Luca Giovelli, Head of Gruppo PCB Assodel, the workgroup dedicated to PCB manufacturers that is part of the Association of Electronic Districts in Italy, portrays a reality full of opportunities for the electronics industry in Italy.

What are the most pressing challenges that the electronics industry will have to face in the near future?
Setting aside the current situation of a serious market disruption due to energy and geopolitical problems, electronics is heading towards a high-tech and totally new future, such as the advent of the new quantum computers. This will enable the development and design of increasingly high-performance chips. In this respect, printed circuit boards are also increasingly using new materials and technologies to meet the new challenges that the market will demand.

Can you envisage some market prospects for the printed circuit board industry, also in view of the complex international geopolitical situation?
The market prospects are currently still growing. However, as we know, the market is extremely unstable, and production lines are subject to constant fluctuations. These variations force the entire production chain to be very flexible, often at the expense of costs, which are, not surprisingly, on the rise.

After having offshored the production for years, with all its advantages/drawbacks and consequences, many companies are thinking about reshoring it. This implies a focus on the promotion of national excellence and on investments supporting the European supply chain. What are your impressions on the subject?
The offshoring resulting from globalisation on a world scale that characterised the last two decades will not be so easily restored locally. Certainly, a return with local production of strategic processes can be expected in order to prevent a few suppliers from monopolising the world market. However, it will be difficult for many products, such as printed circuit boards, to be reshored, especially as far as large volumes are concerned, in view of the fact that production dynamics are very different and allow production to take place at costs that are unattainable for the European market. We must also note that everything revolving around the energy crisis that is dominant in Europe today has not affected Asian production at all. Therefore, as far as PCB production is concerned, it is to be expected that European production can only be realised for small batches or for some strategic production.

What activities do you think are most effective to put in place at institutional, association and initiative level to contribute to the development and consolidation of the European supply chain?
Effective activities to contribute to a development and consolidation of the European supply chain can only be managed at a political level. National institutions first and foremost and European institutions will have to assert and have their motives recognised as being one of the largest consumers of electronic products.

Do you see some interesting opportunities emerging from initiatives such as Focus on PCB, the trade show dedicated to the world of printed circuit boards?
For the printed circuit board industry, it is extremely important to have had the opportunity to launch an initiative such as Focus on PCB, which finally allows all operators in the sector, whether manufacturers or consumers, to evaluate and compare all the new opportunities that technology provides today. One of the most important aspects of this event is also to raise awareness of the importance of product quality before making any kind of choice. Focus on PCB is an initiative that promotes a new awareness of professionality and innovation throughout the electronics industry. The success of the first edition of this trade show demonstrates how important it is for all operators in the sector to have targeted reference points that guarantee the success of their activities.

The forthcoming edition of Focus on PCB will take place in Vicenza on 17 and 18 May 2023. The show is organised by NürnbergMesse Italia and hosted by IEG – Italian Exhibition Group, with the patronage of ANIE Componenti Elettronici and Gruppo PCB Assodel.  
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Opening hours Focus on PCB
15th of May – 9.00am – 6.00pm
16th of May – 9.00am – 5:00pm
Vicenza Expo Centre – Pad. 1
Via dell’Oreficeria, 16 – Vicenza, Italy
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