From all backgrounds of the production line, developers, manufacturers, service providers, and distributors were able to show what this year has brought so far, as well as, illustrate their future plans. 12,000 visitors from around the world gained more knowledge and experience on the entire production of electronic assemblies, from the beginning stage to the end of the final product.
This included technology and processes, materials and components, manufacturing equipment, reliability and testing, software and systems, and more. The show also provided an opportunity to network and discuss projects and developments. As standards, such as IPC and CFX, are changing and improving, this show will continue to display the progression of trends and innovations that will come about to best conform to these new changes.
Based on these 3 days alone, the future of the industry is looking promising, as trends and innovative solutions were highly discussed and demonstrated throughout. Conversations and observations were exchanged, which included buzzwords such as, Augmented Reality, Industry 4.0, collaborative robots, 5G network, automation, and more. Among the activities that occurred were lectures, conferences, and panel discussions that covered a variety of topics. 203 attendees took advantage of training opportunities, as well as expert presentations, which included themes, such as reliability, test, analysis, innovations & trends, design, assembly, and rework. Trainings on PCBs failures were also available, demonstrating specific techniques and best materials to use.
Production line in real time
With better communication between machines and operators, and significant improvements with traceability, zero default factory is no longer a look into the future, it is definitely in the now. A highlight of this year’s show was the live production line, “Smart Motion: Intelligent automation for e-mobility and robotics”. It simulated actual conditions of production, where machines communicated and worked together, collecting data and enabling traceability. In real time, it displayed the efficiency of obtaining large amounts of information and using it in an optimal way for the best outcome. Taking part of this live demonstration were a collection of machine manufacturers, research institutes, suppliers, and software providers. This was an effective way to show how an ideal factory space should run, in order to be the most efficient. Tours were given throughout the 3-day show which gave attendees a chance to see how it works in live, as well as, talk to experts about the line and get all questions answered.
The IPC hand soldering competition also drew attention this year. Participants competed against each other, based on their manual soldering skills, as well as, the speed and precision of their soldering technique. A great opportunity that took place for the first time along with this advanced competition was a contest for beginners. Although they were tested on the same skills, it was adapted to the right level.
Show next to a show
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, as well as, simultaneously occurring along with the SMT Hybrid Packaging show was PCIM, which focused on the power electronics industry. This year, 88 companies and 506 exhibitors presented innovations and solutions, provided a knowledge platform, and networked with 11,602 visitors, which was a 7% increase compared to last year. Over 300 lectures, presentations, conferences, and forums also took place, giving 800 attendees the opportunity to get insight from not only companies from the industry, but also universities and research facilities. This included informative presentations on recent developments, such as electro-mobility, thermal management, sensors, energy storage, and various components and systems.
New name, same game
With all of these exciting and knowledgeable happenings, the greatest news of all is the name change that will start next year. Starting next year, SMT Hybrid Packaging will undergo a name change. SMTconnect will now be the highlight in Nuremberg from May 7–9, 2019. The show will expand its focus on solutions for electronic manufacturing, more specifically for electronic assemblies and systems. The organizers, Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, are also looking forward to bringing projects for development into target. „The solution-oriented event provides the community with optimal conditions to exchange knowledge and ideas as well as jointly master the current challenges in microelectronics,“ explains Anthula Parashoudi, Responsible Division Manager. The attention will be aimed towards “connections that are made to last”. It is all about finding real solutions for the microelectronics industry and moving forward as one.