VIEWPOINT 2022: Leo Peng, CEO, 1 Click SMT

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Was your business able to recover fully or partially from the global pandemic during 2021? Do you still have employees working from home? 
2021 has been a year of partial recovery. On one side, the electrical car market is hot and investments are happening every day, creating new opportunities. On the other side, the IC shortage has slowed down customer decision-making. As a result, we spent more time this year on product development.

We developed two new models of selective soldering machines; one just received a 2021 Mexico Technology Award. We also developed a very unique selective stamp soldering machine with a top 5G server manufacturer. This machine has already been soldering hundreds of server boards every day. We have combined our machine with several industry 4.0 projects. All of these jobs will give us good advantage in future competition in the market.

All of our employees are now back in-person.

Has your company been affected by the inventory shortages of semiconductors and electronic components in 2021? Are you able to hire enough qualified employees? 
Many of our customers have been affected by IC shortages, and have had to slow down their production by 50% or more. Recently we have also been seeing an electricity shortage, all of which have affected our economy. Hiring qualified employees has been more and more difficult, as many engineers don’t like to work in a city 1000km away from their hometown. This is the result when e-commerce has been very popular and it can create a lot of jobs even in very rural locations. The good thing is that we have very strong engineering team that has been with us from the beginning.

What are your expectations for the electronics assembly industry in 2022?
We are very optimistic for 2022. The electronics assembly industry is like a pressure pot that has been pressed for too long. The new electric vehicles will push the electrical assembly industry a giant step forward.

Have you or will you travel again to customer sites or industry conferences in 2022?
We didn't stop traveling in year 2021 locally in China. We have anticipated many exhibitions and visited a lot of customers. In 2022 we will do the same. For overseas traveling, it depends on the Covid19 travel policy. If it is convenient to travel, we will resume travel as previously.