Reading time ( words)
Once more at the San Diego Convention Center, although a little disorientating because the geography of the foyer and the locations of the meeting and conference rooms were different as a consequence of the show moving a hundred yards further up the street. But an opportunity to discover the other half of the Convention Center complex and we soon got accustomed to the new layout.
A special anniversary year for IPC APEX EXPO: “Celebrating 20 years of excellence in electronics” was the tagline.
Ahead of the exhibition, IPC's program of meetings and courses was already in full swing: management, professional development, standards and certification, and the technical conference agenda was all prepared and ready to begin, including the Fundamentals Program as a new option.
A standing-room-only keynote session, prefaced by IPC President and CEO Dr. John Mitchell's introduction and vision of the future of the electronics manufacturing industry, featured aerospace legend Burt Rutan reviewing the history of aviation and space travel before contemplating a new era in commercial space travel and the new race for space. Look for our interview with Burt in the next few weeks. He’s quite a character!
Heralded by a session of loud and enthusiastic drumming, John Mitchell introduced the distinguished members of the ribbon-cutting party, the ribbon was snipped into several pieces, the doors were opened and the crowds flooded in.
Bright and spotless after the controlled chaos of buildup during the previous couple of days, the spectacular display of immaculately presented exhibits was breathtaking to behold, and the creativity of the booth designers was as impressive as ever.
A busy show "elevating the excellence of electronics," with a positive air of optimism evident amongst exhibitors, who numbered at least 500, and the horde of visitors, many of whom had serious money to spend. "Recession, what recession?"
I didn't get sufficient opportunity to spend time looking in detail around the exhibits, so there may be things I missed, but quite honestly I didn't see anything spectacularly revolutionary—lots of incremental improvements in equipment and a few new developments in materials, particularly to support the requirements of the growth of 5G and automotive radar systems. A nice CFX demo line, and around the exhibition plenty of booths marked with CFX signage, indicating encouraging progress toward the Smart factory and digital manufacturing.
A positive first day, a good start to what should be a successful three-day show. More news tomorrow.
Our team published 22 interviews and hundreds of photos from Day 1 of the show on our Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2020 site. Check it out here.