NanoTech at Convertech Japan Print E-mail
Written by Dominique K. Numakura   
Monday, 11 February 2013 14:45

I visited Convertech Japan 2013, another high tech trade show at Tokyo Big Sight. The three day event began on Jan. 30 and ended on Feb 1. The event was about 30% smaller compared to the InterNepcon electronics and manufacturing exhibition that was held at the same place two weeks ago. 

This trade show was originally organized for companies affiliated with conversion technologies to showcase and demonstrate their latest technologies, products and materials that include film formation, lamination and surface treatment. Over the last few years, the show has expanded its scope to include electronics and electronic materials, and conversion technologies are considered secondary at the show. I estimate that more than two-thirds of exhibitors were pitching products or materials from the electronics industry.

The majority of vendors were focused on coating and printing, and almost all of the printing vendors converted to Printable Electronics.  The equipment on display included screen printers, inkjet printers and gravure printers that are designed for manufacturing micro electronics. The type of inks used for these printers are nano and copper inks, and many ink manufacturers were present at the show. The most interesting products were the nano inks used with inkjet printers. A representative from one of the inkjet manufacturers was very excited about the increase in business from their prototype production line. Unfortunately, there were no examples available to verify any volume business applications. Conversely, vendors who showcased traditional printing equipment such as screen printers did have orders for some of their larger volume production customers.

Nanotechnologies was the most popular topic throughout the show. Almost one third of the floor space was occupied with companies affiliated with nanotechnologies. Their representation ranged from manufacturers and vendors, to technical colleges and R&D organizations such as Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany and AIST in Japan. NEDO, an R&D organization for the Japanese Government, built a huge display exhibit to showcase their progress with nano technologies. Many prefectures and towns in Japan had their own booths and organized local manufacturers to feature their unique technologies. Representatives from Germany, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Finland, Czech, Australia, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, Iran, the US, and Canada were also present to introduce some or the latest technologies from their venture firms. (Probably, I missed few countries.) The booth from the US was relatively small, but the one from the state of Illinois was a bit larger.

One of the unique aspects of the convention is the free open-air seminars. More than 15 auditoriums were prepared for hundreds of speakers to introduce their latest technologies and new products. It was standing room only for all of these seminars.

I have not discovered the true meaning of the word “nano” technologies. There are many types of technologies and materials that have the word “nano” tied to them, but I have yet to hear the true meaning. Most of the companies that displayed “nano” products, had items that were smaller than micrometers. Maybe a product that is smaller than “x” is considered nano?

There were a few other product names thrown around the exhibition that I know what they are, but I can’t put a definition on them. They include mobile electronics, clean energies, photovoltaic cells, smart batteries, functional displays, and organic transistors. One thing in common that a lot of them share is they are still in the R&D stage and it may take another ten years to bring them to the commercial market. The exception to this was a thin flexible display of Plastic Logic. The general manager from the company that created this product told me it was ready to receive volume orders.

I did not come across any practical technologies or products that are earth-shattering. However, I realized that this is not the place to discover today or tomorrow’s business. This is the show that presents the concept technologies and products of the future. It may be available over the next 10 or 20 years, but for right now, not practical.

Dominique K. Numakura, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
DKN Research,

DKN Research Newsletter #1304, February 10th, 2013 (English Edition)
Electronic Packaging Industry News from Japan & Asia

*To see the back numbers of the newsletter, please visit following URL.

Headlines of the week (Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for further information of the news.)

1. Hitachi Chemical (Major electronic material supplier in Japan) will build a new volume manufacturing line of TCTF (Transparent Conductive Transfer Film) for the touch screen applications.
2. Teijin (Major organic material supplier in Japan) has unveiled a new heat resistant PEN film “Teonex” with high transparency for flexible optical devices.
3. Toshiba (Major electric & electronics company in Japan) has developed a new transparent conductive film by a hybrid technology of graphene and silver nano wire formed on a thin plastic film.
4. Hitachi Zosen (Major equipment supplier in Japan) has developed a new volume manufacturing technology of sheet shape carbon nano tube introducing RTR CVD process.
5. Seiko NPC (Electronic device manufacturer in Japan) has commercialized a new broad range spot light sensor “SM3320”. It covers from infrared to ultra violet light with a high sensitivity and low noise.
6. Murata (Electronic device manufacturer in Japan) has agreed to acquire the business of MR (Magnetic Resistance) sensor from NEC. 
7. Panasonic (Major electronics company in Japan)has developed a new color image sensor with a higher sensitivity introducing newly developed micro dispersion mechanisms. 
8. Fuji Electric (Major electric equipment manufacturer in Japan) will roll out a new quick battery charger (25kW by CHAdeMO Standard) for electric vehicles in the U.S. It has UL certification.
9. Panasonic (Major electronics company in Japan) has started the volume shipment of HIT photovoltaic cells from the new plant in Malaysia. The annual manufacturing capacity of the new plant is 300MW.
10. Sharp (Major electronics company in Japan) has developed a new 100W class LED “GW7GAL50SGC” as the lighting source with new heat conductive substrates.
11. Fujitsu & Panasonic (Major electronics companies in Japan) have agreed to make a new joint venture for design and development of system LSIs. Current business of the companies will be transferred to new JV.

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