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Increasing air pollution levels have prompted a crackdown on bromine manufacturers in China. A broad policy having to do with safety and environmental regulations has been in existence for two years, but this is now being enforced more vigorously.
Starting in early August, government auditing teams began investigating companies in the Shandong Province, many of which are small- or medium-sized firms. A number of manufacturers have shut down, some permanently and others temporarily to make improvements. Sources place the shutdowns at up to 80%.
The end-result is, or will be, a significant shortage of bromine compounds including TBBPA, the common flame-retardant used in making fire-retardant laminate materials for the electronics industry. Prices of TBBPA have already increased considerably, and the Chinese market is facing a shortage. The effect worldwide on laminate manufacturers is unknown at this time, but coupled with recent price increases in copper and fiberglass, it does not bode well for the electronics industry.
Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
This week, the IPC APEX EXPO event has cast a long shadow across the news feeds. No, that’s not the right metaphor. No, not a shadow; shadows are dark. It would be more accurate to say IPC APEX EXPO cast a beam of illumination upon the news feeds for the electronics manufacturing industry. To that end, the APEX EXPO news makes a prominent appearance in this week’s editor’s picks.
Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
It was a bright, sunny California day as IPC APEX EXPO officially opened its doors on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the San Diego Convention Center. The Technical Conference began on the same day, while the program of standards meetings and professional development courses had been in progress since Saturday, Jan. 21. During the hustle and bustle of the show build-up over the weekend, it was clear to see that so many exhibitors had the confidence to bring so much major equipment and to invest in such spectacular booths to display it.
Nolan Johnson and Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
It was a packed house for two large events at IPC APEX EXPO 2023 on Monday, Jan. 23, as the EMS Leadership Summit was wrapped in the pale veil of caution, meanwhile hundreds more gathered to hear from IPC’s chief economist, Shawn DuBravac. At the EMS summit, the morning presenters from IPC all shared silver linings they saw inside the fading clouds of uncertainty.