Taking place last November at the Munich trade fair, more exhibitors and visitors came from all around the world for networking and learning opportunities. There was an astonishing 44,000 visitors from 85 countries, which was a 20 % increase compared to the previous event in 2015. Specifically, more visitors from Taiwan, U.S., France, and the Netherlands, attended than ever before. The market research Institute Gelszus survey stated that 97 % of visitors rated this trade show with a satisfaction rating of good to excellent. There were also 1200 exhibitors from 42 countries demonstrating products and cutting-edge technology. That means, 160 more exhibitors attended and demonstrated in this show.
Throughout all 7 halls, there was an exciting atmosphere with a positive morale. The main topics and discussions of all booth visits were about the thriving market, the booming industry, and how positive the future is looking. In a video interview with EPP, Falk Senger, Managing Director of Messe München, pointed out the popular central trends that were heard throughout the show. He mentioned miniaturization, digitalization, as well as, Smart Factory, IoT, big data, and Industry 4.0.
Smart Factory roundtable discussion
Along with an increase in attendance, there were a variety of different opportunities to be up-to-date with new products, technologies, and developments. This included the Industry 4.0-Smart Factory roundtable discussion, with 4 participants having interesting insights on the future of production and how to involve employees within an automated manufacturing line. The panel consisted of Stephan Baur (BMK Group), Dipl.-Ing. Petra Foith-Förster (Fraunhofer Institute IPA), Dr.-Ing. Friedrich W. Nolting (Aegis Software), Florian Ritter (Asys Group), with Markus Strehlitz (on behalf of EPP magazine) as the moderator.
Industry 4.0 has now been around long enough that not only has it attracted other trends, for instance, big data, digitization, internet of things, traceability, etc. clear benefits can now be seen and measured. Zero defect production can be reached due to being able to find mistakes sooner, and in many cases, before they actually happen. With machine to machine communication, as well as, having real time data available to operators, being able to react appropriately to any problems or changes is important. This does not only bring faster production time, but it also brings better quality and security of products. As popularity for this trend grew, however, requirements needed to be adjusted in order to reach the end goals set by manufacturers.
Employee involvement and how to connect automated production with all employees has been a challenge for most. Here the speakers agreed that solutions to this issue need to start from the early education of the employee, in order to prepare them for the future of what Industry 4.0 will bring. Collaboration with other companies and institutes is also what can help to build the future of the industry.
Artificial Intelligence is also an important topic for Industry 4.0., although the participants agreed that it is only the beginning. They also agreed that limitations will most likely have to be set for AI, in terms of how far it will be taken. For instance, it will most likely not take over the entire production line, but instead aid with smaller tasks and problems. There has been a lot of changes since Industry 4.0 has first been introduced, which can only mean that the future will definitely bring further developments and improvements for the electronic manufacturing industry.
Special events and more
Continuing its previous success, innovation awards were given to companies within 6 different clusters: PCB & EMS (Nano Dimension), SMT (Juki Automation Systems), Semiconductors (LPKF Laser & Electronics), Cables, Coils & Hybrids (Komax), Future Markets (Acculogic), and Inspection & Quality (Viscom). With approximately 60 submissions, these companies were chosen due to their reliable, sustainable, and innovative products. Along with this event, the hand soldering competition, special show “cleanroom” with live demonstrations, and “Hardware Data Mining” virtual learning course also occurred.
Semiconductor show alongside
Alongside the productronica show, Semicon Europa made its first debut and was directly successful. Focusing on the semiconductor production, this show connected key individuals together to discuss new market developments, as well as, to provide insights on trends in the automotive and mobile communication sectors. More specifically, a Material Conference was held that presented visitors with the latest innovations dealing with Internet of Things products and applications. This year, this show will take place at the same time as electronica 2018, from November 13th to the 16th, 2018.
As productronica and electronica alternate every year, the next productronica show will occur in Munich from November 12th to the 15th, 2019.