The recent electronica 2022 returned to in-person exhibition after the 2020 edition, marred by the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, held the exhibition through virtual platform only. Hence, this was the first face-to-face for the biennial event after the 2018 edition.
As the leading electronics trade event in Europe, electronica 2022 brought under one roof leading-edge technologies and solutions. Primarily, most semiconductor and electronic components technologies presented centered around the automotive industry. Particularly, exhibitors showcased a wide range of solutions that demonstrate their respective strengths targeting to expand their businesses in Europe.
This year’s event drew 2,144 companies and 65,000 visitors. More than 50 percent of visitors came from overseas. Businesses that were restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic began to move on full scale. This year, the European market became sluggish, impacted by reduced production of automobiles amid semiconductor production shortages.
Economic environment in countries in Europe is severe compared with North America and countries in Asia. Nonetheless, there have been active investments in semiconductors and lithium-ion batteries, and there are high hopes for the recovery of the market landscape.
The automotive industry pushes up the demand for semiconductors and batteries. Exhibitors at electronica highlighted products and solutions relating to industrial equipment, new energy, and fifth-generation (5G)/6G communications, putting the automotive industry at the heart of their exhibits.
electronica is a venue where cutting-edge technologies gather under one roof. At the same time, it is a forum for exchanges. Many exhibitors were putting high hopes on active exchanges with customers at the physical exhibition for the first time in four years.
Dr. Martin Lechner, Executive Director, Business Unit New Technologies of Messe München GmbH, who oversees electronica and other shows, expressed his hope. He said, “To construct sustainable supply chain for the future, exchanges with customers, suppliers, and distributors are very important. This year’s electronica will surely play a significant role.”
Main Japanese companies exhibited their products and technologies at electronica described their efforts in the European market.
Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. showcased many solutions that make the most of electronic component technology, its core technology. Particularly, the company aims to expand its business in Europe by proposing solutions. Most importantly, the company wants to focus in the fields of communications, industrial, wellness and environment fields, with solutions for automobiles, the pillar of its business in Europe, at the core.
The company has maintained favorable business performance in the European market this year. However, business has recently been week.
Toshio Nakamoto, President of Murata Electronics Europe B.V., said, “Consumer sentiment will slump in a short period of time affected by inflation and energy shortages. Nonetheless, growth will continue in the medium and long term. Industrial sentiment has been stable, and 5G and beyond 5G communications push up the demand. Automobiles will continue to advance, such as electrification and the adoption of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).”
At its booth, Murata demonstrated various application examples. Drawing particular attention was the in-cabin monitoring technology, which can be used for child presence detection in cars. In Japan, discussions on mandatory installation of child presence detection function are gaining ground. Particularly, the EUROPEAN NEW CAR ASSESSMENT PROGRAMM (Euro NCAP), an automobile safety test program, plans to introduce safety test on child presence detection function in 2023.
For the wellness and environment field on which the company focuses, Murata introduced cases of syringe management using radio frequency identification (RFID). At present, the company has been expanding its business through collaboration with system integrators. It had exchanges with many partners.
TDK Corporation showcased products and solutions that contribute to employee experience (EX) and digital transformation (DX). Accordingly, these are two major social trends.
The company accelerates the expansion of its business in the European market by advancing the proposal of a wealth of product lineups and promoting its business closely tuned to local needs.
Furthermore, exhibits in its main booth come in seven categories. Namely, these categories are 1) mobility; 2) beyond 5G/6G; 3) robots; 4) medical and healthcare; 5) renewable energy; 6) AR/VR; and 7) IoT.
In the AR/VR corner, smart glasses mounted with a ultrasmall full color laser module were attracting attention. At this year’s electronica, TDK also had separate booth setup that specializes on power supplies and sensors.
New Products Highlight
Particularly, it showed power supply products, such as MU4 Series, a new product of 1U power supply unit from TDK-Lambda Corporation. The new product features low noise and delivers up to 800W. It is optimum for a wide range of applications from medical equipment to industrial equipment.
Ludger Trockel, Corporate Officer, Chief Sales Officer (CSO), Electronic Components Business Company (ECBC), said, “electronica provides a forum where we can meet tops of various companies at once regardless of the scale of companies. During the event, more than 500 meetings were held in our booths. While deploying business globally, our company values exchanges catered to local needs. We hope to reflect various needs into our business.”
Japan Aviation Electronics Industry, Limited (JAE) aims to expand its business in the European market by showcasing products of the fields on which it focuses. Moreover, the company created new pillars that follow its mainstay automotive connectors, hoping that they will lead the company to further growth.
At this year’s electronica, JAE introduced adoption cases and showcased new products targeting focus fields of 1) automobiles, 2) industrial equipment, 3) railways, 4) 5G, and 5) antennas. Particularly, targeting the automotive application, which is the company’s mainstay area, JAE exhibited rapid charger connectors and large power connectors for batteries focusing on electric vehicles (EVs), which are one of megatrends.
As new fields, JAE focuses on industrial equipment and the communications field centering around 5G/beyond 5G. Targeting industrial equipment, the company highlighted the MA01 Series floating connectors and AN01 Series compact antennas, the demand for which is expected to expand for use in IoT devices.
Jussi Takaneva, General Manager, Marketing and Product Management, JAE Europe, Ltd., said, “Although the pandemic and semiconductor shortages caused confusion, investments in EVs, clean energy, and robots have remained strong. The European market is likely to grow steadily in the coming years. We intend to improve business performance in new fields aside from automobiles, leading to the expansion of our business in Europe.”
Recently, JAE opened a new facility in Dusseldorf, Germany. It has European Design Center for design and development. The company accelerates the development of products catered to local needs.
I-PEX Inc. highlighted high-speed transmission connectors for connected cars and communication infrastructure, such as data centers. The company endeavors to expand its business in the automotive and next-generation communications fields, by leveraging high-speed transmission technology it has nurtured in the consumer field.
Particularly, the company’s, LEAPWIRE 56Gbps-compliant high-speed transmission jumper solution, which combines CABLINE-CAP micro-coaxial connector with a mechanical lock and QSFP-DD, attracted attention at electronica 2022. Earlier, I-PEX developed a type combined with DUALINE 112Gbps-compliant connector using Twinax cable. At electronica, the company premiered the type using CABLINE.
CABLINE has a mechanical lock bar and prevents incomplete engagement and coming off. It adopts a micro-coaxial cable and is capable of transmitting high-speed signals. Furthermore, I-PEX intends to accelerate proposal activities setting sight on the adoption in communications infrastructure, for which demand is expected to increase.
Ludovic Leroy, General Manager, I-PEX EUROPE Sarl, who oversees marketing in EMEA, said, “In addition to beyond 5G/6G, the development of connected cars has been advancing in the automotive field. The demands for high-speed transmission connectors will surely increase. We will bolster our marketing system to promote market penetration of the high-speed transmission technology, which is our company’s strength.”
Tamura Corporation steps up efforts targeting the renewable energy field in the European market. Aiming to expand its business, the company accelerates proposal activities using digital marketing and events.
Presently, the European Commission has been propelling various policies targeting to achieve carbon neutrality. Meanwhile, European Nation (EU) member countries have been increasing investments in renewable energy, inflating expectations for future growth.
Raffaele Vignieri, Marketing & Sales Director, Tamura Europe Ltd., said, “EU countries have been proceeding with many wind power and photovoltaic power generation projects. In Europe, there are many companies operating in global arena. We would like to strengthen relationships with them in respective regions and contribute to them as a supplier.”
At this year’s electronica, Tamura introduced gate drivers for power semiconductors. In addition, it also exhibited the sample of gate driver adopted in Mitsubishi Electric Corporation’s silicon carbide (SiC) power module. The company promoted its characteristics, including compact size and high withstand voltage.
As marketing strategies in the European market, Tamura taps digital marketing and events, such as trade shows.
“It is important to build relationships at real venues, such as trade shows, alongside sales through e-commerce and on-line marketing. At the venue of electronica, we will discuss business with a wide range of customers, leading to stronger relationships,” said Vignieri.
Products for Industrial Equipment, Focuses on Automotive Use, Too
Nichicon Corporation showcased many collaboration cases of products for industrial equipment, focusing on products for automobiles, which are the pillar of its business in Europe. The company intends to create a next pillar of business following the automotive field, aiming to expand its business in the European market.
“The advancement in the electrification of automobiles leads to the expansion of demand for capacitors. Development of EVs has also been active in countries in Europe. Seeing this background as opportunities for growth, we have been strengthening efforts such as design-ins,” said Toshikuni Yamamoto, Managing Director of Nichicon (Austria) GmbH, who oversees the company’s business in Europe.
Particularly, Nichicon puts strength into film capacitors, the demand for which has been increasing for smoothing application of motor drive inverters in EVs, in addition to aluminum electrolytic capacitors that have conventionally been the mainstream capacitors for automotive use. “We will sow seeds to expand the film capacitor market (at this year’s electronica),” says Yamamoto. The company endeavors to expand sales of both aluminum electrolytic capacitors and film capacitors.
Targeting industrial equipment, Nichicon proposes the SLB Series small lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that are optimum for IoT and edge computing. At its booth, the company introduced demonstrations of collaborating companies in Europe. Particularly, it promoted the small formfactor and high durability of the SLB Series。
Yamamoto said, “To expand the industrial equipment field as a new business pillar, collaboration with partners is indispensable. We will strengthen networks in Europe to expand business.”