Circuit World

ISSN: 0305-6120

Article publication date: 8 February 2008


Ling, J.H. (2008), "Snapshots", Circuit World, Vol. 34 No. 1.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited



Dr Tresky AG from Switzerland had a fine array of equipment, robust, simple to operate, which had applications in the field of Die Attach; Photonics; Flip- Chip; Hybrid; SMT & MCM, COB. Die bonders and component placers, these excellent machines, manual and semi-automatic, are in use in all the major electronics companies around the world, and they have now added a Chip Remover Chipex 1, for the removal of adhesive attached semiconductor and SMD devices. The flip=-chip option allows for the simultaneous view of the substrate and chip bump patterns.

MBR Electronics, another Swiss company, was demonstrating a range of video inspection systems, with the facility to customise the lighting so that the image on the screen becomes enhanced as well as magnified.

Vhf camfacture AG is a Germany company, only small, but they manufacture the neatest cnc machining systems, used for model making, PCB prototyping, sign making, engraving, available in a wide range of sizes, complete with CAD & CAM software. A niche company, but an interesting one. Specialised, dedicated, invaluable.

Marty s.n.c. from Italy have equipment for the proportional mixing and dosing of two-component resins for a myriad applications, not just electronics, and they are one of so many companies at Productronica who fit into the supply chain in the most interesting fashion.

One of the buzz words this year was “photovoltaics” and the booming demand for solar energy systems is spurring photovoltaic production; the market stands at $6.5 billion now, growing to $16.4 billion by 2012. Innovative thin-film technologies are on the advance and at Productronica this year the MicroNanoWorld section in Hall B5 was dedicated to companies such as Gebr. Schmid, ASYS, Hilpert Electronics AG, Schlenk Metafolien amongst others all of whom have products employed in the manufacture of solar energy systems.

“Organic” electronics are regarded as one of the key technologies for twenty- first century, and those who receive information on a regular basis from IDTEchEX will know that the global market for printed electronics will grow from $1.18 to $48.18 billion in the next ten years. Which tends to put a perspective on RFID, organic displays, and to this end there was a special section devoted to the Organic Electronic Association, amongst whose members are companies of the ilk of LPKF Laser & Electronics AG, Robert Burkle, MSC-Polymer AG, Ormecon, who have gravitated from their more traditional spheres of activity.

EMS companies have no longer been purely order finishers serving OEMs for quite some time. They have evolved into full service providers with comprehensive services and have become indispensable partners of large electronics manufacturers. Annual growth in this field is approximately 11.5 per cent. In Hall A6 of the show there were a number of well-known names, Sanmina-SCI, Vogt, Schlafhorst Electronics, who compete energetically with the pressure from competitors in Asia.

What was good to see was the subsidised joint stand provided for young companies aiming their sights at the global market. This was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, who pay up to 80 per cent of the participation costs for each exhibitor. This allowed a great number of small, specialised companies to attend, who otherwise would have been unable to due to costs.

One might expect a similar initiative from HMG for the National Electronics Week (NEW) next June at Earl's Court, but breath-holding is not recommended.

Productronica continues to be a truly global exhibition in many respects. Sure, you will not see that many visitors from the Far East anymore, as they have their own shows and Globaltronics looks after them. Nor from the USA, who have the IPC. But innovation and inspiration still emanate from Europe, together with great entrepreneurial skills, and the combination makes for a totally worthwhile visit to Munich. It is still a show to inspire awe, to invoke humility in the face of the complexity and diversity of an industry that has but one pronoun – electronics.

J.H. LingAssociate Editor