The JPCA Show opened June 5 at Tokyo Big Sight. The three-day show was sold out despite the slowdown for the global printed circuit industry. The show came at a good time and gave me the opportunity to network, collaborate, and collect market data for both business and technology trends.
The location of the exhibition moved from the East Hall to the West Hall due to construction for the Olympic Games in 2020; thus, organizers had less exhibition space this year. This was beneficial for companies affiliated with the printed circuit industry. Reduced sales translated into lower advertising budgets, so paying less to be represented at the show was welcomed. Large printed circuit companies—such as CMK, Meiko, and Mektron—reduced the size of their booths, and many companies canceled their contributions made to the exhibition. Many seminars and technical events were also canceled this year.
Despite the slowdown, many people attended the exhibition. I spoke with a few industry analysts who commented on the global printed circuit industry. To date, the industry has posted negative growth compared with the same time last year. The flexible circuit segment is performing worse compared with the rest of the industry. March and April shipments showed signs of improvement, but robust sales during the third and fourth quarters are required to post a positive growth number for the year.
Second-half sales forecasts from industry analysts were mixed. The printed circuit industry is tied to the electronics industry, and worldwide sales for mobile equipment continue to decline. The major circuit board manufacturers in Taiwan are receiving orders from new markets in the automotive industry and from medical device companies. Korean circuit manufacturers have not branched out to other industries; they are hoping for a recovery from the larger electronics companies, such as LG and Samsung. Japanese Circuit manufacturers are maintaining the status quo and will not consider branching into automotive or medical or healthcare industries until a proven track record is realized.
My next column will detail technology trends from the JPCA Show.
1. Tokyo University (Japan) 5/24
Developed an electrode material with self-restoration capability for secondary batteries, which effectively extends battery life.
2. JAE (Connector supplier in Japan) 6/3
Expanded the product lines of HDMI connector series “MX50” for the automobiles.
3. Connectech Japan (Engineering firm in Japan) 6/3
Has been establishing low-temperature flip chip packaging down to 80°C for IoT semiconductor devices.
4. HITO Hospital (Aichi Prefecture, Japan) 6/4
Started the operation of a new electronic management system, introducing a voice data input device.
5. P-ban.com (Network printed circuit dealer in Japan) 6/5
Rolled out high-density flexible circuits down to 30 microns L/S with high conductivity and low migration of silver conductors.
6. ISUZU and HINO (Automobile manufacturers in Japan) 6/6
Co-developed a new hybrid EV bus with 120 seats connecting two cars, which will make the transportation efficiencies 50% higher.
7. NDK (Wireless device manufacturer in Japan) 5/24
Unveiled a small heat-resistant OCXO (quartz crystal unit) device available at high temperatures up to 95°C (size: 9.9x7.3x4.1 mm).
8. Subaru and Toyota (Automobile manufacturers in Japan) 6/6
Agreed to cooperate to develop the basic platform of plug-in hybrid vehicles.
9. Keysight Technology (Software supplier in Japan) 6/7
Released new software for the evaluation of the network analyzers at mid-range frequencies of 25–53 GHz.
10. Rohm (Device supplier in Japan) 6/7
Received Wi-SUN JUTA certification for the wireless module of smart meter systems.
11. Oki Cable (Cable manufacturer in Japan) 6/7
Rolled out new stretchable flexible circuits with elastic substrates and copper foil for wearable applications (soldering is available).
Dominique K. Numakura is the managing director of DKN Research LLC. Contact email@example.com for further information and news.