NEXT WEEK’S BIG EVENT – National Electronics Week (NEW)

09 June 2008

National Electronics Week, held between 17-19 June at Earls Court, is a new exhibition that aims to bring together all sectors of the electronics industry; from components, production and test, to clean rooms, tools and services.

The event’s organiser, Claire Jeffreys, explains more. “For some time, it has been clear that today’s electronics industry needs a show that is equipped to evolve alongside it, and deliver a comprehensive scope of coverage that truly serves everybody working within it. With the creation of National Electronics Week, I believe we have delivered exactly this. From design and components, through to production and distribution, NEW has attracted widespread support from all corners of the industry.”

Earlier this year, UKEA (the UK electronics alliance), AFDEC (the Association of Franchised Distributors of Electronic Components), Intellect, IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries, and Electronics KTN (Knowledge Transfer Network) all confirmed their plans to support the exhibition.

As an alliance of major trade associations, UKEA acts through the mutual co-operation of its members to represent the interests of the UK electronics industry. UKEA chairman, Derek Boyd commented: “The UK electronics alliance, which provides a communication channel between eleven of the UK’s leading electronics industry trade associations and UK Government, is delighted to participate in National Electronics Week. Our industry has lacked a major event in the capital for too long and we are sure that this exciting new venture will be a major boost in highlighting the innovation and diversity of the electronics sector in the UK.”

On the first day, UKEA’s thirty-minute seminars start at 11:10 with WEEE - Should you be compliant? Following that at 11:45 is RoHS - Not just a European issue, and REACH - Its impact on electronics at 12:20. Plastic electronics: Making devices by printing is at 12:55 and Legislation’s impact on design is at 13:40. Following that is Semiconductors - the dangers from counterfeiting at 14:15 and Future legislation - EuP and batteries regulations at 14:50. At 15:25 is Materials choices for environmentally friendly manufacture, and the final seminar of the day, Eco-design for electronics, starts at 16:00.

Thursday’s seminars start at 10:15 with R & D tax credits explained by Henry Parker of Intellect. After that, at 11:25 is From prototype to manufacture, and Future component technology - how will this affect future designs? at midday. The Impact of design on manufacture and vice-versa starts at 12:35 and is followed by Designing to mitigate against the effects of EMC interference at 13:30. Quality out of training starts at 14:05 and the final seminar, Reduce project delays by effective e-Collaboration, commences at 14:40 and is due to draw to a close at 15:10.

AFDEC (the Association of Franchised Distributors of Electronic Components) was established in 1970 and now includes over 100 member companies. Adam Fletcher, AFDEC Chairman, stated: “AFDEC are pleased to be able to lend our support to National Electronics Week. We’ll be working alongside the event’s management team to ensure there are interesting educational opportunities for electronic professionals across a wide range of job functions. By combining important factors such as a wide industry coverage and central London location, we think NEW will deliver a great environment for our members and customers to learn, network and conduct business.”

Intellect, the UK trade association for the electronics, IT and telecoms industries will be running a seminar on the morning of the first day of the show that will explain how electronics companies can take advantage of the government’s R&D tax credits scheme. Henry Parker, Electronics Programme Manager at Intellect commented: “As an industry we must work together to draw attention to the positive and growing contribution we make to the economy. If we fail to do so, we risk losing the gains we have made in the past few years and instead face the prospect of our sector disappearing entirely from the UK. We believe that National Electronics Week will help to reinforce the reality that electronics is a still a vibrant, innovative and above all increasingly successful element of the UK economy as a whole. Our presence at NEW reflects our focus on providing direct support for, and representation of, companies active in the electronics sector. We are pleased to support an event that, for the first time in many years, brings together the full breadth of the UK electronics sector under one roof.”

At NEW, IPC will be hosting a series of seminars covering topical industry issues. “We’re delighted to be working with National Electronics Week to bring the latest information on industry advancements, emerging technologies and market research to attendees,” said Denny McGuirk, IPC President. Furthermore, NEW will be offering a comprehensive set of seminars co-ordinated by ART (Advanced Rework Technology). The State of the ART seminar programme will be delivered by some of the industry’s leading names, including ART’s Barry Morris, A&D Automation’s Mary Gregory, Briton Electronics’ Peter Towler, BSI’s Neil Stanton, Institute of Printed Circuits’ Steve Payne, Premier EDA’s Alan Johnson, and Weeco and Northern Compliance’s Vincent Eckerman.

Electronics KTN will also be masterminding a series of innovation workshops in conjunction with respected keynote speakers, and has a seminar programme aimed at business leaders and designers. Discussing the philosophy behind the workshops, Electronics KTN Chief Executive, Ashley Evans, explained: “In the UK, we recognise the value that our academic research community bring to the table with their inventions in new science and technology, but do we really see a return on the investment that our research councils make? Creative industries is a term that’s in vogue at the moment, conjuring up a vision of value being plucked from artistic and creative minds; whether that be software games, media or art. This is of course a vital part of a balanced society, but let’s not under-estimate the creativity that’s also required to produce a new electronic device.”

The line-up of speakers have a wealth of experience from companies such as picoChip, Plastic Logic, Dialight, Achievo, ANT, Splashpower, Pond Ventures, the Design Council, and Marks & Clerk.

Session 1: Creativity, Innovation and Design in the Electronics Sector
11.00 Welcome from the Chair, David Kynaston, Chair Electronics KTN,
11.10 Opening remarks, Harry Tee, Chair of the Electronics Leadership Council,
11.25 Keynote 1 (Jamie Urquhart, Pond Ventures, picoChip, Splashpower)
11.50 Keynote 2 (Alistair Atkinson, Optos)
12.15 Q&A
12.30 Break for networking

Session 2: The breakthrough from invention to entrepreneur to revenue
13.30 Welcome back
13.35 Keynote 3 (Ed Round, Partner, Marks & Clerk, Converting concepts to cash)
13.50 Keynote 4 (Ellie Runcie, the Design Council, Stimulating Design in the UK)
14.10 Keynote 5 (Stuart Evans, Plastic Logic: Growing companies of scale in the UK)
14.35 Q&A
14.45 Closing remarks
14.50 Close

NEW is also extending learning and discovery opportunities with Production Live! Comprising of two distinct production lines, the exhibit will produce two different types of PCBs; two six layer boards. Every board will be processed against a choice of different parameters including surface finish, stencils, solder paste and reflow processes. Such a broad range of process variables will ensure that every participant can view experiments relevant to their own manufacturing experience; witnessing and analysing tests that it would be impossible to conduct in-house due to time and cost limitations.

Following production, all boards will be tested by X-ray and AOI technologies to determine whether solder joints meet with industrial IPC standards. Results will be displayed on a large screen in a dynamic open forum environment where visitors are invited to listen to feedback and analysis from a panel featuring bare board suppliers, solder paste suppliers and independent experts.

The machines in operation on the production lines include a MyData jet printer, DEK Horizion, Speedline MPM125 and EKRAX screen printers, Cooper Rason conveyors and loaders, Europlacer, Panasonic and Universal pick and place machines and Vitronics Soltec and Heller reflow platforms, plus the Asscon VP800 vapor phase equipment.

The lines will be running a variety of laser-cut, etched and electroformed stencils from companies including Aqueous, DEK, Tecan, Electrolube, SMT Technical, while companies such as Balver Zinn, Hereaus, MultiCore, Kester and Almit will be supplying solder pastes. Test equipment present will incorporate both AOI and X-Ray inspection techniques from Zen Production, Goepel, TestGroup, Dage CT and Vtech-SMT.

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