“Changes Ahead”

Circuit World

ISSN: 0305-6120

Article publication date: 1 December 2002




Coultard, F. (2002), "“Changes Ahead”", Circuit World, Vol. 28 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/cw.2002.21728daf.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

“Changes Ahead”

“Changes Ahead”

Keywords: PCIF, FEI, ICT

There is change all about us and the old cliche of "If you do not learn how to manage change then it will manage you" applies particularly now. We will eventually see what type of industry we will be obliged to focus on in the UK, as the effects of the huge downturn, the impact of September 11th and the continuing shake-out, unfold. It is beginning to look like a concentration on Design and Niche Manufacturing as any large scale production moves off-shore to far-flung places.

Just as companies have been rationalising and merging, the Federations have been doing the same out of common-sense and also necessity. So we have had the highly successful merging of the PCIF with the FEI in January 2001 and then later in the year the merging of BREMA with FEI. The FEI has been very careful and insistent that both of the new partners retain their identity, positively encouraging them to do so. In addition the FEI for many months have been working closely with the CSSA (Computer Software and Services Association). This has been made easier by the fact that the CSSA are situated in premises in Red Lion Street about 1/2 mile from Russell Square. The two organisations have much synergy and the consequence is that a full merger will take place later in 2002 with the Launch Date being May 16th 2002. The CSSA have about 750 members with most being SME's and about 45 staff. We will eventually all move into the same premises.

The PCIF's Environmental Working Group, chaired by Dr. Martin Goosey, as we have come to expect, has an extremely active programme with no fewer than five funding bids applied for, three of which have been successful with realistic expectations for the remainder; significant amounts of money are involved for the good of the industry. See the Environmental reports in "Circuit Review" and our web-site for more details. This is a prime example of those who contribute most, gaining the most from Federation membership. Thanks to all of them.

In the meantime you will have noticed the full programme that the PCIF has been running and future activities are posted on our web-site. In January and April the Fabricators had their quarterly Forums with very significant turn-outs in both. Much candid discussion about the state of the industry transpired about this and the way forward. ACeM had a quarterly Forum in April with the Suppliers versions in December and June. This is all leading to a Senior Executive Forum on July 2nd. These meetings have been held in the FEI offices in London where there are good meeting facilities available free!

The ICT has been very active with Council Meetings on January 21st and April 22nd, a Seminar on "Horizontal and Vertical Processing" at Shipley, Coventry on February 7th (to be repeated at Arundel on May 14th) and just recently another very successful Annual Symposium with 40 delegates on May 1st entitled "Niche Manufacturing". There were eight papers at the latter and the comprehensive report on the day, kindly and professionally provided, as is usual by Pete Starkey, is posted on our web-site and also in this publication. The Dave Kennedy Award was presented by Val Kennedy to Gary Morse of APW with the runner -up Peter Barnes of Graphic, both great contributors on environmental matters for the good of the industry. Tom Hogan was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the ICT for life, by Chris Wall, Vice Chairman of the ICT, a well deserved accolade for Tom, who has given much to the industry over many years. Tom was very well supported on the day by a large and enthusiastic team of senior colleagues from his company, Lyncolec, which was a nice touch.

The ICT is running further evening seminars in June, September and November on "Microwave Technology", "Embedded Components" and "Flexible Technology". See the PCIF web-site for further information

The ADE chose to change its name to EDRG (Electronic Design Realisation Group) so as to more accurately embrace the complexity of their work both now and in the future. The launch of the new EDR Centre which is the hub of the PCB Design academic programme was on January 29th at Tweed Horizons in the Borders of Scotland. 24 Modules for these courses at 5 Colleges around the country are in preparation under the guidance of the energeic and highly competent Willy Campbell, who is the EDRC project leader. EDRG had three chapter meetings in Scotland, Bristol and Warrington end of April, beginning of May to provide more information about the programme and to recruit students for the courses.

The PCIF in conjuction with the FEI ran a very popular Business Briefing day on "Optoelectronics and Embedded Components" on March 20th which was chaired by Pete Starkey. There were eight papers and over 70 delegates for this event. You will remember we had a similarly popular Business Briefing Day on "Lead Free" in November 2001. More are planned on other subjects because the excellent contacts to be had within the FEI membership assist in providing additional high quality speakers on a wide range of subjects.

The industry is in a state of nervousness with confidence levels about the future very varied but there is some optimism about depending on which market sector is being exploited. The PCIF one- day Conference is in an advanced state of planning and will be held at the Cheltenham Park Hotel again, by popular request, on October 16th. This will be an ideal time for networking and to get an informed view of the market.

Frank CoultardPCIF/FEI

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