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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: JPCA Show 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 | Dominique K. Numakura - DKN Research

The largest electronics show for the PCB industry and related products will be held for three days at Tokyo Big Sight in Japan beginning June 3, 2009. Japan Electronics Packaging and Circuit Association organized the event and will sponsor the 39th International Electronic Circuits Exhibition; Japan Institute of Electronics Packaging will sponsor the 23rd Advanced Electronics Packaging Exhibition (2009 Microelectronics Show); and the 11th Jisso Process Technology Exhibition (Jisso Protect 2009) is sponsored by Japan Robot Association.

Worldwide, the printed circuit industry finds itself in an historic recession that really reared its ugly head during fourth quarter of last year. Small recovery signs and increased business activity are evident in Taiwan and Korea; however, the printed circuit industry remains stagnant, and several market analysts expect no significant rebound during this year. Management teams in charge of forecasting sales are not very optimistic with drumming up any additional business from industry trade shows, causing decision makers to limit their shrinking budgets for exhibition costs.

However, JPCA decided to reserve the same amount of floor space as last year for the exhibitions and to provide many interesting events for both visitors and exhibitors. I polled many of my business associates from around the world on a recent conference call asking if they will be in attendance. Most will visit the show, or if they have previous engagements, will send junior engineers to learn the latest technologies and view new products. One good thing with the slow time--many have plenty of time on their hands and will attend even though most did not reserve booths. They will use the opportunity to promote business and schmooze with potential customers.

Knowledge is power in any industry. It is definitely beneficial for company representatives to visit the exhibition even if no sales can be made. You must venture out of your own back yard to gain a global perspective and to pick up any new printed circuit board technologies that may be brewing in other countries. This is especially true for Korean and Taiwanese companies. Much of the printed circuit business in Japan has shifted to other Asian countries over the last decade or two; however, Japanese companies remain the technical leaders in the industry. Technology advances from Korean and Taiwanese circuit board manufacturers continue to move forward, but they still need to visit the JPCA Show to keep up with the latest technologies from the manufacturing, equipment and materials segments.

JIEP organized a symposium with several specialists who will deliver presentations on leading electronic packaging technologies. More than thirty industry experts will provide articles in ten specific sessions. The major topics are: Printable Electronics, Nano Technologies, MEMS, Wireless and Optical Interconnections, Car Electronics, 3-D Packaging and Embedded Component Boards. One problem for foreign audiences is all the speeches are delivered in Japanese. Japanese engineers are not too user-friendly toward foreign companies.

The swine flu, renamed 2009 H1N1 virus, is one concern for show organizers. More than 200 new cases were reported in Kobe and Osaka, effecting mostly high school students. The secretariat for the JPCA Show has taken several countermeasures that include the installation of infrared thermometers at all entrances to the show that should detect higher than normal body temperatures in a potentially contaminated visitor. Ambulances will be ready to transfer those infected to quarantined section in Tokyo hospitals.

I am looking forward to a special event at the JPCA Show during the first evening. A welcome/reception party is planned complete with music, open bar and appetizers (FYI: Japanese culture dictates no tipping for all kinds of services). The location is in the hotel near the same area as the convention center, and can be accessed by monorail train "Yurikamome." All foreign visitors are welcome--even if they are not registered attendees. The party is expected to attract company executives and industry experts; this could be a great opportunity to rub elbows with the key players in the industry. All speeches will be translated between Japanese and English. Maybe the food and booze will loosen everyone up to start spending money!    

You can get the detailed information for the JPCA Show 2009 by clicking here. Unfortunately, the Web site is not very friendly for non-Japanese speakers. Please contact my cell phone in Japan at 81-(0)90-8258-2896 if I can be assistance or offer any information about the show.

Dominique K. Numakura
DKN Research, www.dknresearch.com



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