EPTE Newsletter: Flood Catastrophe in Japan

The rainy season in Japan usually ends in early July; however, severe and abnormal weather plagued Japan during the entire month this year. First, a strong typhoon passing from south to north soaked the western island, Kyushu. The typhoon kicked off the seasonal rain front in the western half of Japan, which resulted in historical rainfall. Some areas received more than 1,000 millimeters of rain in less than four days—a record amount of rainfall for many towns. The downpours caused floods and landslides near riverbanks, destroyed bridges, and washed out roadways. More than 250 people were killed or remain missing, and 5,000 families lost their homes. Water and power supply, as well as railways, sustained critical damage and many remain in the dark without water. More than 5,000 people are relying on evacuation shelters.

Why did this year’s damage seem worse than past years? Days before, using the highest-class super computer, the Japanese Meteorological Agency did a great job forecasting the historically severe rainfall. The super computer expected more rainfall than previous records. They issued repeated warnings for those in direct danger but did not have the power to issue mandatory evacuations for these areas. All they could do was communicate the weather forecast. The responsibility to protect individuals in the line of fire falls on the shoulders of the police and fire departments, and ultimately the cabinet and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan.

A few years ago, there was a landslide after a severe rainfall in Hiroshima Prefecture, in which more than 70 people were killed. This disaster should have taught Japan to develop a preventable action plan and early warning system to avoid loss of human life. Current technology can capture this data; it’s time to develop a meaningful action plan using this data when there is clear, imminent danger.

Several cabinet members, including the prime minister, were attending a private party with congressmen from the ruling party while the Meteorological Agency released the warning of severe rainfall (sounds like someone was asleep at the wheel). We may need a barometer to measure the effectiveness of our politicians.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        


1. NEC (Major electronics company in Japan) 6/29

Developed a new compression-type cooling system for servers of data centers that will reduce power consumption by 20%.

2. Rengo (Major packaging material supplier in Japan) 7/2

Developed a cellulose nanofiber (CNF) as the frame material for automobiles that has higher mechanical strength with smaller weight, compared to steels.

3. Tokyo University (Japan) 7/3

Co-developed a new optical device that forms a spiral flower structure with silicon with Konica Minolta.

4. Showa Denko (Major chemical company in Japan) 7/3

Decided to expand the monthly manufacturing capacity of high-quality SiC wafer from 5,000 wafers to 9,000 wafers for power electronics demands.

5. Fujitsu (Major electronics company in Japan) 7/5

Agreed to sell a semiconductor manufacturing plant in Mie Prefecture with UMC, Taiwan, for 57.6 billion yen.

6. Shimadzu (Major scientific equipment manufacturer in Japan) 7/6

Developed a new laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for the chemical analysis of trace amounts of metallic elements in the waste water of semiconductor plants.

7. Seiko Epson (Major electronics company in Japan) 7/9

Built a new manufacturing factory of the ink jet printer heads at Hirooka Plant, Nagano. The manufacturing capacity will be three times larger.

8. NIMS (Major R&D organization in Japan) 7/10

Co-developed a new synthesized process of carbon nanosheets in an aqueous solution. The thickness of the sheet is less than 10 nanometers.

9. Kyushu University (Japan) 7/10

Developed a new type of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) device with higher conversion rates than 100% between singlet and triplet state.

10. Daicel (Major supplier of specialty chemicals in Japan) 7/10

Will build a new manufacturing facility of nano-silver ink for printable electronics. The new ink provides a higher conductivity by low-temperature baking.

11. Canon (Major electronics company in Japan) 7/10

Will release a new high-resolution complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensor, “120MXSM,” with 120 million pixels for process inspection of the next generation of display panels in July.

Please contact haverhill@dknreseach.com for further information and news.



EPTE Newsletter: Flood Catastrophe in Japan


The rainy season in Japan usually ends in early July; however, severe and abnormal weather plagued Japan during the entire month this year. First, a strong typhoon passing from south to north soaked the western island, Kyushu. The typhoon kicked off the seasonal rain front in the western half of Japan, which resulted in historical rainfall. Some areas received more than 1,000 millimeters of rain in less than four days—a record amount of rainfall for many towns.

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EPTE Newsletter: Metallization for Plastic Surfaces


During the 1980s, manufacturers ran around the barn a few times trying to decide the best way to produce reliable bond strength between polyimide sheets and copper foils when producing thin copper laminates for high-density flexible circuits.

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EPTE Newsletter: JPCA SHOW 2018


One of the largest exhibitions for the printed circuit industry was held June 6–8 at Tokyo Big Sight in Japan. The three-day show is held in Tokyo every June and attracts a worldwide audience. This year, related events at the show included JIEP 2018, JISSO PROTEC 2018, Total Organic Expo 2018, WIRE Japan Show 2018 and Smart Sensing 2018.

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EPTE Newsletter: The Digital Camera Industry is Disappearing


Digital camera manufacturers continue to decrease their manufacturing space due to the steady decline in camera sales. Olympus, one of the major camera manufacturers in Japan, closed their compact camera manufacturing plant in China. Olympus plans to focus on more profitable segments in their portfolio. They currently have a comprehensive offering of endoscopes, devices and accessories to meet every GI procedural need.

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EPTE Newsletter: Last Volume PCB Shop in the U.S. Shuttered


Sanmina Corporation will close one of their printed circuit board operations in Owego, New York. Hundreds of employees were told they would lose their jobs. Sanmina Corporation is the largest EMS company in the U.S., and this plant could be the last volume manufacturer in the States.

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EPTE Newsletter: Consumer Electronics in the Bathroom


DKN Research is the world’s leading engineering firm specializing in microelectronics and packaging. We review business trends, dissect new electronic products, and provide state of the art technology. Advancements in electronics no extend to the bathroom; in particular, the toilet.

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EPTE Newsletter: Nano Tech 2018 and Printable Electronics


Nano Tech 2018 was held at Tokyo Big Sight on February 14. The three-day show is one of the largest events for nanotechnologies. Other high-tech events that participated in the show included Printable Electronics 2018, ASTECH 2018, SURTECH 2018, 3D Printing 2018, 3Decotech 2018 and Neo Functional Material 2018.

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EPTE Newsletter: Taiwan Snapshot—Things Are Good!


Taiwan continues to exceed expectations as the manufacturing hub for consumer electronics. Trends for the global electronics market can be forecasted by analyzing shipments of printed circuits from Taiwanese manufacturers.

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EPTE Newsletter: NEPCON JAPAN 2018


The largest electronics exhibition in Japan was held at Tokyo Big Sight on Wednesday January 17. The 47-year-old show started out as InterNEPCON and featured companies that specialized in covered packaging and wiring including printed circuits for electronic equipment. The show evolved over the years and continuously added other electronics-related products.

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EPTE Newsletter: SEMICON JAPAN 2017


SEMICON JAPAN 2017 was held at Tokyo Big Sight on Wednesday December 13. This is the last trade show for the electronics industry in 2017. The show used to be held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, but changed venues due to shrinking attendance. Event organizers were hoping for a bump in visitors with the venue change.

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EPTE Newsletter: TV Sales on Cyber Monday


Did you score on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? I have a 42-inch Samsung Plasma TV that is ready to be replaced. I bought this state-of-the-art plasma TV seven years ago for $795 (that was a bargain back then). Today, you can buy a 42-inch Samsung LCD HDTV on Amazon for $395—almost half the price from the one I purchased almost a decade ago. It’s a great deal and I plan on purchasing it once I finish this newsletter.

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EPTE Newsletter: Made in Japan


Japanese companies were immune to corporate scandals many years ago. These companies seemed squeaky clean, and seldom made headline news about scandalous business practices (the exception was the financial crimes at Toshiba). That has changed recently.

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EPTE Newsletter: Can Toshiba Survive?


Toshiba was the leader in the electronics industry, and developed and marketed many types of electronic equipment and devices that included word processors, printers, VCR cameras, tape recorders, hard disc drives, transceivers, laptop computers, facsimiles, cellular phones, and more. Toshiba was also a leader in designing medical equipment. Toshiba was always one of the best electronics companies in the world.

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EPTE Newsletter: Semi-Annual Review of the Global Circuit Industry


Every piece of electronic equipment uses printed circuit boards. The circuit board industry posted mixed results for the first half of the year. Listed below is a quick snapshot of the global results as well as business trends for consumer electronics.

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EPTE Newsletter: Is RCA Reborn?


Radio Corporation of America (RCA) is a familiar name to anyone over the age of 40. The RCA brand is one of the oldest and most well-known brands in the consumer electronics industry. The company was founded as a subsidiary of General Electric (GE) in 1919, and was successful with radios, TVs and VCRs.

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EPTE Newsletter: Reborn Sharp Pushes Drastic Reforms


Hon Hai Precision Industry is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer. Last week, the company announced plans to build a $10 billion LCD panel plant in Wisconsin. Hon Hai acquired Japanese electronics manufacturer Sharp last year, and plans to manufacture Sharp LCDs in Wisconsin.

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EPTE Newsletter: M-Tech 2017


Tokyo Big Sight hosted the Mechanical Component & Materials Technology Expo (M-Tech) on June 21. The three-day show included the 21st Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo (DMS), the 25th 3D Virtual Reality Expo (IVR) and the Medical Device Development Expo (MEDIX).

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EPTE Newsletter: Transparent Flex Circuits, Stretchable Flex Circuits


I attended the JPCA Trade Show earlier this month. Most of the products on display were related to electronics, the electronics industry, packaging and electronic circuits. Flex circuit manufacture and material companies that featured flexible circuits at the exhibition focused their attention on transparent flex circuits and stretchable flex circuits.

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DKN Research Newsletter: JPCA Show a Positive Sign for Industry


I recently attended the JPCA Show, the largest trade show event for the printed circuit industry. The size of the show was almost the same as last year, but there were significant changes to product lines from material suppliers. It seemed to me there was an increase in attendance, and almost everyone was there to get a glimpse of some new technology trends. Overall the show was a success. I am optimistic for the future.

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EPTE Newsletter: SEMICON Japan, 2016


The last electronics trade show of the year has held starting December 14, for three days at Tokyo Big Sight. The slumping semiconductor market in Japan remains slow; however, I could be optimistic that the trade show would reveal some signs of an upturn for the industry.

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EPTE Newsletter: Preliminary PCB Industry Results For 2016


Once summer is over, the year slips away: I can’t believe we are in the last month of 2016. We have almost a year of sales data from the global printed circuit industry, so this is a good time to analyze this year’s performance and consider business plans for 2017. Since printed circuits are the major components in electronic products, let’s review PCB market trends in the global electronics industry.

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EPTE Newsletter: Printable Electronics—A Practical Solution?


I attended a Printable Electronics workshop in Japan a couple of weeks ago. The 200-person crowd was made up of people from R&D organizations, material suppliers and machine manufacturers. No one there could be termed a customer; everyone was there to learn and discuss the latest printable electronics.

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EPTE Newsletter: CREATEC JAPAN 2016—Is Manufacturing Turning Around?


CREATEC JAPAN (the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) was held at Makuhari Messe, one of the largest convention centers in Japan. The four-day show opened on October 4, 2016, and organizers anticipated more than 130,000 visitors this year.

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EPTE Newsletter: Hon Hai Completes Sharp Acquisition


Sharp Corporation was once a leading electronics company in Japan. In 1962, Sharp expanded outside of Japan and established Sharp Electronics Corporation in the United States. Sharp was known for cutting edge technology and developed many unique products for consumer electronics, including calculators, photovoltaic cells, LCD panels, LCD TVs, electronic notebooks and more.

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EPTE Newsletter: Sony Sells Battery Division to Murata


Large electronics companies in Japan continue to lose market share in the global arena. This erosion of market share has had a ripple effect on Japanese printed circuit manufacturers that supplied these electronic companies; when they sneeze, printed circuit manufacturers catch cold.

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EPTE Newsletter: Pokémon Go a New Direction For Nintendo


Nintendo released its Pokémon Go app in July 2016, and Apple says it was the most downloaded app ever in a first week. More than 25 million people download and play the game every day; most of them are under the age of 25.

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EPTE Newsletter: Transparent Circuits Gaining in Popularity


Transparent printed circuits were a popular item showcased at the JPCA Show 2016. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) use to be the dominant material used for transparent substrates in optical circuits and devices and generated a huge amount of sales from touch screen panels.

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EPTE Newsletter: Sanyo—Japanese or Chinese?


Market share for Japanese electronics companies began to erode in the early 2000s. Their shrinking sales were felt everywhere in the global market; especially hard hit were Japanese consumer electronics. Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, Sanyo, Toshiba, Hitachi and other Japanese manufacturers were the predominant brands found in the big box stores. Consumer electronics inventories at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and other large retailers now come from manufacturers in Korea, Taiwan and China. Japanese brands have a negligible market share in the North American market.

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EPTE Newsletter: Taiwan Printed Circuit Industry Is Shrinking


Taiwan has become the manufacturing powerhouse for the global consumer electronics industry. Their product scope includes personal computers, tablet PCs, smartphones, gaming consoles, digital cameras and more. These broad ranges of products are not only manufactured in Taiwan, but also in Mainland China and other overseas countries.

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EPTE Newsletter: Toshiba’s Financial Scandal


Last spring, Toshiba disclosed to its shareholders some accounting irregularities, causing them to delay their earnings report for the first quarter. These accounting irregularities made investors nervous, but not panicked enough to sell off their holdings. Officials at Toshiba explained the accounting irregularities included hiding some losses during previous years, and they would need to re-state their earnings as soon as possible.

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EPTE Newsletter: Toshiba's Leadership Lies about Profits


Japan is home for Toshiba, one of the largest electronics company in the world. Toshiba is in the midst of a massive accounting scandal that was brought to light in April, when Toshiba first disclosed some accounting irregularities. Several executives including Toshiba’s chief executive and president resigned, and heads may continue to roll.

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Things are Slowing Down in Taiwan


The recent news from Taiwan is not very optimistic; manufacturing companies are very pessimistic with their fourth-quarter forecasts. The media continues to report about the dismal global economy due to the uncertainty in the Chinese economy and the roller coaster rides in the financial markets. Taiwan is not uncertain at all—they are pessimistic with the business outlook for the rest of the year.

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We Have No Internet— Now What?


Society is dependent on technology—no argument there. Today’s youth does not know a world without mobile electronic devices that keep us connected 24/7, and a senior in high school does not know a world without Google. What happens if an asteroid storm takes out all the satellites orbiting the earth? Well, I experienced two technology crises in the last two weeks that was not as draconian as our satellites collapsing, but it did give me a moment to pause and think about our dependence on technology.

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Deadly Blast in China


The quality of products made in China has improved over the years, but factory and worker conditions may not be keeping up. Without safeguards in the workplace, tragedies are bound to happen in plants that work with hazardous and flammable chemicals.

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Taiwan: The Barometer for Consumer Electronics


Equipment manufacturers and printed circuit manufacturers released pessimistic forecasts for the second half of the year. They blame their pessimism on slow sales from personal computers, and they expect a negative growth from tablet PCs this year. The printed circuit industry in Taiwan represents the global market trends for consumer electronics. For this reason, I do not have an optimistic outlook for consumer electronics this year.

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The Drive for Transparent Circuits


DKN Research develops many types of unique electronic circuits. Some products in our portfolio include ultra-thin conductor circuits as small as 0.2 microns, metal-free circuits, and some circuits up to 20 meters long. Our staff fields many inquiries for packaging of new electronic devices. Lately, there is a lot of interest in transparent flexible circuits. The increase in interest is driven by the recent market expansion of display and optical devices.

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M-Tech Tokyo Show Draws Huge Crowd


The M-Tech 2015, held last June 24 at Tokyo Big Sight encompassed a broad range of technologies and mechanical processes, and was an excellent source for cutting-edge technologies for designing electronic devices and other mechanical components.

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The three-day JPCA 2015 trade show was held on June 3 at Tokyo Big Sight. This trade fair is an international event that attracts customers, vendors and manufacturers who are affiliated with the electronics industry. This show provides me an opportunity to discover any new market trends or new technologies.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: Quick Repair, Slow Process


Nowadays, the broken products are sent to a manufacturers’ repair facility. They order alternative parts to replace the modules and do not solder anything in the process. It is pretty much plug and play – the technicians at the repair center do not require any specialized training. This is now the future – gone are the independent TV repair men.

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SEMICON Japan 2014


Dominique Numakura writes, "With most major trade shows and events, crowds of people can be seen walking from the train and bus stations to the convention center, but there were no crowds at this event. I wondered whether I had the wrong place or the wrong date. I was expecting long lines of visitors registering for the show and was surprised to see no lines."

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Yen Continues to Slide


Japanese manufacturers lost most of their global market share over the last few years due to poor business strategies. Products include flat panel TVs, cellular phones, personal computers, MP3s, tablet PCs, and more. Market share in the digital camera market remains on track, but this segment continues to shrink at an alarming rate. Some Japanese companies may throw in the towel. For them, a weak yen does not help their bottom line.

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EPTE Newsletter From Japan: Yen Continues to Slide


Japanese manufacturers lost most of their global market share over the last few years due to poor business strategies. Products include flat panel TVs, cellular phones, personal computers, MP3s, tablet PCs, and more. Market share in the digital camera market remains on track, but this segment continues to shrink at an alarming rate. Some Japanese companies may throw in the towel. For them, a weak yen does not help their bottom line.

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Pessimism in the PC Market


Did you know that more than 90% of personal computers are manufactured by Taiwanese manufacturers in Taiwan? The total number of PCs manufactured totals more than three hundred million units per year (excluding tablets).

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Pessimism in the PC Market


Taiwanese manufacturers are forecasting a further slowdown for the PC market during the fourth quarter of 2014 and all of 2015. This time around they expect the tablet PC market will also slow. Does it mean the entire electronics industry will slow down for a while? Some believe that when the PC industry sneezes the rest of the electronics industry catches a cold.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: Pessimism in the PC Market


Taiwanese manufacturers are forecasting a further slowdown for the PC market during the fourth quarter of 2014 and all of 2015. This time around they expect the tablet PC market will also slow. Does it mean the entire electronics industry will slow down for a while? Some believe that when the PC industry sneezes the rest of the electronics industry catches a cold.

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Japan Market Conditions Changing Drastically


Unfortunately, market conditions in Japan have changed drastically during the last few years. Large electronics companies lost market share, along with the prestige of being the market leaders in business and technology. Columnist Dominique Numakura explains that the CEATEC Japan show reflects this downturn as it continues to shrink year over year.

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EPTE Newsletter: Japan Market Conditions Changing Drastically


Unfortunately, market conditions in Japan have changed drastically during the last few years. Large electronics companies lost market share, along with the prestige of being the market leaders in business and technology. Columnist Dominique Numakura explains that the CEATEC Japan show reflects this downturn as it continues to shrink year over year.

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Lights Out for Sony?


Last month, Sony announced a loss of more than $2 billion and canceled dividends for the current fiscal year. The CEO apologized for the poor performance and blamed the shortfall on the strategy to center core business on the smart phone segment--revenue never reached the estimated forecast.

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Japanese Economy Shrinks by 30%


The yen's depreciation does not strengthen exporting power for the Japanese electronics industry. What's scarier is that more than one-third of the fortune made in Japan during the last half century (about US $5 trillion) was lost through currency depreciation. Japan has lost its buying power.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: Yen Slides to Record Low


Japanese-based companies with overseas business are reaping the benefits of a weakening yen. Automobile manufacturers will post record profits for fiscal year 2013. They are spreading the wealth amongst their employees by paying out year-end bonuses.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: 2013 Printed Circuit Industry


Japan had a very bad start this year. Revenue for January and February were dismal compared with the same period last year and 2012 was almost as bad as the year of the worldwide recession in 2008. The year started off so badly that some feared a total collapse for the Japanese PWB Industry.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: CEATEC Japan 2013


More than one-third of floor space was occupied by automobile manufacturers and module manufacturers. These companies showcased their products and demonstrated the use of electric vehicles (EVs) and telematics technologies (car electronics). A large section of space was reserved for concept vehicles of the future.

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EPTE Newsletter: New "Developments" in Digital Cameras


All good things must come to an end: The global recession that began in 2008 had a negative impact on the digital camera market. From that point on, annual shipments have declined 10 to 20% each year and shipments in the latter part of 2012 fell even more.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: PCB Industry Takes a Hit


The Japanese electronics and circuit board industry show no signs of recovery. Sales of core products that include flat panel TVs, cellular phones, and digital cameras continue to show weakness and are down compared to the previous year.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: Can Organic Electronics be Printable and Flexible?


Researchers from universities and material companies are extremely optimistic for the future of organic materials and their sensational performances. These researchers all claim that the new organic material is printable. But in my opinion, their projections are too optimistic.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: Trends from JPCA Show 2013


Dominique Numakura reports that the electronics industry in Japan is currently suffering its worst slump in history. He was hoping to see new and innovative products at JPCA 2013to snap the country out of its funk.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: What to Expect at JPCA 2013


Market conditions for both consumer electronics and printed circuits in Japan remained soft in the first quarter. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) reported a slight rebound for PWB shipments during March compared with the previous month. Unfortunately, volume is showing a double digit decline when compared year-over-year.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: Industry Trips Out of the Gate


The Japanese yen continues to depreciate against other foreign currencies, while the Tokyo Stock Exchange reaches new highs every week. Dominique Numakura wishes he could say the same about the electronics industry. Unfortunately, the remarkable decline the electronics industry suffered during year end continues into 2013.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: 2012 Ends on a Bad Note


Industry trends were all over the place in 2012 for the global electronics industry. Industry analysts are not sharing any good news for 2013. Build-up multilayer boards, double-layer and multilayer flex circuits, and semiconductor substrates all show the same downturn in business in Japan.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: Watches Made in China


Dominique Numakura says, "It was nearly 40 years ago when I got my first job as a freshman in Japan, and to celebrate my success, I bought a high-end watch made by Seiko--a large watch manufacturer in Japan."

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: PCB Industry on the Ropes


Previously, Japanese manufacturers were very profitable with their double-sided and multilayer flex and rigid module substrate product lines. Their overseas customers preferred high performance and a high-quality product produced in Japan. But Korean and Taiwanese PCB manufacturers have greatly improved the quality of their products in recent years.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: TPCA Show 2012


The last TPCA Show Dominique Numakura attended was in 2008, and he says the PCB industry has changed drastically in that time. He explains that for some countries, the PCB business is good, and for others, well, not so good.

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EPTE Newsletter: Using Smart Phones in Not so Smart Places


Sure, you use your smartphone or tablet in the usual places: The subway, in the car, and while relaxing on the sofa. What about the bathtub? You'd be surprised where some people take their valuable electronic devices.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: Social Network Games Flourish


Very few segments in the Japanese electronics industry are flourishing; in fact, many companies are barely hanging on as they try to weather the economic slowdown. Conversely, revenue predictions for social network games are expected to be well over $10 billion in the next few years.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: The Galapagos Syndrome


The isolation that Japanese manufacturers once enjoyed is gone and several electronics products from other countries have flooded their markets. Now, the country's media has jumped all over Darwin's theory by comparing recent business trends for the electronics industry to the "Galapagos Syndrome."

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: PCB Industry Running out of Options


Japan's PCB industry does not have many options left. Incremental improvements will not rescue the entire industry. Management teams must generate long-term survival plans and execute strategies as soon as possible. Time and money are running out...

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EPTE Newsletter: Are Things Really This Gloomy?


The month of May is quickly winding down and the June trade show season is fast approaching. On June 13, 2012, the JPCA Show will open its doors at Tokyo Big Sight. The three-day event is the largest trade exhibition for the printed circuit industry.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: JPCA Show 2011, Part II


More than 1,000 new products and technologies were presented at JPCA Show 2011. Most of these products were connected to the consumer electronics market in some way--materials, equipment, PCBs, designs, IC packaging, application or assembly. Vendors seemed to concentrate on two consumer products: Smart phones and tablet PCs.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: JPCA Show 2010, Part VII


Materials are the most purchased items in the PCB industry for both business and technology customers. Material suppliers occupied the majority of the space at the show; however, many suppliers considered to be large players in the industry were absent. Why did they pass on this year's show?

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DKN Research: Is A Ubiquitous Internet Practical?


Not too long ago, visionaries predicted a "ubiquitous Internet," in which Internet access would be available anytime and any place on the earth. Their vision has almost come to fruition as more and more of us log on daily to get our Internet fix.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: NEPCON World 2009, Part I


One of the major conventions for electronic packaging and assembling was held at the Tokyo Big Sight for three days beginning January 28, 2009. The show had a name change this year and is now called NEPCON World. Each year, the exhibition grows larger and larger and continuously adds new events. The huge floors of the East and West Hall were fully occupied with more than 1,200 exhibitors.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: Good Riddance 2008


Bad financial news continues to pour in everyday. The global economic meltdown is probably the worst slump felt in many years--and far worse than analysts expected. The crisis is widespread and Asian countries, whose economic engines seemed indestructible, are now grinding to a halt.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: Nanotechnology-Another Trendy Phrase


More than a thousand companies, universities and research organizations dedicate resources toward business applications or R&D activities for nanotechnologies.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: June PWB Production in Japan


The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) recently released June's production data from Japan's printed circuit industry. We now have a six month snapshot for 2008 and can review market trends for this period and forecast performance for the remainder of the year.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: JPCA Show 2008, Part VI


As with previous years, the majority of attendees at the JPCA show were Korean and Taiwanese; however, one difference with this year's melting pot was the increase in North American and Western European visitors.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan--JPCA Show 2008, Part V


Numakura spoke with one manager from a machine manufacturer who explained that small- and mid- sized assemblers, as well as prototype EMS companies from Japan, the U.S. and Europe, do not focus on high speeds, but, rather, a flexibility to manage many different products from a small line.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan--JPCA Show, Part IV


Materials are always a significant detail to consider in the printed circuit industry, and most of the major material suppliers reserved relatively large booths at the JPCA exhibition. The material manufacturers displayed their new items; unfortunately, I could not find very innovative or novel products during the show.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan--JPCA Show, Part III


The benchmark isn't set for the high-density fine line circuit segment from the Japanese printed circuit industry. The front runners featured their fine line capabilities during the exhibition in a very competitive fashion.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan--JPCA Show, Part II


Embedded components seems to be a very "fashionable" trend, started last year, and most of the major rigid board companies and flexible circuit manufacturers paraded their latest achievements from their technological departments at the show.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan--JPCA Show 2008, Part I


This year's show grabbed honors as the largest exhibition ever for the printed circuit industry, and the JPCA Show is arguably the greatest exhibition in terms of size and technology level.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan--The iPhone Has Landed


Last week, Soft Bank, one of three wireless phone carriers in Japan, announced the launch of the first iPhone entry into the Japanese cellular phone market. Apple granted Soft Bank an exclusive contract as the sole provider of iPhones in Japan.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan--First Quarter 2008 PWB Production in Japan


The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trading and Industry (METI) recently released PWB production data for March. Total revenue in March was 81.12 billion yen; a 2.5% increase from February, but 1.5% lower than January's numbers--we are hopeful that this is simply a seasonal adjustment.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan - SEMICON JAPAN 2007


Although the number of semiconductor trade shows held in the U.S. and Europe are continuously declining, Semicon Japan has opposed this trend and continues to expand the scope of their event; SEMICON JAPAN 2007 registered over 1,500 exhibiting companies and organizations.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan - Productronica 2007 (Part III)


The target audience at Productronica is primarily printed circuit board manufacturers, and the majority of the exhibition was dedicated to materials and manufacturing equipment vendors and dealers who supply this segment.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan - Productronica 2007 (Part II)


Productronica 2007 showcased products from both circuit board manufacturers and assembly houses; however, representation from the assembly sector exceeded that of the PCB manufacturers.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan: Samsung Retreats


Samsung did not provide specifics about its redeployment away from the Japanese market. However, industrial media reports suggest that Japanese customers cannot forget the old image of Korean products, "Cheap but low quality."

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan - The Analogy Between Ichiro Suzuki and Toyota Motors


Toyota does not produce a flashy sports car, but does provide reliable sedans and trucks to a consumer market that demands quality.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan - TPCA Show 2007 - Continued


There are now many reliable machine suppliers in Taiwan that can meet the needs for printed circuit manufacturing and the assembling processes.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan - TPCA Show 2007


One unlucky bit of timing for the exhibition was the historically huge typhoon approaching the Taipei area during the week.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan - After Motorola Shock


The slowdown at Motorola has sent ripples throughout the electronics industry, especially in Asia.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan - Japan PWB Production - First Half of 2007


Total revenue from PWB production for the first half was 494.9 billion yen (about 4.3 billion U.S. dollars), an 8.6% growth compared to the same time-frame of the previous year.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan - Toyota Will Be Number One in 2007


After decades of being king of the mountain, a claim held since 1931, General Motors' title as the number 1 automaker in the world will soon slip away, and Toyota Motors will be crowned the new king.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan - Next Generation Semiconductors


There is a lot of prognosticating and discussion surrounding the next generation semiconductor material that will replace silicon in the electronics industry.

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan - Nano-technology


People believe that nano-technologies will generate some business opportunities in the future. What exactly are the Nano-Technologies?

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EPTE Newsletter from Japan - An Old Clock Radio (Plated Through Holes)


The GE engineers during the 1950s have provided their great design concept and reliability with the new technologies introduced for consumer products

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