been launched according to different themes: industry of the future, digitalization, AI… This has strongly encouraged companies to develop.

At Bosch Mondeville, if you want to make your products “made in France”, we can respond to your request by accompanying you in the development and innovation of your project.


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