IPC Apex 2015 Rundown
Presenting my paper: 'CC-830 vs the real world: Part 2'
Apex 2015 was a great show for Electrolube – well, let's face it, Southern California in February is a great place to be! I was joined by the US General Manager, Randi Gates, and together we met a good number of existing customers and channel partners, but more importantly; we met a lot of potential customers.
Their needs seemed to spread across all of our product divisions, and we saw an interesting pattern begin to emerge as we questioned our new potential clients. Each conversation would start off discussing an initial application; perhaps a Conformal Coating, for example, and then we would end up discussing the rest of our product divisions as we trouble-shooted further complications and problems that the visitors were having with their assemblies.
For example, as we were showing Conformal Coatings and discussing protection, the client would then mention that they had trouble getting heat out of our products, so we would then begin discussing our Thermal Management Solutions. As we got chatting, the age-old debate about whether PCB boards need cleaning would come up, and then as I would explain how Electronics Cleaning improves a product life-span, we would change the subject back to protection, this time discussing the environmental extremes that our Encapsulation Resins can endure… By the end of nearly every discussion we’d touched on all of our main product lines and the customers were impressed by the range and breadth of the solutions our product line provided!
As the Global Business Director for the Coatings Division, I was constantly in demand – doing three video interviews during the show, and presenting a paper entitled 'IPC-CC-830V Vs The Real World', in which I highlighted that the ageing industry specification needs to evolve from where they are currently. We need to better reflect the modern production assemblies and techniques not envisaged in the 80s and early 90s when the bulk of the specification was written...
I have to say, my talk was very well attended indeed, and I'm still delighted nobody left early or fell asleep – an achievement I wish I could have boasted while I was writing it! In all seriousness, though, there were some great questions at the end and there was a good queue of people wanting to discuss the paper at greater length at the end of the session. There were also a lot of questions sent over afterwards by email, so all in all, it certainly struck a nerve and I couldn’t be happier with how it went!
Overall, the visitors came from a wide cross-section of the industry, and it was hard to pinpoint any specific industries, but overall, we were both surprised by the number of enquiries about applications for our Ultra-thin coatings, TFCF and TFCF+. We also received a good number of enquiries about our low-VOC and low-HAPS Conformal Coating solutions, particularly the solutions that are federally exempt from VOC, AFA (Aromatic Free Acrylic) and our award winning UV curable coating, UVCL.
On top of this, we were thrilled by how many third party referrals we received; a testament to the performance of our products and our extremely high service levels. We had countless visitors to the stand asking to speak about specific solutions recommended to them by another company – word of mouth is certainly a sound marketing technique! We also got a lot of positive comments about the appearance of our booth and the quality of the literature, so that is a great commendation of the hard work put in by our marketing team.
Randi also had a great opportunity to meet with a lot of existing channel partners, and even managed to sign up some new representatives in currently unrepresented territories. Naturally, he was pretty happy heading home, with so many leads to follow-up and a bunch of other opportunities to develop! I personally find leaving San Diego is always a bitter-sweet experience, but it’s always easier when you’ve had such a great show and have so much work to expand on.