Meredith Courtemanche, managing editor
(September 29, 2008) SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — IPC Midwest closed its second annual show last week with higher attendance and an added live assembly line — A-Line — which IPC plans to run again next year.
On the whole, exhibitors expressed a positive vibe and good contacts at IPC Midwest. Not everyone was pleased with the attendee mix or volume, however. Jack Paster of RMD Instruments found that it lacked energy and excitement that he generally finds at IPC shows. Attendees came mainly from the six surrounding U.S. states, noted Michael Cotton, marketing communications manager at Omron Electronics LLC. Other exhibitors gauged the attendance as being extremely local just the Illinois/Chicago area, while still others saw many national exhibitors. This is a good show, in that about 90% of our quality booth interactions were with new people, asserted John Perrotta, VP at Europlacer North America. Europlacer sold the inneo II placement system that they brought to the show. These systems were independently verified by CeTaQ at 5 sigma placing 01005s.
CyberOptics also discussed the U.S. customer base with us. For them, customer evaluations in the U.S. are a strong point, because the typical U.S. manufacturer has a set of parameters that they need met. Competitive low bidding is less important than machine performance for domestic testing facilities and EMS providers, explained Steve DiMarco, VP and GM, inspection systems business, CyberOptics, in a comparison of the U.S. and Asian AOI markets. CyberOptics showed an AOI system, as well as a solder paste inspection (SPI) machine, which caters to the more sophisticated, zero-defect, and high-reliability products often manufactured in the U.S.
Mike Fornelli, regional sales manager Assembléon, saw good attendance and good interest from a more local audience, summing up the show. Assembléon's pick-and-place systems received attention from some companies making the switch from thru-hole insertion to surface mount component placement, driven either by parts obsolescence or improved product capabilities. Some new-to-assembly OEMs also are attending the show, looking to start manufacturing their own products, Fornelli noted.
A final note on IPC comes from Bob Black, president, Juki. IPC presented Black with a commemoration of 20,000 Juki placement systems sold globally. Denny McGuirk, IPC president and Mary Mac Kinnon, who helped develop the IPC Midwest show, brought Juki the award on the show floor. "I'm honored to receive an award from IPC," Black said, adding that "it means even more coming from an association that does such good work."
For more on the show, visit http://www.ipcmidwestshow.org/html/main/default.htm. The show will again take place September 20–24, 2009, in Schaumburg.