Weiner International Associates
           Weiner International Associates

March 2020


At the month's end China's vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Xin Guobin said that China is speeding up 5G and data center as well as industrial Internet construction to help the economy rebound after the COVID-19 pandemic. About 95% of China’s information technology firms were reported to be back at work. Guobin stated that China will speed up 5G, data center and industrial Internet construction to boost innovation and help the economy rebound.

Industry giants including LCD panel makers BOE and CSOT, SMIC and Foxconn have all resumed production.


How has your supply chain performed/changed during the Pandemic? How are you managing your business during the Covid-19 crisis? Have you had to shut down part or all of your operations? Do you have a recovery/restart plan? Have you been the victim of rising air freight costs from Asia? Is your company part of the critical infrastructure needed to support medical activities, relief activities or the military? Have you been able to provide adequate spacing and protective gear for those employees that are needed on site? Are you checking employee temperatures on the way in to work? Have you sought or offered to share excess capacity or services? Does your state's or town's policies and conflict with federal guidelines? Learn how others have dealt with the challenges. Attend the IPC's Hall of Fame Council Forum designed for new as well as existing managers on January 25, 2021 at IPC APEX EXPO 2021!


The bans, cancellations, postponements and alternative measures due to the Covid-19 virus are increasing exponentially.


Due to the current guidelines and restrictions, iMAPS New England has decided to postpone our upcoming 47th Symposium & Expo until, at least, October 2020, and, in addition, suspend planning of all other "in-person" meetings or events, until the situation improves. 


The March Productronica China and Electronica China trade shows which were postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak have been rescheduled for July 3-5 in Shanghai.


In light of the rapid outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SMTA Europe is taking precautionary measures for our conference participants and delegates and has decided to reschedule the 2020 Electronics in Harsh Environments Conference to December 1-3, 2020 at the Park Plaza Amsterdam Airport.


Dateline March 17, 2020: The Electronics Representatives Association 2020 has been canceled. In the wake of rapidly changing and unprecedented circumstances surrounding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the EDS Board of Directors, along with sponsor associations — ECIA, ERA and GEDA — have made the decision to cancel the EDS Summit this year.


SEMI announced that it is postponing SEMICON Southeast Asia 2020 from May 12-14, 2020 to August 11-13, 2020. The postponement is due to concern surrounding the ongoing international coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The venue for SEMICON Southeast Asia 2020 will remain the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC).


Due to the increasing spread of covid-19 in Europe, Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH has decided to postpone the SMTconnect from May 5-7, 2020 to July 28-30, 2020. The venue remains the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre.


The HDP/EIPC Automotive Workshop to be hosted by Ventec in Germany this May has been postponed. In the interim, the HDP (High Density Packaging Users Group) consortia plans to schedule a webinar to address key issues facing automotive electronics, unique reliability issues and materials challenges. IBM, Rochester, MN will host the HDP fall meeting On October 7-8.


The Oregon SMTA Chapter Tutorial Program Event "DFM to DFX: The World of Shrinking Electronics" presented by Dale Lee of Plexus will now be held by Webinar due to virus concerns.


The China Printed Circuit Association (CPCA) has announced a new date for the March event that was postponed due to the Coronavirus epidemic. It stated that after negotiations with the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the 2020 International Electronic Circuits Exhibition (Shanghai) will be held from June 22 to 24, 2020. The CPCA says that the original venues and the pre-selected booths will be unchanged.


Meanwhile, business events ranging from exhibitions, property sales and financial product launches to spring receptions have either been cancelled or delayed in Hong Kong as a result of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.


Will small and medium sized companies need to partner with others, including competitors, in order to recover from the COVID-19 caused supply chain disruptions, meeting and conference cancellation and delays, as well as resulting shortages? Explore this and other management issues,solved or as yet unresolved at the January 25, 2021 Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame Council's Forum. Contact me if you wish to be a speaker at this timely event which will explore actions and strategies.


Reuters reported that India is planning emergenct airlifts of electronic components from China, three government officials said, as India tries to contain the fallout from the coronavirus crisis in China. India’s federal technology ministry has asked electronics and smartphone industry lobby groups to draw up a list of components made in China, which then can be airlifted, two officials said. China is still grappling with a range of production and logistics delays. Electronics manufacturing, especially the assembly of smartphones, is a bright spot for India’s otherwise flagging economy, but the country is still highly dependent on China for components.


An exception?


Despite the difficult global situation, as of the 6th of March, we are pleased to announce that Multek is running at full capacity with continuous on-time shipments to our customers. We are maintaining a close watch on the Coronavirus situation and will take appropriate actions to mitigate any adverse changes.


Beijing will likely replace as many as 20 million computers at government agencies with domestic products over the next three years, according to research from China Securities. More than 100 trial projects for domestic products were completed in 2019. The Financial Times newspaper said the Communist Party's Central Office earlier this year ordered state offices and public institutions to shift away from foreign hardware and software. Source: Bloomberg


We have reports of concern by attendees around the world of putting a hold on plans to attend major shows such as SEMICON China in Shanghai during the next few months. China's new travel restrictions as it tries to contain the outbreak could also adversely affect the domestic attendees or the shows themselves if containment is not rapid. Export shipments could also be adversely affected during this period as airlines weigh cancellations or re-routing of flights during the emergency activities.


Some Indian factories are running at half their capacities since manufacturers, overall, are heavily reliant on China for components.

India’s cabinet has approved a $6.37 billion plan to boost electronics manufacturing and woo large investment to a country. India is now the world’s second-biggest mobile phone manufacturer and is moving to decouple its dependence upon Chinese comonet and material sources.

New Delhi will provide companies a production-linked incentive of 4% to 6% on incremental sales - over base year 2019-20 - of goods made locally for five years.


InterNepcon Japan 2020


Dominique Numakura of DKN Research reported the following.


Fine pattern generation is an on-going project for printed circuit manufacturers. Chemical’s suppliers JCU and Okuno demonstrated smaller line pitches than 5 microns produced through a semi additive process. These processes can generate one micron traces, but circuit manufacturers are not ready to use the ultra fine circuits. Current assembling processes and connection technologies that use soldering and wire bonding are not capable to use the ultra-fine traces. Compass, a tape shape flex circuit manufacturer in Hong Kong displayed finer traces than 15 microns designed for driver modules for display devices, and double side COF (Chip on Film) with micro via holes produced reel-to-reel manufacturing process.


Low loss materials for high frequency circuits are an ongoing design project. American laminate suppliers Rogers and Nelco dominate the market for rigid circuit boards. 


Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) film is leading the flex circuit industry. New low loss materials such as low loss polyimide film, fluoro polymer resins and PEEK.


P-ban.com, an online printed circuit supplier displayed various new products including multi-layer rigid boards, flexible circuits and rigid/flex.  One of their main features is a series of flexible thick film circuits produced by screen-printing process, with fine line circuits down to 30 micron line/space. The company also displayed Monocoque Circuits, a unique hybrid 3D circuit produced by thick film technology.


Chinese circuit manufacturers and distributors continue to increase their presence at these trade shows. Most of them claimed they are capable to supply a broad range of circuit products including rigid, flex and rigid/flex.  They provided snapshots of their manufacturing plants in China.  I was impressed with their buildings and manufacturing equipment; most of their facilities looked better than circuit manufacturers in the U.S. and Japan.


The M&A game


It seems that mega-mergers always cause "rationalization", spin-offs, and realignments - some post merger, others pre-merger.


DuPont is reported to be evaluating the sale or spin off of its electronics unit which accounts for more than  15% of the organization's current revenue.

A divestiture of the unit would effectively complete a full breakup of the chemicals maker. DuPont, which had four primary business lines following the split of DowDuPont Inc. It was less than 3 years ago that DuPont and Dow Chemical compketed the largest chemicals industry merger evernwhich was quickly followed by a breakup that formed a standalone DuPont, Dow Inc. and Corteva Inc.


BAE Systems will acquire business units from both Raytheon and United Technologies  (UTC) as a way to help the latter two meet the antitrust requirements of their impending merger

BAE reached agreements to acquire the GPS business of UTC subsidiary Collins Aerospace as well as Raytheon’s Airborne Tactical Radios business, according to a press release. 

The buyer will pay $1.925 billion for Collins’ military GPS business, and $275 million for Raytheon’s radio business. The deals will be asset transactions that come with more than $400 million in tax benefits, according to BAE. 




Highly Accelerated Thermal Shock (HATS™) High Speed Via Reliability test systems have now been updated with HATS²™ Technology. These updates provide HATS™ test systems with a wider temperature range (-55°C to 265°C), an improved measurement subsystem capable of high-current, micro-ohm precision, 4-wire resistance measurements and the ability to perform Multiple Cycle Convection Oven Reflow Simulation with in-situ resistance measurements in accordance with IPC-TM-650 Method 2.6.27B. This update also allows HATS™ test systems to test up to 72 IPC-2221B Type "D" coupons and 36 Traditional HATS™ or new HATS²™ Single Via coupons for both Multiple Cycle Convection Oven Reflow Simulation and Thermal Shock/Cycling.


According to Bob Neves, Microtek Laboratories China CTO/chairman, “Designers can include 1 or 2 daisy-chain nets along with 5-6 single via nets on the same HATS²™ Single Via Test Coupon. This should provide a bridge between traditional daisy-chain and single via net test results.”



Britain's Institute of Circuit Tecnology (ICT) which provides an annual Foundation Course in PCB manufacture and design just held its Spring program. The ICT continues to grow with its membership now surpassing 400.




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