EMSNOW Publisher POV from Productronica 2019

EMSNOW Publisher POV from Productronica 2019

By Eric Miscoll, EMSNOW Publisher


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I just attended the biennial Productronica show in Munich, Germany. I wanted to share some of my observations from both the show and my trip.

The show itself is massive, spanning seven of the halls in the convention complex of Messe Munchen. This show is bigger than any of the industry trade shows in the US by far. By comparison, the IPC APEX EXPO would probably fill only two of the halls at Messe Munchen.

There was a steady healthy flow of people in the aisles, to the point that I thought it would be helpful to install passing lanes for those of us rushing to a meeting or interview and not just browsing. Next year will be the Electronica show and it is expected to fill up to twelve of the halls.

My schedule was full each day. I was able to conduct eight video interviews, and two new editions of The Eric Miscoll Show. Watch for those coming out over the next few weeks. In between these I was able to tour the booths of several clients, visit the regional pavilions of several countries and meet representatives of their electronics industry associations.

My focus at these shows is always to meet any EMS companies who might be exhibiting. There was a decent representation of EMS from across Europe and I was happy to meet and get to know many of these. Next year’s Electronica show will attract many more, so I look forward to that.

A highlight for me was attending an update on the European EMS industry presented by Dieter Weiss of in4ma. Readers of EMSNOW will be familiar with Dieter as he often shares his industry updates and insights with our readers. Some select insights from his presentation include:

  • There are currently 2068 EMS facilities in Europe, that are owned by 1782 companies.
  • In 2018, European EMS revenues totaled 40.384 billion Euros, and East Europe was slightly larger than West Europe.
  • The M&A environment in very active with many deals completed this year, and rumors of more in the works.
  • In Germany, the largest market for EMS in Europe, OEMs still conduct about 70% of electronics manufacturing in-house, meaning the penetration rate by EMS there is only 30%. So there is still considerable business available.
  • The European EMS industry is healthy and vibrant and there is no expected recession in 2020 for the EMS sector as some people have prognosticated. This point was confirmed in my discussions with several larger European EMS.

I also was able to interview Dieter in depth, and that content will be shared with our readers over the next month on EMSNOW.

Now a few general travel observations from my trip

It was refreshing to hear actual world news on the news broadcasts in Europe, and not the constant drone of Trump updates that permeates US news cycles. Trump was certainly in the news, but not the non-stop ramblings that now pass as news in the US. I was able to watch news outlets such as BBC, Aljazeera, and RT which provided actual news updates and interviews on important news stories from around the world. I think I will need to change my cable package when I get home so I can continue to appreciate real news.


They surf year-round in Munich! Be sure to stop by this spot by the English Gardens on your next trip to Munich. It is fun to watch.


Germany still does two things better than anyone else in the world: beer and pretzels!


And one final observation: I appreciate that the Europeans are very environmentally conscious and wish to save the planet, but I am saddened that many of them seemingly do not plan to stick around to enjoy it based on the large number who still smoke cigarettes. However, I did appreciate how they turned smokers into exhibition art at the Munich airport.