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PCB-Dec2015

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58 The PCB Magazine • December 2015 FeATure HKPCA AND IPC TAKE PCB INDUSTRY ExHIBITION TO A NEW LEVEL much more than anywhere else in the world." Despite the global economic challenges and slowdown, the HKPCA & IPC Show—based on the foot traffic and amount of technology inno- vations being showcased—seems to be oblivi- ous of it. "The numbers were up on the show, we have one extra hall this year compared to last year, and we got good traffic," says Philip Carmichael, president of IPC Asia. "I'd say the show is doing very well. And this industry is typically doing better than the general GDP." Carmichael notes that the show exceeded his expectations. "I was surprised that we got very good turnout in some of the panel discus- sions and technical topics. To have 60 or 70 people sit in and listen to a technical presenta- tion in the middle of the show is a good thing," he says. "It shows that we got good content. It's one thing to go around and look at equipment; it's another thing to hear about the trends in the industry. So I think people are getting a lot out of the show." Hamed El-Abd, executive director of WKK and president of WKK Distribution Ltd, says, "To be quite honest, I was expecting less than what we have here because of the state of the economy; and I was pleasantly surprised. It's not so much that people are here buying or wanting to buy, but they are looking and seri- ously considering different technologies." The last three days have been a very good show, according to El-Abd. "It's been well attended; I don't have any complaints about the attendance. There are a lot of good people here; we have presi- dents of corporations here looking at technology, looking at equipment. It certainly met my expec- tations. The show is physically bigger, and there's more exhibitor here than in the past," he says. Technology Showcase The show featured interesting PCB equip- ment technologies and innovations, including imaging equipment, drilling, and testing. "The exhibits were really great. I saw new machines coming out, and what I didn't see at the CPCA Show, I saw here," says Soichiro Fujita, section chief of the overseas operation department at MicroCraft. "There were a lot of exciting things to see here." Apart from the machines being showcased, what's more interesting is the amount of soft- ware that's being brought along with them. In terms of control and new applications, the soft- ware level at the show was very high in terms of sophistication. "We have some visitors who came from Ja- pan and South Korea, and they very impressed at the level of sophistication that they are see- ing in software applications," says IPC's Carmi- chael. "I think that's very positive." For his part, WKK's El-Abd highlights the amount of automation that can be seen in al- most all equipment being exhibited at the show. "What we've said all along for the past many years is that it's all about automation. And for sure, if you look around all of these equipment, there's a lot of automation—even on our own equipment. We now have customers saying to us, 'If the machine is not automated, I don't want it in my factory.' That message is loud and clear; and it verifies everything we have been talking about over the past few years." The Future "It's always our hope that the show will grow every year," says Carmichael. "So I hope that it's even bigger next year. One of the chal- lenges we have as we have more halls is how to get people to go to the back one. So we have to start thinking about it like some kind of a retailer, put something special on the back to drag visitors to the back. We are going to work on that. I think it's been a great show." The HKPCA and IPC Show will be back again next year, from December 7–9, at the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center. Be sure to visit our Real Time with...HKPCA & IPC Show site for video and photo coverage. PCB " To have 60 or 70 people sit in and listen to a technical presentation in the middle of the show is a good thing. "

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