Conference Reports Hike In Attendance
SMTA International Conference and Exhibition, held Sept. 27-Oct. 1 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, experienced a 20% increase in on-site attendance compared to 2014.
International attendance was comparable to last year with attendees representing 21 different countries.
The technical conference continued the tradition of being the strongest in the electronics assembly industry. The Evolving Technologies Summit at the beginning of the week received much praise as it covered key technologies such as Alternate Alloys and Wearable Technology.
A crowd filled the Opening Keynote Session until it was standing-room-only on Tuesday morning to hear Yole Développement CTO, Rozalia Beica, give an impressive overview of "3D Technology Trends and Manufacturing Challenges."
The Lead-Free Soldering Technology Symposium kept the meeting room packed until the very end of the conference.
Over 180 exhibiting companies filled the sold-out exhibit hall. Traffic was consistently higher this year. A big attraction was the hands-on feature area called the Solder Paste and Solder Joint Automatic Inspection Experience, which was organized by Bob Willis with support from SMTA and NPL.
Once again the Tech Tours program featured distinguished tour guides leading groups of attendees to exhibiting companies demonstrating inspection systems or placement equipment. The robotics feature, organized this year by Robotics Alley, welcomed back students from FIRST Robotics and 4-H Extension youth robotics teams and also featured field-ready robots from Paro and Recon Robotics as well as a hands-on soldering project for attendees.
Over 250 guests attended the JoAnn Stromberg’s retirement party on Tuesday evening. The evening featured guest speakers including past SMTA Presidents, staff, chapter officers, and long-time friends.
Next year the SMTA International Conference and Exhibition will be held Sept. 25-29 at the Donald Stephens Convention Center. The IPC Fall Standards Development Committee Meetings will again be co-located.
The SMTA membership is an international network of professionals who build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in electronic assembly technologies, including microsystems, emerging technologies, and related business operations.