ASM is the world’s leading supplier and partner for the electronics manufacturing industry. During Internepcon Japan, Asia’s Leading Exhibition, featuring all kinds of Equipment, Materials and Technologies for Electronics Manufacturing and SMT, Kenneth Caleb Koh, Head of Regional Marketing, Rest of Asia, and Global Marketing, Advanced Packaging at ASM Assembly Systems discussed with Devendra Kumar, its global organization that provides its customers the world over with quick and around-the-clock access to development, sales, service and support resources. Excerpts:
ELE Times: Please highlight the profile of your company. Also highlight the products that you are showcasing here at Nepcon Japan.
Kenneth Koh: ASM is the equipment manufacturer that can offer technologies and solutions for all process steps in electronics production from backend (chip assembly, bonding, packaging) to SMT processes.
We offers high-quality equipment for all major steps in the electronics manufacturing process – from carrier for chip interconnection to chip assembly and packaging to SMT. We also offer bonding to molding and trim and form to the integration of these activities into complete in-line systems for the microelectronics, semiconductor, photonics, and optoelectronics industries. Our SMT Solutions develops and sells best-in-class DEK printers for the SMT, semiconductor and solar markets as well as best-in-class SIPLACE SMT placement solutions. At Nepcon Tokyo, we are displaying our SMT solutions like packing equipment, new mini and micro LED production machine.
ELE Times: What kind of a portfolio do you offer for SMT?
Kenneth Koh: The ASM SMT Solutions segment is made up of SMT Printing Solutions and SMT Placement Solutions. We offer printing solutions for the electronics and solar industries, stencils and consumables as well as maintenance and consulting services.
We offer solutions to enable our customers to convert their plants step-by-step into intelligent SMT factories with the help of our solutions and services. With its modular design, the latest generation of our powerful screen printers is customizable for any customer-specific or application-specific requirements.
We also have high end printers, solar based induction systems, software solutions, which help the customers to integrate all their equipment to be aligned together, as well as to get connected to the cloud. We offer total solutions to the customers from all the way in hardware in the production flow, and also take care of how the customers want to monitor, manage and control their production size all over the world.
ELE Times: What products would you like to highlight in India?
Kenneth Koh: In India, we want to engage, EY ASM solutions, the EY meet range printer, and at the same time, we are also engaging high end manufacturers and especially the smartphone makers in India. We have DEK NeoHorizon iX that can be equipped and/or retrofitted with many powerful and precision-enhancing options targeted towards smartphone production. The SIPLACE TX placement modules are the new standard in high-volume production. No other placement solution features this level of precision and speed in a tiny footprint. For the first time you can place the new generation of smallest components at full speed like any others.
We enable our customers to integrate production resources into your company’s value chains. The production data becomes available anywhere via modern and specially secured IT infrastructures. The lines and locations become transparent, and can be virtually everywhere at the same time.
ELE Times: From how long are you present in the Indian market?
Kenneth Koh: We have been in India for over 30 years. Under ASM Portfolio, we have three brandings, one is DEK, which is for the printing solutions, SIPLACE for placement solutions, ASM which is the company itself, is for the software solutions. The DEK is there since 2011 in India, SIPLACE, which originally belongs to the SIEMENS group, it has been in India since 1994.
ELE Times: What is the current analysis of the Indian market and how the market is growing in India?
Kenneth Koh: The Indian market is growing fast. The data that we have gathered so far, we know that India alone, in last year has grown by 100% in SMT and electronics production. There are a lot of efforts being done by the government. Government policies which are promoting the electronics manufacturing in India are in right direction. We are glad that we have stayed in India for all these years. We are happy to say that with 100% growth in India, last year, ASM managed to get have a sizeable market share in the Indian market.
ELE Times: What is the percentage of growth you see in India?
Kenneth Koh: As per our assessment we are close to 30 to 40% growth spree. In SMT production space it is good time for us as well as for India.
ELE Times: What do you think in the near future say two-three years down the line, how the manufacturing will pick up in India?
Kenneth Koh: We have come across many policies which are going forward are very positive towards promoting the development in the electronics manufacturing. Last week we had a seminar in Delhi, we engaged an investment agency – Invest India Delhi. it’s a half government half private agency, which is promoting investment in India. We spoke with the department for promoting investments in electronics in India and they have presented with us all the policies. The investment arms of the Indian states came down as well like Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Apart from the centre the state governments are also giving incentives for electronics manufacturing. Hope the policies will go in the correct direction, and if the government continues to implement the policies for electronics manufacturing, we will continue to see a tremendous growth in India.
ELE Times: What kind of investment are you looking for ASM in India?
Kenneth Koh: We are expanding our own team in India – they are technical operations, after sales service so that we can better engage with our customers and support them. We established a new office in Chennai after Delhi and Bangalore, with a demo, training and repair facilities for our customers. We have channel partners having 29 locations, supporting ASM customers in India. As of January this year ASM has appointed Vasanth Kumar as General Manager, heading ASM in India.
ELE Times: Would you be participating in electronica India and productronica Show in India?
Kenneth Koh: Yes, last year we participated, in Productronica India in Bangalore, and this year we would be participating in Productronica in Noida. We have not finally concluded about the product display there but we would be bringing our hardware and software solutions for Indian market. I would like our customers to know about that we are well established in Indian market and we are able to support them on a short information. The kind of establishment and investment we have in Indian market, we are sure that we can give the best services to our customers and are the right partner for them. We have the facility to extend support to our customer by India facility as well as through other regions as well.
ELE Times: Discuss about the global operations of ASM?
Kenneth Koh: Globally, in SMT side, we divide ourselves in 5 regions, India, Greater China i.e. China and Taiwan, Germany, Europe and America.
ELE Times: What is the size of your company?
Kenneth Koh: In total, we have 14,000 employees in ASM. In SMT alone we have over 2000-3000 employees globally. For SMT manufacturing, we have three sites – Singapore, Germany and UK. We also leverage on our manufacturing sites from the other business division, like Semicon division. There are factories in China and Malaysia.
ELE Times: How big is your company revenue wise?
Kenneth Koh: We have not yet released our last quarter revenue, but for the first three quarters, until September 2018, the revenue is USD 2.43 billion.
ELE Times: As the Indian market is a price sensitive market, how tough is the competition out there in the market?
Kenneth Koh: It is definitely tough in the Indian market. We have a high range of new products. We have solutions depending upon the production requirements. The customers are concerned about the continuity of the production, especially the MNC in India. They have manufacturing sites in different regions. They want to make sure that all their factories are running optimally without sitting in India. He wants to know whether the factories are running on the optimum level and how the factories are connected together to leverage the strength of all of them. We have a software that connects our machines to the lines to the multiple factories and to the cloud. In a way our customers have a comprehensive solutions at one place.
ELE Times: Do you have a ready inventory available in India or you have a lead time to supply from other places to India?
Kenneth Koh: We don’t keep inventory in India. Once the customer doer an order, we have a standard lead time for our machines to get delivered. It also depends on the customer’s urgency. We are flexible in terms of production. In terms of spare parts we have our spare parts stocked in India with our partner’s warehouses. Machines are directly rooted from the factory. Most of the machines are being supplied to Indian market from Singapore factory.