FIEE 2015 Rundown
FIEE 2015 at the Anhembi Parque in Sao Paulo, Brazil
FIEE – it’s well-known in the industry as Latin America’s largest International Electric, Electronic, Energy and Automation Trade Show. Occurring once every 2 years, this was the first FIEE since 2013, and boy, did we notice a difference since we last exhibited.
It was a lot smaller than it was in 2013 – and a lot more Chinese! It’s no secret that the new Brazilian Government is no longer subsidising its taxes after falling into recession last year, and with no impending World Cup to work towards anymore, Brazilian manufacturing is starting to take a hit. Only about half of the exhibitors from 2013 were present at FIEE this year.
But funnily enough, it’s not actually as bad as it sounds.
Time and time again, the Brazilian economy manages to upheave the rest of the world’s expectations by steadily increasing its interdependence with China – and we feel that this year will be no different. In fact, much to our delight, the recent decline doesn’t seem to have affected Chinese business interests within the Electronic, Energy, and Automation industries at all – a staggering 33% of all exhibitors at FIEE were Chinese manufacturers. Crazy to think, considering FIEE occurs at the same time as Productronica China, one of the largest Electronics Manufacturing Exhibitions in Asia… Surely, then, Brazil still has a lot to offer?
It certainly felt like there was plenty of opportunity at FIEE, even if the exhibition was a little smaller than last time. Innovation was all around us while we were exhibiting; particularly from within the ‘Smart City’ area, where advances related to the futures of public transport lighting, industrial electronics, waste management, and intelligent security systems were all being exhibited and demonstrated. There was particularly interesting activity from the Automation and Energy industries; new developments related to cutting the costs and manpower of renewable energies means the dream of self-sustaining cities may now be more feasible than ever. One has to wonder whether any of the ideas and concepts we saw in the Smart City area managed to rub off on some of the many Chinese entrepreneurs present at FIEE; if any country has the resources to pull off a Smart City, its China!
Brazil and China trade are known to trade with each other heavily, and if you’ve been keeping up with the news after FIEE, then you may have read about Brazil’s introduction to China’s AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), and the emerging financing deal between the AIIB and Petrobras (Brazil’s largest state-run Petrol company). China, known politically for its strategic long-game, wants Brazilian energy and innovation, and in return, China can offer enough infrastructure and trade deals to pull Brazil’s production and manufacturing out of the fearful slump it finds itself in during the first quarter of 2015.
So… that’s why we think FIEE may have jumped the gun a bit – timed just before the latest Chinese-Brazilian initiative was announced, many Brazilian businesses remained overly-fearful of investing for 2015, and instead planned ahead for a long battle with austerity. Brazil is by no means out of the woods yet, but it has definitely started follow the breadcrumb trail to recovery.
While Electrolube’s strong connection to China (we manufacture in both China and the UK) played a great part in our success, the fact that we were one of only two Chemical Manufacturers exhibiting allowed us to dominate the whole show. In fact, FIEE’s decrease in size made no real difference to the number of enquiries we received.
The Energy, LED, and Automation markets were particularly interested in our range of Resins and Conformal Coatings. The LED industry absolutely loved our optically clear Silicone Resin, SC3001, for LED potting, because of its ability to be applied in a thin film. We had countless requests for SC3001 samples, and are currently in the process of distributing them around Brazil and arranging various technical visits. AFA also won over many LED Driver Manufacturers due to its fast dry/cure time, safety (it’s free from dangerous aromatic solvents like Toluene or Xylene), and excellent protection in humid conditions.
Many prospects in the Energy and Automation industries found PUC to be extremely promising for various outdoor PCB applications, because of its resistance to mould growth. WBPs was also popular for similar applications (it is also mould-resistant), however more-so with companies that take an environmentally-friendly approach to business due to WBP’s extremely low VOC-content.
UVCL was an all-round industry success for PCB protection; it’s being considered for all kinds of uses by our prospects and current customers alike. The similarity between its interested parties is that they need to process large volumes of PCBs, and UVCL’s ease and rapidity of application means that it is a perfect choice for many customers that need to manufacture in big volumes.
However, we were quite surprised that most people at FIEE weren’t aware of our Maintenance & Service Aids product division. It’s where we keep all of the complementary products to our main portfolio so we can provide an overall solution to our customer’s needs. Products include Air dusters, Freezer Sprays, Industrial Cleaning Supplies, and whatever else our customers might benefit from whilst doing their jobs.
For example, we work with a lot of clients that have the facilities to apply soldering reflow on a large scale, and we saw quite a few of these kinds of businesses at FIEE. Knowing that they would have to have a reflow oven in order to surface-mount their PCBs, we took the opportunity to discuss a few of our Maintenance & Service Aids with them. They were delighted with ROC, our specially formulated Reflow Oven Cleaner, which removes all types of flux and contains corrosion inhibitors within the Reflow Oven in order to help create the most reliable PCB board possible during the Soldering Reflow stage.
More general Maintenance & Service Aids related to PCB production also piqued the interest of various exhibitors during FIEE, as we continued to explain the lesser-known of our product divisions to prospects. They couldn’t get enough of our non-corrosive, non-flammable Freezer Spray, FRE, which is used to cool small components in order to detect overheating components and faulty soldering. With no Ozone Depleting materials found inside, it’s not even our most environmentally friendly freezer spray on offer – FREH is even better!
Our multi-purpose Anti-Static Spray, ASA, gained an excellent reception too, as it reduces the thermal concentration on various kinds of surfaces by eliminating dust and preventing the build-up of static, and is also completely non-flammable. These products are great in workplaces where the use of flammable solvents is restricted, such as mines, oil-rigs, submarines and aircrafts.
In the end, we don’t really mind that this year’s FIEE was small compared to the FIEE in 2013; if anything, it just made it easier for everyone to find our stand! Good thing, too, because we wanted to show it off; this is the first time the Brazilian team have used the new modular Electrolube stand design, and we were more than happy to see it appreciated by onlookers. A small show with a big punch turned out to serve us perfectly, and we’re sure the increasing loyalty between Brazil and China will as well.