Ask the Experts
April 19, 2010 - Updated
April 19, 2010 - Originally Posted

APEX Trade Show Feedback

I was all set to go to the APEX trade show in Las Vegas, but an issue came up and unfortunately I missed attending this year. What is the overall feel of the market? What did I miss?

R. M.

Expert Panel Responses

From our perspective the show was a good one, while we were not prepared to sing,"Happy days are here again", the show did confirm our feeling that orders and rfp's were starting to flow. However the competition for these orders appears to be fierce and price pressure is playing a big roll in keeping staffs lean and new hires on hold for now.

Steve DeCollibus
Managing Editor
Throughout his career Mr. DeCollibus has successfully implemented global marketing communications and brand development initiatives for some of the electronics industry's top companies. He is currently managing editor of Circuitnet and Semiconductor Packaging News. NOTE: Mr. DeCollibus is no longer working at Circuitnet.

Cautious optimism is the general feeling I got.

Jim Williams
Polyonics, Inc.
Jim Willimas is a PhD Chemist in Polymers and Materials Science. He specialize in printing, cleaning, inks, and coatings used in electronics manufacturng operations. Williams has more than 30 years experience.

Personally I spent all of my time on the booth because we had so many technical questions, I did not attend the conference. It was busier than last year but not as busy as 2008 in numbers of people. The people who had made the effort to come appeared to have a good reason to be there with specific high level technical questions. The mood was generally positive with all most everyone have increased activity.

Neil Poole
Senior Applications Chemist
Henkel Electronics
Dr. Poole is a Senior Applications Chemist in Henkel Technologies, electronics assembly materials application engineering group. He is responsible for all of Henkel's assembly products including soldering products, underfills, PCB protection materials, and thermally conductive adhesives.

Tha show was great. Back to 2008 levels.

Bob Black
North America Sales Manager
Essegi Automation
Mr. Black was the President and Co-Founder of Zevatech in 1977 and introduced first Pick and Place System at Nepcon West 1980. Bob is now the President, CEO and Co-Founder of Juki Automation Systems. He is also a Co-Founder of the SMEMA Council of IPC. He serves as a member of SMTA and SEMI..

In general the mood was cautiously optimistic. Leading indicators and recent trends suggest that the worst is over, but many are still wary of an unstable market.

Mark Waterman
M.O.L.E. Line Product Manager
Electronic Controls Design, Inc. (ECD)
Mark Waterman is a trainer and field engineer with 17 years experience in service and applications specialties. Intimate knowledge of soldering processes and measurement systems. Six sigma and statistical process control generalist.

You missed a much busier show then last year, at least for ESSEMTEC. We unveiled a new pick and place platform for the first time in North America call the Paraquda. See it on our website, the feedback was very good, our E-place software was a very big hit. No one has an operating system like this but the iPhone.

Steve Pollock
Vice President
Essemtec USA
Steven Pollock has worked in the industry for OEMs, and large CMs before moving to application Sales. Pollock has been working in SMT industry for nearly 20 years.

Apex 2010 was fantastic. Our booth with all of our carts and handling systems on display was packed with people for all 3 days. Everyone that came to our booth talked about budget was available and that improvements to their processes needed to be made, and they planned on buying higher quality equipment than in the past which is great for us. I believe 2010 will be a great year overall, although like others I am cautiously optimistic.

Ken Bliss
President & CEO - Retired
Bliss Industries, Inc.
Retired - Mr. Bliss has 20+ years experience creating process methods that improve profitability by maximizing hidden unused capacity and throughput. Ken has expertise in all areas of manufacturing specializing in electronics assembly.
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