Professional Development and Industry Progress at SMTA International Electronics Exhibition 2010
reported by: Derek LaBorie
The emerging theme from the recent SMTA International Electronics Exhibition 2010 in Orlando, Florida, USA can be easily stated with one word: progress. The industry is progressing and changing as the economy is changing. However, one thing remains constant: SMTAI is considered the premier SMTA technical conference event and exhibition for the Surface Mount Technology industry.
The event, held October 24 to October 28 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, brought many people together to experience a myriad of opportunities for learning and business development.
Over 120 exhibitors gathered to take advantage of educational sessions, technical presentations, committee meetings and business development activities on and off the show floor.
According to Ryan Flaherty, SMTA Director of Communications and IT, the overall registration was up 20% from last year. Exhibits attendance was very good, the best in the past couple years, roughly more than doubling numbers from last year, and the consistently busy show floor made exhibitors very happy. The technical conference was well-attended, consistent with past years, still the industry's strongest technical conference.
While we were using the presenter's lounge, an interesting conversation about technical management was overheard. Though easedropping is generally frowned upon, the nature and subject of the conversation is worth passing on.
The gist was that availability of lower level technicians and upper level management was in good shape, but the middle level is or will face something of a problem. These ranks are generally filled, I gathered from the conversation, by recent graduates of universities and technical collages. I see this as something of a surprise as there were some 15 universities from around the world presenting in the technical sessions. We think the SMTA could be instrumental in creating a path from undergraduate metriculation to joining the industry. Linking industry to the student body through mentorships, internships and job placement would serve all parties well. Though the SMTA has a mentorship connection, we think they could build a better 'mouse trap'. Something to contemplate.
And lastly, we gave a presentation on the Internet, its technology and how this technology affects companies trying to market themselves in the electronics manufacturing industry. Information science and information systems operation has been around for a long time yet has not reached beyond the network, hardware-software silo to integration in c-suite management. We mentioned this only in passing, to create awareness that there is such a thing, and, what is taking place around us now should not come as a great surprise (we brought this to the attention of SMT magazine 15 years ago, QED!).
The focus of our presentation was marketing in the new web centric era and how our industry has a long way to go in executing the basics of search marketing. Major members of our community, with elaborate websites, are not visible in the search results of the major search engines. B2B purchasing uses search in virtually in 100% of purchasing decisions (think about how you buy home shop tools) and most companies in our industry are invisible.There are simple things that can be done to turn this to your advantage "for the price of a daily cup of coffee"
Attendees and exhibitors can expect the same focused event with the strongest technical conference for which SMTAI has come to be known. The SMTA Board of Directors selected Fort Worth because of the central location between the coasts for easy access.
"The SMTAI conference and the exhibition functional well together to make this a valuable trip for Kyzen. We made two presentations, "Issues & Concerns in Cleaning Under Low Profile Components" by Rich Brooks and Mike Bixenman and "Validation of a New R.O.S.E. cleanliness test method" presented by Mike Bixeman.
Kyzen also won a Global Technology Award for Aquanox A4703 Neutral pH Cleaning Chemistry. This is the 4th award for this product and it is the first to achieve effective, economic and eco-friendly neutral cleaning products.
In keeping with Juki's lowest cost of ownership, Bob Black was pleased that Juki's products won two Global Technology Awards. Juki's JX-100LED Placement System won the award for Low to Medium Volume and the FX2 High Speed Modular Mounter won the High Volume Pick and Place Equipment Award.
In speaking with Bob, he emphasized how Juki as a company is really about 'service' and 'lowest cost of ownership'. He explained that all Juki service is performed by Juki trained technicians who go through a 3 month training program and testing before they ever see a customer.
Brian D'Amico, president of Mirtec said of the show, "The SMTA did it right! Their great conferences attract the best in the industry and even with a full conference schedule, most had the time and interest to give us a great reception on the show floor. Someone was so impressed they took our Global Technology award winning AOI Inspection MV-7xi home with them. With this great audience, we look forward to continued support for this important industry event."
The 2010 Global Technology Awards -Global SMT & Packaging Magazine
Since 2005, the GLOBAL Technology Awards have been bringing together the global SMT and advanced packaging industry in a celebration of the companies and people that are achieving the highest standards and driving our industry forward.
Trevor Galbraith, Publisher of Global SMT & Packaging Magazine told us the awards are designed to promote best practice in key areas including manufacturing quality, customer service, sales growth, innovation and employee motivation.