SMTA Malaysia 2015 Rundown
Electrolube sponsored the latest SMTA conference in Penang this month; the full title was 'South East Asia Technical Conference on Electronics Assembly' but SMTA is much easier to say! Phil Kinner, our Global Coatings Business Director, also joined me in order to present his Technical Paper entitled: 'Taking the shock out of Thermal Shock'.
The Conference was held in Penang, an Island off the North Western Coast of Malaysia. You might think it's an odd place for an Electronics conference, but as a free trade zone, Penang is one of Asia's main production areas for Electronic components and assembly. The island is connected to the mainland by two large bridges, and immediately after crossing the bridge you arrive in Kulim, another industrial area boasting some major international companies.
Penang is not, however, the easiest place to reach from Europe. Phil and I started from two different airports (Heathrow and Manchester), and both had 20+ hour flights with two changes. We knew it would be worth the effort, though, with such a good conference and so many customer visits ahead.
As well as the conference, we took the opportunity to visit some customers in the area; driving around Penang and Kulim is like a who's who of global electronic brand manufacturers. As the Export Sales Manager, I found it a real hotspot of potential new contacts, and a brilliant opportunity to promote our full range.
The thriving opportunity was reflected at the conference; we were joined by technical personnel from most companies in the local area, as well as the rest of Asia. Phil's Paper was very well-received; it outlined the work that his team had done comparing the Adhesion and Thermal shock resistance of UVCL to other offerings within the Market. UVCL gave a marked improvement in many areas over our competitor products. This was a big reason we had such great footfall at our stand during breaks, lunch, and after the talks, even though it was so small.
Phil's presentation generated a good general interest in Electrolube, as well as a specific interest in UVCL. We also had a number of enquires about specific problems in multiple areas, and were able to suggest a number of Ultra-Thin Coatings, Cleaning products, Thermal pastes, and RF-Shielding products, just to name a few.
Traditional Malaysian Char Koay Teow
As more and more solvents become scrutinised for their health and safety issues, we're also finding that our environmentally-friendly products are starting to gain popularity and interest within all industries. In particular, AFA, our Aroma-free Acrylic Coating, was a consistently popular option at the Conference where VOC reduction was an issue.
Lunchtime, as always, was the best time to join the attendees and share thoughts on the industry, food, and of course; football. On our last day, one of our Malaysian Distributors, Pacific Adhesives, took us for a 'local' breakfast; this turned out to be a really traditional Malaysian experience! We went to a small outdoor-style restaurant where we had a spicy shrimp and noodle dish called Char Koay Teow. This was accompanied by local 'hot white coffee'... it was excellent, although we were sweating by the end of it; 'outdoor' is another way of saying ‘no air conditioning’ – and even early mornings are hot and humid in Penang!
Overall, it was definitely a successful and interesting week!