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46 SMT Magazine • December 2015 Las Marias: can you give us a snapshot of your membership statistics? Maiser: In VDMA as a whole, we have more than 3,000 members. That's throughout the whole machinery industry in Germany—rang- ing from wood machines to mining machines to robots. We have 40 of these sector associa- tions within VDMA, and Productronics is just one of them. We have everything from the whole semiconductor front- and backend pro- cesses, packaging, and then going forward with the PCB side and the assembly side. It's really the whole process chain for electronics. We do that because the German machine makers in that sector have a multitude of ma- chines for this whole process chain. What also rises from this is the ability to really provide information on the technology developments happening in the semiconductor industry, which might be important for the SMT indus- try, and vice versa. As you know, these things merge. Previously, you had the chips and you had the PCB on the other side. You put the one on top of the other and that was it. Now, we have all these embedding of chips into the PCB or with the chips becoming smaller. We as VDMA Productronics have all the players along the process chain there, and it's a value for them to talk to each other. It's a little bit unusual for VDMA because usually in federation, we have the sector asso- ciations along one machine type, like robots for example. It doesn't matter if the robot is working on a car or if it's working on, let's say, a plastic or rubber manufacturer. Here we have something like a cross section through ma- chine types. We start with ingot manufactur- ing for silicon. This is basically heating, slicing the wafers, and then all the processes through soldering and everything you have in the pro- cess chain—all types of different machines. Of course, we have competitors there, but they don't cover all machinery types with a lot of different customer areas. That makes us a little different within VDMA, too. Las Marias: At VdmA productronic, do you have any events or conferences? do you have webinars or technical sessions for your members? Maiser: We have workshops on road mapping, on total cost of ownership, and on line inte- gration, for example. Then we have two yearly events. The workshops are really focused on very specific topics, and the yearly events pro- vide an overview for what's going on in the as- sociation and what's going on in the industry. Usually, we have one event at a member site or a customer site. It's boring if you go to Frankfurt and just see our offices. So we go outside and re- ally see what the customers or the members are doing. The second event in the year is usually with institutes, research organizations, so that we can learn what the academia is really doing and what the next possibility for electronics coming along is. Plus, of course, as a VDMA Productron- ics member, you have access to a whole lot of other VDMA workshops and events. There is so many more than I can tell you here, ranging from these exchanges of experiences for tax or for foreign trade or for legal stuff. We also have regional offices so you can even talk regional- ly—what's happening in Bavaria, for example, in terms of new regulations and all that. This is not Productronics specific, but a member of VDMA Productronics can access all this so you basically have a broad multitude of events that you can join and learn something from. Dr. Eric Maiser, managing director of productronics at vDMa Electronics. FeATure inTerview VDmA ProDUcTronIcS

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