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Leading PCB, EA Show Shores up Players in Robust Market

L iving up to reputation as a one-stop sourcing platform with the latest products, services and solutions from the whole supply chain in the printed circuit board (PCB) and electronics assembly (EA) industry, the 2018 International Printed Circuit & APEX South China Fair (2018 HKPCA & IPC Show) will be held once again at the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center in Shenzhen, China from Dec. 5 to 7. This year, HKPCA & IPC Show is set to host the largest show in its 16 years of existence with nearly 560 exhibitors and 3,100 booths from China and overseas. A new hall will be opened at Hall 6, occupying a total of 60,000sq.m of exhibition area covering Halls 1, 2, 4, and 6 of the show venue.

The show is jointly organized by the Hong Kong Printed Circuit Association (HKPCA) and IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC). In this interview with AEI, the organizers assert the show's role in supporting the whole PCB supply chain especially in the advent of disruptive electronics technologies.

Photo 1: Applications of FPCs expand (FPCs for on-board LED lamps from Nippon Mektron, Ltd.)
The exhibition floor at 2017 HKPCA & IPC Show reflects the vibrancy of market.

AEI: With this year's theme of "Inspire the Industry. Explore the Infinity" what does IPC aim to achieve for its exhibitors and attendees?

IPC: IPC, as the only global association serving the whole supply chain of electronics industry that plays a bridging role, helps more than 4,300 member companies strengthen their competitive advantage and maintain financial success by setting the industry standards, offering trainings and statistic reports for reference, and holding shows and conferences. In other words, IPC represents the industry to give innovative ideas and express opinions.

AEI: What interesting developments can we expect from the show this year compared to the highlights of last year's event?

Baobab Tree Event: As one of the world's most influential trading platforms for the PCB & EA industry, the HKPCA & IPC Show will continue its role in gathering wisdom and industry elites together. Every year, the Fair brings inspirations and new highlights with an aim to provide an excellent platform for industry players.

The Fair returns on a record-high show scale with nearly 560 exhibitors and 3,100 booths from China and overseas. A new hall at Hall 6 will be opened. The 2018 show floor will take a total of 60,000 square meters, covering Halls 1, 2, 4 & 6 of the show venue to showcase the latest innovations from the whole PCB & EA industry's supply chain.

The new hall at Hall 6 will house over 100 quality materials suppliers from China and overseas, who will showcase their new and innovative products in areas of PCB material/chemical, green technology and so forth. A wider range of product types helps visitors conveniently seek quality materials suppliers.

The 2018 IPC Hand Soldering & Rework, Repair Competition will enable visitors to observe the highest levels of hand soldering craftsmanship.

Riding on the positive feedback earned from the previous edition, the Hong Kong Pavilion will be expanded with over 100 square meters showcasing PCB, semiconductor products and advanced technology in four different product categories: Communication, Computers, Consumer Electronics and Automobile. The pavilion highlights Hong Kong's pivotal role in setting new standards and directions for the PCB industry.

AEI: Against the background of developments in manufacturing automation and integration (IoT & M2M), autonomous vehicles, and immersive applications (AR/VR), what do you think would clearly drive the growth of the PCB market?

HKPCA: In addition to the IoT and AR/VR technologies, 5G is also one of the upcoming market trends of the PCB industry. To cope with the fast development of high-speed and high-frequency application, the PCB materials and technologies used on 5G devices and stations have to be improved and transformed. With the rapid development of 5G, the need of high-speed and high-frequency signal transmission is increasing. Moreover, IoT requires PCB to become thinner, lighter, smaller and denser, which drives PCB manufacturers to upgrade and focus on technology development.

Apart from this, the rising demand of electric and unmanned vehicles is expediting the development of high voltage/current application and technology, high-reliability high-density interconnect (HDI) and high-frequency radar application.