productronica: the international meeting place for the PCB and EMS industry

Author : Anke Odouli, Exhibition Director

31 August 2017

productronica, the world’s leading trade fair for electronics development and production, will take place at the Messe München exhibition centre in Munich, Germany from November 14–17, 2017. Almost 40,000 attendees from more than 80 countries will travel to the show, over half of them international visitors.

This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Electronic Product Design & Test; to view the digital edition, click here – and to register to receive your own printed copy, click here.

This article discusses how it will showcase the future of electronics development and production. As well as robotics and miniaturisation, the show’s focal points will include semiconductor solutions and digitalisation. In addition, two other events – SEMICON Europa and IT2Industry – are being held alongside productronica.

Despite Asia’s continued dominance in electronics manufacturing, with around 90% of global PCB sales, there are encouraging signs for Europe. PCB industry sales in the DACH countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) are growing almost 10%, with the highest absolute sales and orders in 15 years and continued evidence of re-shoring. Meanwhile, German manufacturers of systems, components and machines for electronics manufacturing are also experiencing strong growth. Greater demand for semiconductors in the automotive industry and the need for Industry 4.0 digital solutions in manufacturing are driving this growth.

Asia still dominates in mass-produced PCBs for consumer electronics products; however, medical systems and the military and aerospace sectors increasingly require complex assemblies such as HDI (high density-interconnect), flexible and rigid-flex circuit boards. There are growing opportunities for high-tech PCB manufacturers in Europe, because they score highly with quality, stability, flexibility and consulting services.

productronica features five different clusters:

PCB & EMS Marketplace 

PCB & EMS Marketplace Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) and PCB manufacturing are the foundation of electronics production. Exhibits will cover everything from the manufacture of circuit substrates and extremely high density circuits, through test solutions that can handle miniaturisation, high component count and high frequency technologies, to the system solutions of EMS providers. Visitors will see real examples of how suppliers are meeting the demanding needs of the automotive, medical technology, industrial electronics and mechanical engineering sectors.

EMS providers continue to benefit from growing demand for electronic devices, with some of the largest opportunities in the automotive and lighting sectors, thanks to increasing demand for connectivity and ‘smart’ electronics. In addition to advances in circuit board technology and miniaturisation, developments such as rising  raw material costs, global crises and growing competitive pressures require continual adjustments. Ultimately, contract manufacturers must position themselves with better service and more sophisticated products, delivered at unprecedented speed, while maintaining control of costs and sustainable production.

SMT: the future of placement technology

Surface-mount technology (SMT) is at the core of electronics manufacturing. Along with related miniaturisation and weight reduction, it makes it possible to manufacture devices such as smartphones and tablets. Exhibitors will present the entire value chain – from placement, soldering, and test and measurement technology to quality assurance and product finishing.

Cables, Coils & Hybrids

Despite the trend toward wireless communication and machine control, cables continue to be important in the manufacturing and production sector. From high-speed internet and measuring technology to electromobility, cables and connectors remain important.

Future Markets Cluster

The Future Markets cluster in Hall B2 will attempt to answer the question: where is electronics manufacturing heading? Exhibits revolve around topics such as Industry 4.0, smart factories and 3D printing. This cluster will be rounded out by IT2Industry, the exhibition and conference for intelligent, digitally networked working environments, featuring solutions for the industrial IoT in areas such as cloud computing, big data, IT security and M2M communication.

Semiconductors Cluster: growth in 2017 

According to a recent Gartner study, the semiconductor industry will grow by more than 7% in 2017, corresponding to approximately $364 billion, driven primarily by memory chips. For the first time, SEMICON Europa is being held in conjunction with productronica, presenting the latest developments that relate to semiconductors, LEDs and MEMS.

Visitors only need one ticket to attend productronica, SEMICON Europa and IT2Industry. For more information and to register, visit

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