On the eve of Productronica, I am certain of one thing and becoming more sure of another.
First, I believe that this year’s show will be Dominated — capital D — by Europe. I believe that there will be few Americans and fewer (read: next to zero) Asians.
That leads me to No. 2: That the reason for the regionalization of trade show attendance has less to do with the economy and more to do with the fact that for the very most part, existing production technology can build even the latest and greatest products. No matter that new generations of end-products come out every six months (or less), processes are driven by component packaging, and while leading-edge package types have shrunk from 0402 to 0201 to 01005 during the past five years, most conventional equipment is so darn good that it can print, place, solder, inspect and test the latest package styles. Assemblers simply no longer need to chase the latest and greatest equipment around the globe in order to win or build the latest designs. And that obviates the need to run from show to show in search of the “next big thing.”