It was no surprise to see a drop in the number of visitors to 28,000 (2007: 40,514) as a result of the current economic recession and the travel restrictions existing in practically every company in the electronics production industry. The proportion of foreign visitors therefore also fell slightly to 42% (2007: 45%). However, there was a further increase in the expertise of visitors. The number of decision-makers rose from 88% in 2007 to 91% this year. The proportion of visitors from the top management level in their company increased from 15% in 2007 to 19% in 2009. productronica, the largest trade fair for electronics production, therefore confirmed its position as the leading international event for the industry. Consequently, the majority of exhibitors are already intending to come back again to productronica in 2011.
Klaus Dittrich, Managing Director of Messe München, was satisfied with the outcome of the trade fair despite the above-mentioned decreases: “productronica was naturally affected by the economic situation. However, as both a trade fair and a seismograph for industry developments, it went a long way towards ensuring that the industry is again looking to the future with more optimism. We therefore saw once again that productronica is an indispensable platform for both exhibitors and visitors.”
This meant that a large number of exhibitors used the trade fair as an industry barometer to obtain a feel for market developments in 2010. Gerd Rademann, General Sales Manager, Viscom AG, shared this view: “We expected productronica to be a trend indicator for the next financial year. This expectation was exceeded by far.“ Every exhibitor anticipated that the number of visitors would decrease on account of travel restrictions and other economy measures. However, there were some surprises: Stefan Techau, General Manager Western & Central Europe, DEK Printing Machines, GmbH: “We had mixed feelings and were expecting fewer visitors and shorter stays on account of the travel restrictions. Nevertheless, we decided to come to Munich since productronica is the leading trade fair and it provides indications of market developments for the next year. The expertise of visitors this year was better. In 2007 we provided a great deal of support to existing customers while in 2009 we had a large number of leads. Numerous small and medium-sized companies have budgets.“ Other exhibitors were also satisfied with the quality of visitors who came to Munich. Hans-Jürgen Bochtler, Sales Director, Agilent Technologies, Sales & Services GmbH & Co. KG: ”We met far fewer visitors. The number of customer contacts was lower. Customers stayed longer on our stand. The quality of the leads was substantially better. We held some intensive discussions on specific purchasing projects.“
During the trade fair, a large number of exhibitors concluded some sales transactions which they had not actually expected. These exhibitors included Bernd Schenker, Director of Sales, Marketing & Product Management, Ersa GmbH: “We had sensed in the last three to four weeks that the market is stabilizing and that a slight upturn is starting. However, it is not possible to estimate whether this will continue. We immediately concluded some sales transactions with customers from different countries.” In particular, small and medium-sized companies showed that investment budgets are available and that decisions are being made. However, visitors from the automobile industry also came to productronica to obtain information. It was clear on the stand of Viscom AG that there is also an increasing trend towards X-ray production in this sector.
In addition to the core areas of productronica – PCBs and other circuit-carrier manufacturing, production technologies in cable processing, component mount technology, soldering technology and measuring and test technology – the trade fair presented fast-growing products and technologies, which stand for progress and the future, in the focus areas, i.e. micronano production, photovoltaics manufacturing, electronic manufacturing services (EMS) and production of hybrid components.
Visitors were extremely satisfied with the range of exhibits relating to soldering technology, component mount technology, PCBs and other circuit-carrier manufacturing, production technologies in cable processing, hybrid component production and micronano production. Over 90% of visitors rated these segments as excellent to good.
Messe München introduced a new event, the munich electronics summit, which proved to be a success right from the start. One feature of this summit was the CEO Round Table with six business leaders on the topic of “Innovations as driving force for surviving the current crisis”. Around 150 visitors followed the discussion. Following the CEO Round Table, the CEOs of around 40 internationally operating companies held an exclusive private fireside discussion to talk about ideas, strategies and future-oriented trends. This meeting of top decision-makers from the industry will be staged annually in future as part of electronica and productronica.
Under the umbrella of the productronica University, the trade fair presented everything which sets standards in the electronics production industry. The sessions during the productronica Forum and the Innovation Forum examined market- and technology-related topics in electronics production, for example micronano production, photovoltaics manufacturing, traceability, technology roadmapping or organic electronics. The productronica Forum and the Innovation Forum also included the newly introduced hands-on sessions and the special show entitled “Self-organizing production (SOPRO)”. Visitors rated the program as very good. 90% of them awarded the marks excellent to good.
A large number of visitors attended the special show to obtain information on the possibilities of the intelligent factory. Eckhard Hohwieler, Head of Production Machines and System Management at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology: “We were surprised how many visitors were interested in self-organizing production and could envisage introducing it in their company. They also made proposals for new applications, for example in electronics production.“ Dr. Eric Maiser, Managing Director of the Productronic Association in the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), added: “One conceivable application in electronics production is wafer manufacturing. Wafers are a high-quality product where it is important to find out at an early stage whether processing has functioned. SOPRO therefore represents an important extension to traceability. Thanks to flexible automation, SOPRO can help to save time and money. The environment is also protected as less energy and fewer resources are used.”
The future topic of organic electronics also attracted a great deal of interest among visitors. Dr. Klaus Hecker, Managing Director, Organic Electronics Association: “Our session on the topic of ‘Organic Electronics – Enabling Electronics Everywhere’ was very well-attended with around 110 participants. The talks were followed by lively discussions on materials and applications. We detected a very great interest in this topic.”
The next productronica will take place at the New Munich Trade Fair Center from November 15 to 18, 2011.