Held annually in February at the Anaheim Convention Center, MD&M West melds the electronics industry with other medical technology companies in one giant multi-floored, evolving expo. MD&M West is currently co-located with four other shows. In past years, Electronics West, which is no longer a separate designation, took up several rows in the downstairs expo hall. More electronics manufacturing firms and suppliers can now be found upstairs too, with each company having a location preference. Unofficial poll results show both levels are beneficial.

According to the show’s directory, 34 exhibitors represented the PCB industry at MD&M West this year, but not all of those firms brought their electronics representatives to man the booths. Among the companies CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY spoke with were Streamline Circuits, Mer Mar Electronics, MicroCare, IBE Electronics, Bestronics, Glenbrook Technologies, Spectrum Assembly, and Golden West Technology. The general consensus is the electronics industry is growing and will fare better in 2018 than 2017. Orders are up, and dispositions are elevated. If the MD&M West show is any indication, the industry is on a positive trajectory.

For Streamline Circuits, the downstairs expo hall is most relevant, where people walking the floor are pleasantly surprised to learn the manufacturer does its work in-house in Santa Clara. People are “looking for a home base,” Danielle Dimick said.

Mer Mar Electronics sees great foot traffic upstairs, where Suresh Patel said a “good sign” for the industry is the current “positive” outlook.

MicroCare has its MicroCare Medical booth upstairs and its electronics booth downstairs. Having two booths at the show was “working well,” Guylaine Guerette said. MicroCare featured the environmentally friendly Tergo chlorine-free cleaning fluid for medical devices, a product that meets strict European regulations. For MicroCare, electronics is its largest sector, but aerospace and medical are growing, Guerette said. The company is focused on educating people on reusable vapor degreasing processes that have new, safer chemical formulations. Its custom solutions set them apart, she added. MicroCare looks forward to rolling out new products at IPC Apex Expo at the end of the month.

IBE Electronics was at MD&M West for the first time, having set up shop in Hillsboro, OR, last fall. The EMS company is on the hunt for a local fab partner for quickturn in the US. IBE focuses on the medical, consumer, and automotive industries.

Scott Morse, director of sales at Golden West Technology, a longtime exhibitor, said the local electronics manufacturer’s number one industry remains industrial, followed by aerospace and medical. “OC is a big medical hub,” he said. “The economy is good”; the company is growing; and the “big buzzword is IoT.”

Bestronics, an EMS company in San Jose, has been in business for 30 years, with an emphasis on medical, electrical, and optical, to name a few. Other busy booths included Spectrum Assembly, Glenbrook Technologies, Hughes Circuits, SMTC, Polaris Contract Manufacturing, and Flex Circuits.

Trade show attendees took advantage of the plethora of food truck options outside in the sunny 80-degree winter temperatures of Southern California, as well as the newest parking structures that make cross-town shuttling less necessary than in the past. For anyone who wasn’t able to attend MD&M West, IPC Apex Expo in San Diego starts Feb. 27. See you there.

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