IPC APEX EXPO Keynote: John Mitchell on the State of the Industry


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IPC President and CEO Dr. John Mitchell was the Monday keynote for the 2021 edition of IPC APEX EXPO. Delivered via video conference as a part of this year’s virtual format, Mitchell made good use of a panel approach. After opening remarks, Mitchell anchored an around-the-horn series of reports from IPC experts.

Sean DuBravac, IPC’s chief economist, delivered a high-level review of the economic influences in 2020 and leading into 2021. DuBravac pointed out, for example, that while the service industries were hit hard by the pandemic, electronics manufacturing was surprisingly resilient and adaptable. DuBravac said that this drop in services and increase in manufacturing made this into a unique recession with respect to its impact on the economy.

shawn-dubravac.jpgDubravac also said that in the past, a supply chain disruption would be regional; in this case the disruption was global, causing a completely different set of consequences. DuBravac further shared that the remote work and social distancing restrictions accelerated the digitalization of our factories and processes, and a broader adoption of digitalization downstream in the supply chain also.

IPC Chief Technologist Matt Kelly picked up the digitalization message and added more insight. For example, Kelly outlined how IPC is working to proactively implement the transfer of digital instruction to the physical world. Kelly summarized by using his Chief Technologist Council as an example: to identify real business problems and to determine the means to resolve them.

As Kelly wrapped up, John Mitchell stated, "As individuals, we need to know how to use the technologies of the future.”

Other reports were filed by David Hernandez, IPC vice president of education; European senior director, Alison James; Kelly Scanlon, director of EHS policy and research; Chris Mitchell, IPC vice president of global government relations; and Sydney Xiao, president of Asia operations.

feinberg_capture400.jpgMitchell closed with a video from IPC Hall of Fame member Dan Feinberg, who shared his infectious excitement not only for how far we’ve come in the 50-year history of our industry, but how far we’ll go in the next 50 years.

Mitchell’s presentation aimed to share enthusiasm in the state of the industry, backing that excitement with data and announcing new programs, by slicing through the pandemic-related chaos and highlighting how we’re emerging stronger. Even still, Mitchell and his team remind us that we have a lot more work to do. 

A video of the entire Keynote will be available on the IPC APEX EXPO content library as a part of the on-demand content IPC will host for 90 days after IPC APEX EXPO has concluded.

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