PCB Industry a No-Show at Nepcon Japan PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dominique K. Numakura   
Monday, 27 January 2014 09:26

Nepcon Japan is Asia’s largest electronics packaging trade show. The three-day trade show was held Jan. 14-16 at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center. Lighting Japan 2014 and Automotive World 2014 are two other trade shows held concurrently with Nepcon Japan.

More than 1,800 companies and organizations squeezed into the venue, and all aisles were packed with visitors from open to close for all three days. Navigating through the show proved to be challenging; the unofficial visitor totals reached upwards of 60,000!

The show has evolved throughout the years. Previously, anything having to do with electronic packaging or even related to electronic packaging could be found in virtually all trade booths. It was the main product or service on display and the center of conversation. Most of the companies that reserved these booths made their money from materials, printed circuit boards and manufacturing equipment, assembling machines, soldering relating materials and machines and EMS.

Most of these companies no longer participate in the show; with the exception of suppliers for component mounting (they had magnificent trade booths). This is a direct reflection of the industry trend for the electronics industry and the circuit board industry in Japan. The predominant industries that were represented at the show hail from the lighting devices segment (mostly LED products), car electronics and Electric Vehicles (EV). The companies that featured products from the aforementioned industries reserved relatively large booths, and occupied more than half the floor space. These segments are now trending to become the main sources of revenue for the Japanese electronics industry.

Most of the applications were germane to LED arrays for area lighting, car interior devices, safety systems and navigation systems.  Almost the same as last year – nothing really new popped out. It seems like the electronics industry comes out with some new, breakthrough products and ideas, and just improve on them for the next five years or so.

Most of the major circuit board manufacturers and relating material and machine suppliers were no-shows at Nepcon Japan. Surprisingly, flex circuit manufacturers definitely had their presence felt. I recognized more than a dozen flex circuit manufacturers in the show. Most of them had small, conservatively sized booths, but they displayed very unique products such as copper-free circuits and elastic flexible circuits.

Another surface change at the show was an increase in the number of small booths. I counted several hundred smaller-sized booths that replaced the footprints left behind from larger companies that required larger and more elaborate booths. Most of these booths were occupied by small local companies that were organized through the business community of a few cities and prefectures. They were subcontractors for specific technologies such as cutting, grinding, surface treatment, plating, molding, forming, laser process, etching, printing, lithography and more. Their technologies are not very new, but they optimized performances over the years, and their technologies became unique. The exhibition provides a great opportunity for them to showcase their processing technologies, and they may be thrown some business when a larger manufacturer needs to outsource some of its own manufacturing.

And that’s what this show boils down to – be seen, showcase your hard work, and build on a network. Only good things can come from being seen, showcasing your hard work, and building a business network!

Dominique K. Numakura, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
DKN Research, www.dknresearchllc.com

DKN Research Newsletter #1402, January 26, 2014

*To see the back issues of the newsletter, please visit http://www.dknresearchllc.com/DKNRArchive/Newsletter/Newsletter.html

Headlines of the week (Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for further information.)
1. Tanaka Denshi Kogyo rolled out a heat-resistant aluminum alloy bonding wire “TALF,” said to have a higher reliability and equivalent conductor resistance.
2. JEITA released the second edition of the Guideline of Reliability Certification for the semiconductor ICs applied to automobiles.
3. Rohm launched the “Kyoto Fuel Cell Alliance” for solid hydrogen fuel cell with 16 companies. Several prefectures support the alliance.
4. Toppan Printing will build a manufacturing line for thin FC-BGA substrates in its Niigata Plant. The operation will start by the end of the year.
5. Sharp unveiled a 70V/60V touch panel displays “Big Pad” with smooth touch. Four people can input same time.
6. Market research firm Yano Research estimates the global market size of automobile network devices 219.2 billion yens in 2013. It will grow to 464.8 billion yen in 2020.
7. SEAJ said the December book-to-bill ratio of FPD manufacturing equipment was 0.42. Shipment increased 131.2%, but orders decreased 19.7% from the same month of the previous year.
8. ASE expects 10 ~ 15% revenue decline in the 1st quarter from previous quarter because of the wastewater trouble. The orders have been shifting to SPIL and others.
9. LG Electronics rolled out a new smart phone “G Flex” with 6” curved OLED panel for Japanese market.
10.  Stratasys will open a demonstration laboratory “PRODUCTION LAB” in Fukuoka, Japan for its 3D printers cooperating with a local stationary store. 



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