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The 19th Mechanical Components & Material Technology (M-Tech) was held June 24 at Tokyo Big Sight.

The 26th Design Engineering Manufacturing Solutions Expo, 6th Medical Device Development Expo and 23rd 3D & Virtual Reality Expo were three other trade shows that ran concurrently. The trade shows encompass a broad range of technologies and mechanical processes, and are an excellent source for cutting-edge technologies for designing electronic devices and other mechanical components. Trade Show organizers reported that more than 2,000 companies and organizations were represented, and the show was completely booked – no vacancies. It was tough navigating from booth to booth because the aisles were narrow and there was a remarkable amount of visitors. It was somewhat frustrating because of the crowds, and I almost gave up trying to belly up to any of the booths.

The large turnout is a direct reflection of the work from the show’s promoter. They suggested to the local governments in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand to reach out to the smaller-sized companies in the area and promote themselves as the companies that are unique technology providers. The low cost of promoting at a national level was attractive to many of these companies. Local governments also benefited by inviting high-technology companies to the show hoping to lure them to set up shop in their cities and towns. A nice byproduct would be an increase in local job opportunities and an increase in tax revenues.

I won’t call the atmosphere “flea market like”; however, there was a lot of stuff packed into small booths with little aisle space between them. The bottom line – it was a great opportunity for small manufacturers and customers to network. The only knock on the show was the logistics. Typically, a government-sponsored show will have one company in attendance for a specific technology segment. A customer looking for a specific technology or product will have no problem finding it. This time, the booths were spread out and there was a lot of walking between booths; comparison shopping was extremely difficult. Potential customers could waste a lot of time looking for a specific technology only to come up empty. Navigating was extremely difficult, and it was almost impossible to cover the entire show in one or two days. 3D technology was one of the most popular topics at the convention. Large companies for CAD, craft machines and measuring equipment demonstrated their latest technological progresses. 3D printers were probably the most popular products at the convention, and manufacturers displayed state of the art printers and new inks.

A few years ago, most of these manufacturers claimed the new 3D printers would replace the standard manufacturing equipment and traditional manufacturing processes because of their quickturn capabilities and dimensional accuracy. Unfortunately, 3D printers have not lived up to this expectation because of practical limitations for this technology, and the market for 3D printers may be shrinking. Sometimes you cannot improve on the mousetrap.

Dominique K. Numakura, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DKN Research Newsletter #1520, July 5, 2015 (English Edition)(Micro Electronics & Packaging, www.dknresearchllc.com )

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Headlines of the Week

1. Toshiba developed a chip recognition system utilizing the security technology of the random telegraph noise for IoT equipment.

2. Panasonic will commercialize four network cameras for the security managements of the office spaces. They work in dark environments.

3. Shin-Etsu Chemical will invest 7 billion yen to build a new plant in Fukui Prefecture to expand manufacturing capacity of photomask materials for semiconductors.

4. Toppan Printing (Major printing company in Japan) 6/23 Has started the manufacturing of the leading edge FC-BGA substrates for the high end semiconductor devices at the new manufacturing line in Niigata Plant.

5. Ricoh developed a DC/DC controller IC (“R1272S Series)” for automobile applications with high efficiency and high voltage resistance.

6. Toshiba developed a main transformer based on SiC that withstands 3.3kV for the bullet train of JR Tokai between Tokyo and Osaka.

7. Tokyo University developed an elastic conductive ink with a high conductivity. It is printable on textiles to generate new type of wearable devices.

8. Citizen Electronics commercialized the world's thinnest multi color LED module series “CL-426F-AA” and “CL-426F-AACC” with reflectors. t = 0.35 mm.

9. Kyocera will build its fourth plant of mechanical tools in China to supply tools for local automobile part manufacturers.

10. Molex Japan commercialized a low-height FFC/Flex circuit connector series “505110” with 0.5 mm pitch. The mounted height is 1.9 mm, 24% smaller than standards.

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