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10 PCB007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 Working with PCB technology and standard- ization as I do, it is always interesting to see the new trends and where the PCB industry is moving. Changes tend to happen at a slow pace; still, I visited productronica this year for dedicated meetings and expected to learn about new processes and production equip- ment. What hit me was the different manu- facturing focus between Asia and Europe. 5G applications and smartphones—both making New Trends in the PCB Industry at productronica 2019 an impact in the news as a high focus in Asia, where most of the production is placed—were hardly mentioned at productronica 2019. How- ever, I picked up on other new trends in the PCB industry. A Crystal-clear Focus for Europe Its crystal clear that the European manufac- turers have another focus, including the tech- nologies they do best, where high reliability is in focus, with complex build- up, advanced rigid-flex boards, or printed circuits where there are specific demands for the material. The focus is more toward what the customer requests within technol- ogy and demands and less on new processes and equipment for ex- tremely fine-line applications, like 5G applications and smartphones, which are already established in Asia. However, it's no secret there have been struggles for European PCB manufacturers lately. I recent- ly learned that seven German fac- tories had shut down this summer. Still, it seems the course is set in the right direction, at least that's my impression after visiting pro- ductronica 2019 and talking to sev- eral industry colleagues. Walking through hall B3 for PCB and EMS production equipment, talking to people, and looking for new trends and changes, I realized almost no stands had groundbreak- The PCB Norsemen Feature Column by Jan Pedersen, ELMATICA

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