Business Outlook for Europe

The EIPC (European printed circuit board trade organization) held its summer meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 9 & 10, 2016.

On Thursday I gave the keynote presentation “Business Outlook for the Global Electronics Industry (with emphasis on Europe)”. My charts and program overview are attached.

Owing to its relatively stable end markets – especially the automotive and instrument and control sectors, Europe is enjoying modest growth in its electronic supply chain this is in contrast to the consumer driven markets (including PCs. smartphones and media tablets) which are primarily produced in SE Asia.

An overview of the full program is given below.

Welcome by EIPC Chairman, Alun Morgan

Management Session
The global trend in electronics, and its impact to the European electronics and PCB industry, will be illustrated. In addition, a new initiative will be introduced, one that will show European market developments and trends based on industry data.

Session 1: Safety, Quality and Reliability of ML-PCBs
New developments in components, materials and PCB fabrication technology require very advanced test methods depending on market segments. The European Space Agency (ESA) will share their experiences with the control of the supply chain. UL will provide the latest changes in material safety standards as well as their PCB validation service and some new test methods and technologies that have been introduced.

Session 2: Future Technology in components, materials and processes
Electronic components are defining the design and fabrication of electronic devices. The PCB fabrication processes have to meet these changes and the needs of the components that are used to fulfil the end user requirements. The session will show some examples of this from the automotive industry.

Session 3: Latest developments in Final solderable finishes for PCBs
The changes in soldering of components to the printed circuit board have been manifold. On the one hand, the highest First Pass Yield are needed to maintain profitable, whilst on the other the move to lead-free soldering has increased the soldering temperature. Also, the market now demands multiple soldering processes. In this complex field, this session will provide details and trends in solderable finishes and will indicate the limitation of existing technologies and will show opportunities to improve first pass yield.

Session 4: Fabrication experience with advanced technologies
Continuous improvement is part of the PCB fabrication processes, and here Design for Manufacturing (DfM) is very much a part of the on-going process improvement programs. Existing technologies are re-evaluated to improve equipment and fabrication technology for the benefits of the end-user. This session will show some of the trends and improvements opportunities for PCB fabricators, designers and equipment / material suppliers.

For a copy of specific presentations at this conference contact Ms. Kirsten Smit-Westenberg, Executive Director at or +31-(0)43-344 08 72.

Walt D. Custer

Walt Custer

Walt Custer is an industry analyst focused on the global electronics industry. Prior to forming Custer Consulting Group he was Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Morton Electronic Materials, a global supplier of specialty chemicals and process equipment for the PCB industry.

Custer has been a member of the IPC trade organization since 1975 where he received both the President's and the Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame Awards. He is currently a member of the IPC Executive Market & Technology Steering Committee. Custer is also a Director of the EIPC European PCB trade organization.

He authors regular “Market Outlook” columns for Global SMT & Packaging magazine, the Journal of the HKPCA and the TTI MarketEYE website.

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