Electronics Manufacturing Industry Leaders Enter 2022 With Greater Optimism

The annual round of interviews What’s the SCOOP, conducted by Philip Stoten, offers one of the most exciting reviews of industry leaders looking forward to the new year and beyond. In a time of profound change and great uncertainty it is more valuable than ever. The interview focuses on the electronics industry and the wider manufacturing sector. This year’s issue highlighted four key topics:

First: Industry leaders expect supply chain disruptions to continue this year, but worries and fears are gradually being replaced by optimism. this industry has already begun to adapt through greater localization and smarter, technological innovations in supply chains. The pandemic has served as an accelerator, and a faster move toward digitalization and smart factory technology promises a significant rapid increase in efficiency and adaptability. “While many of us understood the value and importance of digitalisation of plants by 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the pressure to accelerate digitalisation in the electronics industry,” said Michael Ho, Cogiscan’s Director of Business Development. Rajiv Bhala, co-founder and CEO of CLIP Automation, believes we are on the verge of finally uncovering the true potential value of automation as “in the coming years more solutions such as CLIP begin to provide an operating system that provides connectivity to the plant , hyper-awareness, the ability to combine data for planning, forecasting and response ”.

Another: the trend towards shorter and more localized supply chains continues. Global supply chains were in a tense state for several years before the pandemic: the resurgence of protectionist pressure brought back fashion tariffs and non-tariff barriers; accidental natural disasters have shown their destructive potential. As geopolitical tensions continue to rise, business leaders realize that even after the pandemic disappears, we will not return to the golden age of globalization. Anastasias Arima, CEO of IperionX (formerly Hyperion Metals Ltd), says very clearly: “If recent events have taught us anything, it is because global supply chains are less stable than we thought. I believe the answer is regionalized supply chains to create more sustainability, more adaptability and less threat to the environment. ”

Third: Raising awareness of the importance of sustainability among consumers, employees, investors and industry leaders is making an increasing contribution to the management of corporate strategies. Sustainable development goals combine well with at least a few key current trends: localization of supply chains reduces emissions from transport; and efforts to achieve greater energy efficiency in production reduce overall energy consumption while easing cost pressures (the recent surge in energy prices is a strong stimulus). Bruno Raco, CEO and President of ALL Circuits, considers a more responsible approach to the environment one of the key trends for 2022 and beyond, and says: “This means producing products that are more sustainable, using production methods. which are more resilient and once again redeveloping shorter, more resilient supply chains ”. Gunther Lauber, CEO of the SMT and EVP solutions segment, ASMPT, agrees: “… ethics and sustainability are increasingly influencing business strategies and processes also in the electronics industry.” This synergy between industrial innovation and sustainability can lead to the self-strengthening of the virtuous loop: “I also expect significant growth in electronics in green technology. Only with the use of new technologies, and electronics always play a key role, can greenhouse gas emissions be reduced, ”said Rainer Koppitz, CEO of KATEK, which sees electric vehicles as a sector with particularly strong potential.

Fourth: talent has become a crucial scarcity factor in corporate strategies; Talent shortages increase the cost of labor and underscore companies ’ability to scale. Companies respond in two ways: (i) intensify efforts to hire and retrain the right employees; and (ii) intensifying the search for the best automation strategies. Microart CEO Mark Woods jokes: “We are working hard to change the deadline [great resignation] to “great content”.

From the privileged position of these industry leaders, we have entered a period of accelerating transformation, when digital innovations offer tools and solutions to successfully address a number of difficult challenges. Cybord CEO Zew Euphrates says it best: “Overall, 2022 looks like another year of disruptions with growing demand, uncertain supply, unpredictable shipments and logistics, and a growing understanding that smart, digitally supported supply chains are the future.”

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