Mixed Reviews at IMAPS Trade Show PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsey Drysdale   
Friday, 14 October 2011 17:39

LONG BEACH, CA – The mood at the Long Beach Convention Center Oct. 13 was generally ho-hum, with enthusiasm for the IMAPS 2011 trade show limited, but not absent.

PRINTED CIRCUIT DESIGN & FAB/CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY senior editor Chelsey Drysdale checked in with exhibitors on the last day of a show that started busy and waned throughout the week. The hall was devoid of attendees on the final morning. Exhibitors shared their thoughts on the show and their firms’ happenings:

Endicott Interconnect Technologies’ Roy Albano, field sales executive, said this was a good show for them, with quality leads. He said that although large aerospace companies are still laying off workers in certain segments, aerospace and defense, as well as the medical market, are still doing well for EI. (Disclosure: The president of IMAPS is EI CTO Voya Markovich.)

Crane Aerospace & Electronics “had a busy first day” at the show, with the second day “slower,” and the third day “virtually dead,” said Jason Dobbs, business manager. Crane wasn’t alone: DuPont also mentioned “very light traffic,” and a desire to speak to more designers on the floor.

Nusil Silicone Technology presented one of the technical sessions and was extremely happy with the turnout and how well its conductive silicones presentation fit into the track with other speakers, according to Vincent Malavé, technical sales.

Indium said it was a small show this year, and added that it has noticed a “steady decline in the exhibit hall every year.” However, Indium received a number of thermal interface questions at the show, and said that IMAPS’ technical sessions were excellent.

Several vendors recalled better attendance in years past. Some two decades ago, the precursor to IMAPS drew a reported 8,000 to 10,000 attendees. Today, like many shows, attendance is a fraction of that. One report held that this year’s version had about 1,200 attendees, basically flat with the last two years.

Bradley Benton, regional account manager for Palomar Technologies, pointed out that the electronics industry in general needs young people, with so many workers nearing retirement. He is concerned that universities aren’t doing enough to keep youth in the industry. Julie Adams, worldwide sales director at Palomar, said that in the past year, Palomar’s contract manufacturing business has taken off, with many new opportunities in processing and prototyping.

Rich Brooks and Debbie Carboni of Kyzen Corporation were upbeat, saying the show had gone “better than expected.” They said they had twice as many leads as they anticipated. President Lynn Roose of Microscreen agreed, saying the show was “absolutely wonderful.” Her team was eagerly showcasing a squeegee they developed for dual-level stencils.

After a “phenomenal” PCB West, Rogers Corp. declared this show “much slower.” The firms’ representatives were talking to people here about Heatwave metal matrix composites, Coolspan thermal interface materials, and Curamik, a company Rogers acquired in January.

Nordson Dage was happy to be in Southern California, as it is a “good market” for the firm, which spent time discussing automation (specifically, a step and repeat function for the military) and demonstrating its 4000 Plus Multipurpose Bondtester.

Stellar Microelectronics, with a 140,000 sq. ft. facility with 250 employees in Valencia, CA, was one of the local electronics manufacturing firms in attendance. Other EMS companies included Plexus, represented by Steve Greathouse and Ali Hendries. Greathouse and Hendries mentioned the construction of Plexus’ fourth Malaysian plant currently taking place. Having facilities in Malaysia is convenient for customers, they said, as many like a presence in the “Far East, but not China.”

Other exhibitors included Ansys, which acquired Apache two months ago, Lord Corp., Finetech, MacDermid, Henkel, Nordson EFD, Nordson YESTech, Sonoscan, Technic, and Dyconex.



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