© Evertiq General | February 18, 2020
Into the future, San Diego style
IPC APEX EXPO, the North American electronics manufacturing industry’s biggest gig, has left the teenage years behind with this year’s 20th anniversary show held Feb 3-8 in San Diego.
IPC President and CEO John Mitchell kicked off the event with remarks on the main stage prior to space travel pioneer and keynote speaker Burt Rutan’s presentation on his professional and personal passions that clearly overlap. Following Mitchell’s reminder that the show is “the fastest growing association show in the industry,” a little fact-checking certainly validated the flex, as my teenagers say. According to Trade Show News Network (TSNN), IPC APEX EXPO topped its list in 2019 as the fastest growing U.S. trade show in terms of attendance. While cool, Mitchell’s statistic wasn’t as interesting as a few other of his “shares.” For example, he posed the query, “How do we drive progress in the industry?” His answer included a short list of drivers that he predicted would lead the progress, as well as gentle reminder of the industry’s need to collaboratively tackle the challenges the drivers will surely present. Among his short list: Industry 4.0 (with the “assembly line, IoT, and digitization” as the top priorities); AI (“making smarter decisions more quickly”); 3D printing and additive manufacturing; and new materials, such as graphene, which by now everyone knows is stronger than steel and more flexible. Another up-and-comer we may be hearing more about according to Mitchell: lights-out factories. Truly lights-out factories (a.k.a. “dark factories”) are a rarity, though Japanese robotics maker FANUC has achieved it, more or less: Robots are building robots at a rate of two dozen every 24 hours, for up to one month without supervision. A close second is The Netherlands-based Philips, where a team of 128 robots produce electric razors. Still, a dozen or so quality assurance humans check their work at the end of the line. Still on the topic of robots before swerving back into the APEX lane, but certainly aligning with one of Mitchell’s key drivers, Industry 4.0, Panasonic unveiled its new autonomous delivery system for the factory floor, featuring the Danish-made MiR100, which pulls inventory and delivers to the programmed destination, but not just to turn around and return to its base; this system hits the factory road with a digital map, making multiple stops along whatever route someone programs into it. What does something like this mean for electronics manufacturing? The potentials are pretty far-reaching: inventory control, cost and time reductions, and more. Evertiq will be watching for developments in this dynamic area of growth. Before concluding, Mitchell dropped the necessary and often heard battle-cry about the skilled workforce shortage facing the industry, remarking, “We need an aggressive workforce strategy.” The key word in that clipped sentence being “we.” One such solution is education, and the newly created IPC Education Foundation, which awards scholarships in support of career skills pathways to help prepare students for careers in the electronics manufacturing and assembly industry. So, as our workforce ages out and we glean the valuable information from their craniums before they go, and we create skills-based curriculum and provide educational opportunities to attract the next generation, what do we do about the workforce shortage we are experiencing today? According to the National Association of Manufacturers, 522,000 jobs were left on the table in September of 2019. And in a joint 2018 report issued by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, the U.S. may be faced with filling up to 2.4 million jobs in the manufacturing sector between 2018 and 2028. Even with its recent slowdown, U.S. manufacturing is still growing, and Mitchell’s shout out to the industry to put their noggins together to find solutions makes sense. One of Mitchell’s final pleas as he wrapped up concerned the importance of strengthening and improving the supply chain and IPC’s advocacy in that arena. Speaking of the supply chain, what are the weak links? One obvious answer is Coronavirus. Public health emergencies that darken factories, and not in a good way. Until next year, stay classy San Diego.
Heidenhain opens new expanded Western US HQ This includes the expansion of its executive, sales and technical support offices, as well as demo facilities in San Jose, California.
Delphi Technologies awarded new power electronics business Delphi Technologies is making new strides by securing new power electronics business wins in the second quarter of 2020 with three Chinese OEMs. The new business is scheduled to launch in the 2021-23 timeframe.
Mycronic combines US operations in new facility near Boston Mycronic US says that all of its operations have been integrated into a new 102,000 square-foot facility in Tewksbury, near Boston, Massachusetts.
Lynn Electronics acquires West Coast cable assembly company Pennsylvania-based Lynn Electronics, a manufacturer of fibre optic and copper cable assemblies, has completed its acquisition of Coast 2 Coast, LLC (C2C), an Anaheim, California cable assembly manufacturer.
Sponsored content by ASMASM Impact – Release Summer 2020: SMT technology leader presents new products in compact livestream ASM’s new releases for this summer are innovative, smart, and deliver great gains in productivity. ASM will present these new solutions, the premiere of the ASM Works software suite and many more innovations around the integrated smart factory in a compact livestream with expert chats and spin-off sessions.
Fictiv and Jabil team up for agile 3D printing collaboration The collaboration aims to accelerate and de-risks product development in the move from prototyping and low volume production to large scale global fulfilment.
TT expands with new industrial electronics manufacturing facility The UK-based electronics manufacturing specialist is expanding the footprint of its Global Manufacturing Solutions division by opening operations in Kuantan, Malaysia.
GE Appliances invests $62 million at its Louisville facility The manufacturer is gearing up to build high-end refrigerators and expand capacity at its manufacturing facility in Louisville, Kentucky., creating 260 new jobs.
Eaton buys new facility – merges busway operations from multiple sites Power management company Eaton has purchased a new facility in Hodges, South Carolina, establishing a new home for Eaton’s busway product line currently spanning three facilities across Greenwood County.
AIM adds new facility in Brazil AIM Solder has opened a new wholly-owned facility in Manaus, Brazil. This new stocking facility, which represents the only legitimate source of AIM products in Brazil, enables the company to support a growing Brazilian market.
PFOA now in REACh and POP regulation On 4 July, PFOA - perfluorooctanoic acid, its salts and precursor compounds - was included in the POP (Persistent Organic Pollutants) Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 and at the same time also came into force in the REACh Regulation (Annex XVII, entry 68).
Manz AG receives further Battery order Manz AG is expanding its successful partnership with an international battery manufacturers in the Energy Storage segment with a further major order in the mid double-digit million euro range.
Advantech and Interlatin to set up JV in Mexico Industrial IoT specialist, Advantech, says it is establishing a joint venture subsidiary in Mexico with its channel partner Interlatin.
Mercedes-Benz takes equity stake in Farasis Mercedes-Benz is taking another important step on its journey towards CO₂--neutral mobility. The Stuttgart-based car manufacturer has launched a strategic partnership with Chinese battery cell manufacturer Farasis Energy (Ganzhou) Co., Ltd., including taking an equity stake.
A new EMS provider sees the light of day EMS providers DataED and Bestronics merge to launch a new player – Emerald EMS.
Tektronix joins the fight agains COVID-19 Tektronix has shifted its focus from supporting vehicle manufacturing to assisting with ventilator production.
ABB completes divestment of Power Grids to Hitachi ABB has reached a significant milestone in the company’s transformation towards a decentralized global technology company, with the completion of the divestment of 80.1% of its Power Grids business to Hitachi.
Germany amps up domestic battery production with massive state subsidies The German government is investing more than EUR 1.5 billion in battery cell research and production.
Internal promotions and executive retirements at Kimball EMS provider, Kimball Electronics, has made two new internal promotions aimed at contributing to the company accelerating its strategic growth plans.
Kyocera & TMDU team up for research on vitals measurement headset Kyocera Corporation and Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) have teamed up on a joint research project to develop a wireless headset that can remotely monitor high accuracy patient biometrics, such as blood oxygen saturation (SpO2).
German battery manufacturer receives funding for cell production facility VARTA AG receives public funding of EUR 300 million for battery cell production facility.
Scanfil to streamline its factory network The EMS provider is planning to combine the production of its Hamburg factory with its other factories in Germany and Poland
Kitron awarded new order within measurement technology Kitron has been awarded new business for measurement technology. The award covers a period of five years, and the expected annual value is between EUR 3.5-5 million.
NORBIT ASA awarded aquaculture contract Norwegian technology manufacturer, NORBIT, has been awarded a new contract from an existing customer within the aquaculture market.
Saki strengthens its Asian operations The AOI specialist is expanding its global sales organisation with new Asia sales department, and appointing Katsuhiro Eddie Ichiyama as Senior General Manager for the Asian regionLoad more news
- X-FAB hit by cyber attack
- U.S.: Cancellation of Preferential Treatment for Hong Kong to impact chip industry
- Apple to start mass producing Mac SoC, projected to cost under US$100
- Arm to strengthen focus on core semiconductor IP business growth
- Fictiv and Jabil team up for agile 3D printing collaboration