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44 SMT Magazine • December 2015 FeATure inTerview by Stephen Las marias i-ConnECT007 Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anla- genbau/German Engneering Federation (VDMA) is one of the key association service providers in Europe, and offers the largest engineering in- dustry network in the region. Founded in 1892, it represents today more than 3,100 companies in the engineering industry, many of which are small- and medium-sized enterprises. VDMA Electronics, Micro and Nano Tech- nologies is one of the 40 Sector Associations within VDMA. Its sector group Productronics, which covers the whole semiconductor front- and backend processes, packaging, all the way to PCB manufacturing and assembly, has about 70 member companies. I recently spoke with Dr. Eric Maiser, managing director of Produc- tronics, about the group, its activities, member services, and the electronics manufacturing in- dustry. Stephen Las Marias: dr. maiser, let's start by de- scribing VdmA productronic's basic mission and what your organization is all about. Dr. Eric Maiser: The basic mission of the asso- ciation is of course to help the members. How do we do that? Basically through three pillars, if you will. Of course, industry associations are lobby groups, so we have discussions with the industry, find out their needs, and communi- cate that to politics and the public. This is what you expect from an association, and we do that. That's also related to research, politics, and those kinds of things. Where the other pillars come in, which is what the members pay us for, is with the services and networking capabilities we provide. We bring together machine makers along the whole process chain and that's a value to them. Understand that the German machine makers are usually small- to medium-sized en- terprises. It's not companies such as Siemens and Bosche overall. They usually don't have big legal, foreign trade, or tax departments. This is a layer we provide. For VDMA Productronics, the specialty istechnology oriented. Our mission is to help them with finding the next trend in electronics manufacturing—so road mapping— and how to provide machines with the latest technology but at a reasonable cost. Things known in the semiconductor indus- try, for example, are not very well known in the SMT sector. So we also do something like knowledge transfer. It's also bringing the ma- chine makers together with their customers. We hold matchmaking events and those kinds of things. Our mission includes the services, net- working, and of course, lobbying. VDMA PRODuctROnics: Pushing Forward the German Electronics Manufacturing industry

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