Thick Film Devices, Processes and Applications

Published - May 2004| Analyst - Margareth Gagliardi| Code - AVM046A
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Report Highlights

  • The value of worldwide sales of thick film devices was estimated to reach $14.8 billion in 2003 and projected to rise at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 15.2% to $30.0 billion by 2008.
  • Sales of electronic devices accounted for 76.6% in 2003 on sales of $11.4 billion. Growth will be on the order of 8.2% AAGR through 2008, reducing their share to 56%.
  • Energy supply devices will dominate growth, rising at an AAGR of 39.7% with their share rising from 14% in 2003 to 36.8% in 2008.
  • Mechanical/chemical and display devices each account for about 4% of the market and sales will rise at AAGRs of 9.1% and 9.9%, respectively.


Thick film devices are single or multilayer structures fabricated by depositing a layer of a specially formulated paste on a substrate that can be made of ceramic, polymeric or metallic material. It generally is accepted by the industry that a “thick film” layer is in the 0.0003-in. to 0.001-in. thickness range (i.e., 8 µm to 25 µm), as a minimum. The layer deposited on the substrate to form a predefined pattern with its configuration and formulation, contributes to providing unique electrical, mechanical or chemical functionality to the devices in which they are fabricated.

The thick film industry is quite diverse and its technologies are used in several fields. Many types of electronic, mechanical, chemical and energy supply devices currently are fabricated using thick film deposition processes. The industry has expanded considerably over the past decades with the growing need to improve and accentuate component properties and achieve higher reliability while minimizing size and increasing their space density.

This BCC study quantifies the various types of devices from a market standpoint and defines the most popular applications. It also provides an overview of the evolution of thick film technologies and processes, illustrating the latest developments that can help companies find opportunities for process and productivity improvements. It further identifies mature sectors and those that are indeed poised to grow. Considering the ongoing globalization of markets and the moving of many manufacturing facilities abroad, the report investigates the point of production of thick film devices and their distribution worldwide.


The report contains:

  • Coverage of the most important types of thick film devices within their applications, including electronic, mechanical, chemical, display and energy supply
  • Analysis of the worldwide market status of each device type, determines its current market status and provides forecasts through 2008
  • Discussions of technological and raw material cost issues
  • Descriptions of materials and processes used in device manufacture
  • An examination of commercial and public research activities in major regions of the world.


BCC, Inc.'s market analysis is essentially divided into four parts.

In the first part, a summary of the overall worldwide market is performed and revenues (sales data in M$) are presented for each main category of thick film devices with actual data referring to the years 2001, 2002 and estimated data for the year 2003. Forecasts for the period 2003 through 2008 are also supplied (in current US$).

In the second part, which is subdivided into several sections, the most common types of devices within each category are described together with their manufacturing process. Revenues by application for each device type are reported relative to the period 2001 through 2003 with forecasts until the year 2008. In addition, for each type of device, sales data are grouped by region (U.S., Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World) based on destination of sales.

In the third part, the worldwide thick film industry structure is reviewed: a list of the major players is supplied, together with a comparison of manufacturing and consumption of thick film devices by region. In this section the profiles of the top 25 players are also included.

In the fourth and final part, an analysis of industry competitiveness is performed, with a description of all the major organizations involved worldwide in the promotion and development of thick film devices and processes. The study is completed by a review of patents awarded during the past year.


To perform this study BCC, Inc. analyzed 430 companies, all manufacturers of thick film devices. Distributors of thick film devices were not included in this study. Data for each company were obtained primarily by thoroughly analyzing SEC filings, Internet Web sites, annual reports, industry directories, industry magazines, government sources, and other public sources. In some cases, data were obtained directly by the manufacturers. In general, manufacturers that were contacted by BCC, Inc. were reluctant to participate in direct surveys and share data due to the pressures of a very competitive market that does not favor release of sensitive information.

Additional sources of information include:

  • EDGAR - U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissions Filings
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Company Web Sites
  • Company Annual Reports
  • Thomas Registers
  • Moody's Directory
  • S & P Industry Survey
  • Dun & Bradstreet Directory
  • American Ceramic Society Annual Meeting Abstract
  • Electronic Engineering Times
  • EE Global Sources
  • Electronic Engineer's Master Online
  • Foreign Chamber of Commerce Directories
  • Foreign Stock Exchange Listings

BCC, Inc.

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