Lars Wallin columns | August 19, 2004

IPC's new man in Europe

Lars Wallin has been recruited to represent the IPC in Europe. Phil Stoten, chief editor at EMSNow, asked him a few questions about his plans and views on the industry.
Can you tell us little about your background and how that is relevant to the IPC in Europe?
Was graduated from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm 1978 as a production engineer. My final exam task was an investigation at ABB for automation of the drilling printed circuit board operation with Excellon machines served by a robot.

My first job as a salesman for a dealer who was selling equipment and materials for the Scandinavian electronic market with brands like Excellon, Chemcut, Lauffer, Dyna Pert, Electrovert, Alfha Metals and Dit-Mco. After 8 years on the road I became president of another dealer for 3 years with new brands like Posalux, International Supply, Optrotech, Multi Line and Dynachem.

1989 I changed track and started as marketing and sales manager for a printed circuit board shop with the responsibility to sell bare boards to companies like Ericsson, Nokia, Siemens, ABB, Telia and Philips.

During the recession in the beginning of the 1990´s I activated my own company LOWEK and stared to work as an consultant and my first mission was with a small printed circuit board shop who want to expand into Europe so I was traveling in Germany, Denmark, Holland, Belgian and Switzerland trying to sell printed circuit boards over dealers which was rather successful. In the mid 90`s I change from printed circuit board companies to an electronics assembly company and was their part time salesman for 6 years as a consult.

This combination of education and a salesman on both the supplier and customer side has given me an understanding how the electronic industry works from the electronic design engineer over CAD to a complicated printed circuit board and to a ready electronics assembly including test, which is useful for everything that IPC is standing for and gives me the possibility to speak with nearly every one in the European electronic industry.

In the same period I started with teaching students at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm electronic production and wrote the literature. The courses were well received, and I rewrote them as one- or two day industry seminars. So far, I have educated more than 1000 people in Scandinavia.

Teaching is a main activity for IPC and my experience in that area can be useful when it is time to transfer the latest technology over IPC to the European industry.

The European PCB industry has had a very difficult few years, what can IPC do to help it during this tough time?
My impression talking, to the electronic industry both in North America and Europe, is that they believe that the difficult years are behind for this time, despite that many now are much smaller or have moved some or all their production to eastern Europe and China. To save and expand the electronic industry which is left IPC can assist with the following functions:

1. Improve the quality of PCB production with all standards and specifications which are and going to be written regarding quality in cooperation with the industry.

2. Lead free implementation.

3. Guide the industry in to the embedded passive and active area.

4. Create an opinion about what Europe needs regarding IPC and how this needs may be supported by IPC.

5. Environmental question like halogen free base material and other hazard chemicals.

Europe has a few associations of its own - how will you work with them?
Every association in this area has its strong and weak areas and my believe is that cooperation between two or more parties can give a strong position which can be very benefited to the electronic industry in Europe. I will go for that 2 + 2 can be five and look for possibilities and not difficulties.

What is your first priority for IPC?
Inform the industry in Europe about IPC and what IPC can do for them and what they can do for IPC.

Will you be recruiting more staff in Europe?
No, IPC have already many connections in Europe like distributors, trainers and certifying centers.

Do you plan to hold any events in the coming months?
I will directly be involved in the following activities:

A. Electronic exhibition in Oslo, Norway September 21-23, 2004, with:
a. Speech regarding lead free.
b. A stand to present IPC and their products.

B. EPC2004 in Cologne, Germany, October 5-7, 2004 with:
a. A stand to present IPC and their products.

C. EP05 Electronic exhibition in Stockholm February 1-3, 2005 with:
a. Speech regarding lead free
b. A stand to present IPC and their products.

D. Conducted tour from Europe to APEX/EXPO in Anaheim, Calif., February 22-24, 2005.

I will also directly be involved in the following activities:

F. Designers Learning Symposium in UK October 11-15.

G. IPC/JEDEC 7th International Conference on Lead Free in Frankfurt am Main, October 20-22.

H. IPC/FED International Conference on Embedded Passives in Munich, November 8-9.

The European industry has a chance to meet me at item A-D.

This interview was brought to You in association with:

EMSNowEMSNow - The global source for the electronic
manufacturing services industry

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