IPC APEX EXPO 2023: Face-to-Face Not Mask-to-Mask


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It was a bright, sunny California day as IPC APEX EXPO officially opened its doors on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the San Diego Convention Center. The Technical Conference began on the same day, while the program of standards meetings and professional development courses had been in progress since Saturday, Jan. 21.

During the hustle and bustle of the show build-up over the weekend, it was clear to see that so many exhibitors had the confidence to bring so much major equipment and to invest in such spectacular booths to display it.

And probably most significant, this was going to be a true live event: Face-to-face instead of mask-to-mask as it had been last year.  

WIE_speaker_350.jpg“Advance in a new era” was the headline theme, and the opening keynote came from the acclaimed science communicator Emily Calandrelli, who delivered an inspirational presentation on the subject of the sustainability, economics and advocacy of space exploration, as well as examining ways of getting and keeping more women in STEM. 

Calandrelli also spoke to a group of more than 100 gathered for an evening Women in Electronics reception, where she highlighted her efforts to effect policy change, sometimes simply because she was experiencing discrimination herself.

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After her keynote address, a large crowd gathered to witness the ribbon-cutting ceremony before the doors were opened and a flood of enthusiastic visitors filled the aisles of the immaculately presented exhibit hall. Lots to see, lots of people to meet, lots to talk about and definitely lots of business to be done!

Representing North America’s largest gathering of electronics manufacturing professionals, IPC’s APEX EXPO 2023 promises to be a brilliant event.

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As part of the EMS Leadership Forum, IPC’s Chris Mitchell offered the following report on Monday’s gathering:

  • Monday’s EMS Leadership Forum at APEX EXPO boasted many first-time attendees and a compelling agenda that touched on the most pressing issues facing electronics assembly.
  • The day started with an advocacy update that signaled promising developments in Washington as the industry leverages increased interest in electronics manufacturing to persuade policymakers to support a rebuilding of the domestic industry.

IPC Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac gave his outlook for the year ahead:

  • There are headwinds and tailwinds impacting electronics manufacturers
  • Expect flat to modest growth in the U.S. and flat to down growth in Europe
  • The forecast in Asia is shrouded in uncertainty but looking better now with China’s decision to relax its Zero Covid policy

Another highlight of the EMS Leadership Summit was a supply chain panel featuring some of the industry’s leading voices, including Summit’s John Vaughn and SMTC’s Ed Smith. The panel highlighted a global supply chain that is seeing reduced lead times and costs but poses ongoing challenges to EMS companies.

After a show floor reception on Tuesday at the close of the business day, most exhibitors wrapped up their machines and the crowd headed home. But the show continues Wednesday, when IPC President and CEO John W. Mitchell will deliver a keynote address, and the lively two-day STEM event gets underway.

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