Show | Report
NEPCON Japan | 2019
Cutting-Edge Electronics Systems Show Off at Japan Events
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huge gathering of trade-related events showcasing electronics manufacturing were held at the same time at the Tokyo Big Sight in Japan from Jan. 16 to 18. At the center of the event was NEPCON Japan 2019, which includes Internepcon Japan; Electrotest Japan; IC & Sensor Packaging Technology Expo; Electronic Components & Materials Expo; PWB Expo; Fine Process Technology Expo; and LED & Laser Diode Technology Expo, and Automotive World 2019, which includes CAR-ELE JAPAN; EV JAPAN; Lightweight Technology Expo; Connected Car Japan; CAR-MECHA JAPAN; and Autonomous Driving Technology Expo. It also featured 3rd RoboDEX (Robot Development & Application Expo), 3rd Smart Factory Expo, and 5th WEARABLE EXPO (Wearable Device & Technology Expo) as concurrent events.

Organized by Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd., the events drew record 2,640 companies from 20 countries, mainly from Japan compared with 2,600 companies in 2018. Exhibitors showcased leading-edge electronics technologies and new products for 2019, including products for internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), smart factory, autonomous driving, robots, and fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications technologies.

Exhibitors Actively Propose Smart Factory
Amid growing interests in IoT-compliant production process, mounter manufacturers proposed at NEPCON Japan 2019 their respective smart factory concepts. A smart factory realizes significant improvement in productivity by using IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies and by connecting manufacturing equipment on the production line and in the entire factory over the network (internet). At the show, mounter manufacturers proposed easy-to-use systems that address the needs on production sites, including failure prediction of production equipment using AI.

Photo 1: At NEPCON Japan 2019, smart factory and leading-edge manufacturing equipment are crowd drawers.
Photo 1: At NEPCON Japan 2019, smart factory and leading-edge manufacturing equipment are crowd drawers.

Support Variable-Mix, Variable-Volume Production
By linking their machines with those of other companies, mounter manufacturers also proposed comprehensive systems that encompass components warehouse; extraction of components from the warehouse; printer; automated optical inspection system; and post process for mounting of large components, while supporting variable-mix, variable-volume production.

Soldering robots and solders for specific applications, such as those for automotive electronics, were also on show.

New Products for Automobiles under One Roof
Electronic components and printed wiring board (PWB) manufacturers showcased new products and technologies for automobiles under one roof.

Photo 2: PWB and electronic components manufacturers showcase new technologies, focusing on automotive application.
Photo 2: PWB and electronic components manufacturers showcase new technologies, focusing on automotive application.
Photo 3: Robot manufacturers gather at the 3rd RoboDEX to highlight leading-edge technologies, including various robots and factory automation systems.
Photo 3: Robot manufacturers gather at the 3rd RoboDEX to highlight leading-edge technologies, including various robots and factory automation systems.
Electronic components manufacturers, including Alps Electric Co., Ltd.; Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.; ROHM Co., Ltd.; Panasonic Corp.; and Taiyo Yuden Co., Ltd. showcased sensor modules and camera modules setting their sights on autonomous driving, as well as high heat resistance and heat dissipation-related products, anticipating the acceleration of the shift to xEVs. Resistor manufacturers, such as KOA Corp. and Hokuriku Electric Industry Co., Ltd., showcased new chip resistors with high value added, including low-resistance chip, high-power chip, anti-sulfuration chip, and anti-surge chip resistors. Manufacturers of aluminum electrolytic capacitors, including Nippon Chemi-Con Corp.; Nichicon Corp.; and Rubycon Corp. proposed hybrid capacitors that use electrolytic solution and conductive polymer for electrodes, electrolytic capacitors that withstand 150°C, and those for on-board chargers.

PWB manufacturers, such as CMK Corp. and Meiko Electronics Co., Ltd., showcased high-heat-resistance boards, high-current boards, rigid-flex PWBs, and module boards for automotive electronics.

Showcase Various Robots, FA Systems
Among the concurrently held exhibitions, robot manufacturers from Japan and abroad showcased at RoboDEX the latest types of robot products and technologies and factory automation systems. JUKI Corp. demonstrated a robot system automation solution, which realizes smartification of the manufacturing process. Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. showcased a high-speed, high-precision, and circular transport robot driven by a linear motor. FUJI Corp. exhibited as reference product the leading-class SW-H1 SCARA robot. Azbil Corp. demonstrated a robot holding soft objects. Various service robots, including a four-legged walking robot, were also exhibited.

At SMART FACTORY Expo, Yaskawa Electric Corp. showcased an AI solution, which enhances the efficiency of the inspection process. FANUC Corp. exhibited the industry’s first 35kg-payload collaborative robot.

At WEARABLE Expo, exhibitors introduced health management solutions using smart clothes, as well as the latest electronic components and materials that support wearable devices.