NEPCON China to Take Industry Challenges Head On

NEPCON China 2024, the largest exhibition in the Chinese surface-mount technology (SMT) industry will again host global players in the electronics manufacturing industry. Considered one of Asia’s largest exhibitions on surface-mount technology (SMT) and related industries, NEPCON China will be held from April 24 to 26 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center. This year, about 800 exhibitor companies and brands worldwide will grace “The World of SMT” of the electronics manufacturing market.

Major Japanese SMT-related companies will also exhibit their state-of-the-art technologies and products, aiming to restore the vibrant market of SMT machines in China.

Japan Unix’s booth at NEPCON China 2023

NEPCON China will gather exhibitors from the SMT, test & measurement equipment, dispensing & spraying equipment, smart factory, semiconductor packaging and testing equipment, electronic components and others focusing on technologies and solutions for 3C, automotive electronics, new energy, wireless communication devices and systems. Among this year’s exhibitors include ASMPT, FUJI, HANWHA, YAMAHA, ASYS, Mirea, Rohm, TAMURA, Omron, Koh Young, Keysight.

In addition, there will be “Japan Electronics and Automation Zone”, “Anti-static Zone”, “Semiconductor Packaging and Testing Live DEMO Demo and Explanation” and other specialty zones.

Challenging Market

Following the zero-covid announcement in China in January 2023, the local economy has remained sluggish. Apparently, this situation also affected the Japanese manufacturing industry. Also, the slowdown in the Chinese manufacturing industry’s appetite for capital investment reflects the performance of Japanese SMT-related companies in FY12/2023 and Q3 FY03/2024. In fact, according to the Japan Robot Association (JARA), exports of robots for mounting electronic components (mounting machines) from Japan in 2023 (Jan to Dec) fell by about 30% year-on-year due to weak demand in China.

Various issues that are classified as ‘China risks’ have been pointed out. Mainly, the policy of the U.S. Government’s restrictions on semiconductor manufacturing equipment exports to China involving Japan and other countries is a key issue. However, Japanese SMT-related companies said that amid the risks involving China, the scale of domestic demand is still large. Recently, the level of local smartphone production has returned, with high expectations for recovery.

Japanese SMT Makers Remain Hopeful

The present economic challenges facing China have discouraged key Japanese SMT manufacturers to participate in NEPCON China this year. However, major SMT companies, including FUJI Corporation, Yamaha Motor Co, Ltd., and JAPAN UNIX Co., Ltd. will display their innovative products and technologies at the trade event.

Specifically, FUJI will propose to the China market a next-generation manufacturing floor. It positions the next-generation mounting machine NXTR as the new platform of the evolving ‘FUJI Smart Factory‘ at the center. Additionally, other new products will also be on display, like AIMEXR, an expandable all-in-one SMT pick and place machines.

Meanwhile, Yamaha Motor will propose ‘1 STOP SMART SOLUTION’ as a manufacturer of a full line-up of SMT equipment. Among the products on display include surface mount machines, SMD storage, printing machines, dispensers and inspection equipment. Additionally, it will also introduce its next-generation compact high-speed modular YRM10 launched in March.

Japan Unix will introduce new soldering robot technologies and products, as well as various soldering solutions.

-26 March 2024-

This is an English translation of a Japanese article originally published in Dempa Shimbun Daily.