electronica 2016 Impressions

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Germany’s third-largest city, and capital of the southeastern state of Bavaria, Munich was once more host to electronica, which can justifiably claim to be the world’s leading trade fair for electronic components, systems and applications. With more than 2,500 exhibitors filling 13 halls of the Messe München exhibition centre, and attracting more than 70,000 visitors, more than half of whom from over 80 countries world-wide, this year’s event was almost overwhelming in size and content. Definitely the place to be to meet the whole electronics industry value chain from designer to OEM, to see the components, systems and applications that will enable next-generation developments, and to form trading relationships and partnerships. 

Cold and damp outside with an occasional sprinkling of snow, breathtakingly hot in the halls and with many miles to walk (I am reliably informed that we clocked over 30 during the four days of the show, wearing our least uncomfortable shoes), our focus as the I-Connect007 team was to talk with designers and software vendors, PCB fabricators and material suppliers, EMS companies, technology innovators, trade association representatives and anyone interesting we happened to meet on the way. For all the miles we walked, we saw but a fraction of what was on display. To our relief, the universal international language was English and we could communicate constructively with everyone we visited.  

electronica2016-6.jpgThe electronica 2016 show was an extremely busy show all round, and one which indicated conclusively that Europe has a leading role in the design of innovative new products, particularly in automotive, medical and industrial electronics. As manufacture scales up, the trend is for these products, having originated in Europe, to migrate to Asia for larger series production. There was a preponderance of PCB manufacturers and EMS providers in Hall B4—some large German companies, some smaller specialists from elsewhere in Europe, and many major Asian suppliers. 

It was interesting to hear the opinions of Michael Weinhold, technical director of EIPC, the European electronics association: “You will see European PCB fabricators here with their products, and companies from Asia making the same products. In many cases, they are not in competition because most of the professional and profitable European PCB fabricators have partners in Asia. This is not a competition anymore; this is a partnership.” 

Slide Show from this event Part 1:


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