A managing director for Recommerce Solutions
France: mobility and smartphone broker Recommerce Solutions has hired Alain Cornu as managing director. Alain has a long experience in the mobile telephony market. Recommerce wants him to help the company continue to grow, more especially on the international market, for which it currently has offices in Poland, Spain and Switzerland.
Semiconductor specialist EBV Elektronik has signed a Europe wide distribution agreement with Taoglas, a provider of IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (Machine to Machine). Taoglas provides a comprehensive range of SMD, external and embedded antenna solutions for M2M and IoT applications. By partnering with EBV, Taoglas will further expand its channels to market in the European region, thanks to EBV offices in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
"Taoglas antenna solutions portfolio for IoT and M2M applications is a great addition to our portfolio enabling our customers to get access to leading technology and solutions as well as benefitting from in-depth application know-how and industry expertise", comments Oliver Kanzler, Director Vertical Segment RF & Wireless at EBV Elektronik. "Besides the performance of the RF communication IC or wireless module, the efficiency and reliability of the antenna in conjunction with its mounting position in a system is crucial to achieve the best possible link range. As Taoglas also offers cable assemblies and RF connectors, EBV can now provide the complete ecosystem to their customers including services like pre-certification testing, layout review and customized antennas by Taoglas. Their broad range of high quality antennas with various mounting options is impressive and key for all kinds of wireless systems."
Ronan Quinlan, Joint CEO and Co-Founder of Taoglas states: "We are delighted to have signed a distribution agreement with EBV for the European region. EBV's leadership in the semiconductor distribution channel in Europe is well known. The challenges in the wireless market are that the applications become ever more complex and varied, the range of products increase, whilst time to development shortens. No one company can provide the answer. So partnerships between the leaders in IoT are needed more than ever to find the 'signal in the noise'! We provide the right antenna solution immediately, and EBV's logistical capabilities will provide products at shortest delivery times to customers large and small. The most important differentiator for us is that EBV has offices and real FAE engineering support in nearly every European country. All are backed up by a core team of wireless specialists, meaning our mutual customers receive real in person support with the solution to their needs."
The Worldwide 3D Printer market (including printers, materials and services) is set to reach €16B over the next five years, according to latest figures by CONTEXT, the global market research firm. Printer hardware alone, consisting of both desktop 3D printers and professional and industrial printers, is projected to grow from €1.6B in 2016 to €5.8B in 2020 representing a 38% CAGR.
"The market is set to grow in the next couple of years as IT stalwarts HP, Ricoh and Canon begin to sell printers in volume into the Industrial/Professional 3D printing segment", noted Chris Connery, vice-president of Global Analysis at CONTEXT. "At heart will be the success of the industry to mirror HP's recent announcement highlighting their intention to help the market move from a focus on vertical prototyping to a focus on mid-run volume production by way of new, faster and cheaper industrial processes."
The long standing 3D Printer market, typified by companies such as Stratasys, 3D Systems and EOS, has grown the prototyping industry but has struggled to reach into the €19 Trillion manufacturing industry except by way of the ultra-hot (but still small) Metal 3D Printing market. Only 7% of the Industrial/Professional 3D Printers shipped globally in 2015 were focused on producing metal parts but this is the fastest growing sub-segment in the Industrial space. GE and Boeing are already using 3D printing to mass-produce intricate metal parts for the aerospace and medical markets for example. The market for polymers, a much larger part of the 3D Printing industry, has done well with "mass customisation" such as for hearing aids and manufacturing jigs, but has yet to make a dent in mass-production of plastic parts.
A learning curve
While industrial 3D printing is taking away the limelight from the wanton industry darling of a few years ago – desktop 3D printing – these sub €4,500 personal printers remain extremely important for the industry. While not yet panning out to be a true consumer technology, the Desktop 3D Printer market continues to grow significantly, with a renewed focus on education, on makers/hobbyists and on young engineers. Desktop 3D printers allow the newly initiated to retool their minds for additive manufacturing. "Whether it begins with the introduction to the technology by way of a toy as we will see later on this year with Mattel’s ThingMaker, by way of a few hundred dollar Kickstarter printer, or from leading brands like XYZprinting, MakerBot and others, as generations before had to become familiar with PCs, this generation needs to learn 3D Printing", commented Connery.
"Exemplifying the industry's ability to move 3D printing into mid-volume production, with the announcement of its Jet Fusion 3D Printers, HP has stated that 50% of the custom parts in their new printers are set to be additively manufactured via their own process", added Connery. "If HP, Ricoh, Canon and others can help bring visibility to the power of 3D Printing to its own supply chain, then this looks to be key in helping the 3D Printing market move forward."
Electronic component specialist Avnet has unveiled an expanded, exclusive distribution agreement with Broadcom. Under the new agreement, Avnet will serve as the exclusive broadline distributor for Broadcom in the Americas and EMEA regions (through its offices in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom). Avnet will also continue its franchise in Asia. As part of this agreement, Avnet will have exclusive broadline distribution rights across the Americas and EMEA regions – giving customers full access to Broadcom's broad range of analog and digital semiconductor connectivity solutions. Broadcom's product portfolio primarily serves the wired infrastructure, wireless communications, enterprise storage and industrial markets. "As the technology industry continues to globalize, the ability to serve customers and suppliers wherever they do business is critical", said Lynn Torrel, senior vice president, semiconductor business development, worldwide. "What Avnet can also bring them is the scale and scope their customers need to get to market faster – it provides true differentiation."
According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and multifunction (MFP) market declined by 7.7% in unit terms in 1Q16 compared with the same period a year ago, with negative performances in both the inkjet and laser segments. This negative start to 2016, with a market figure of 5 million units and a decline of 422,000 units, is largely due to the contraction in consumer printing but is relatively in line with forecasts. Revenues declined by 2.5%, with lasers showing a slight 0.8% decrease and inkjet revenues falling by 12.4%. The laser markets show a decrease in 1Q16, following the negative trend seen in the previous three quarters in Western Europe. Still, the laser revenue decrease is much lower than the volume, indicating that prices in many markets are holding.After a blip in the last quarter, business inkjet shipments rebounded and grew 6.4% in 1Q16. MFP products showed the highest growth rate, with a 9.2% increase, but business inkjet printers decreased 16.8% in the quarter. Despite this, business inkjet MFPs accounted for well over 90% of business inkjet shipments in 1Q16. Overall, MFP products accounted for 79.7% of all shipments in Western Europe in 1Q16, lower than in the past three quarters. Laser MFP shipments increased by 1.5% and inkjet MFPs decreased by 8.5% this quarter, but shipments were generally in line with IDC forecasts. Growth in the business market, comprising laser and business inkjet devices, slowed, but the value only slipped by 1.2%. The highest value growth was in 45ppm+ color devices, a positive trend that has been seen for more than a year now.
"After witnessing the first blip in more than two years in the business inkjet market last quarter, we are happy to report that we see a positive trend this quarter in Western Europe. A4 is responsible for most of the growth, but A3 devices are increasing as well", said Delphine Carnet, senior research analyst in IDC's Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. "We also see an increase in shipments in higher-speed segments, as businesses seem to be taking advantage of the newest technologies and upgrades in business inkjet technology."
Main Highlights: the overall Western European hardcopy market declined 7.7% year on year in 1Q16, with the inkjet decline greater than that for laser. Few segments saw any significant growth, with A3 and A4 color MFP devices showing the only real laser growth increase in Western Europe. Most color growth was from A4 MFP products, with only color MFP products showing a double-digit increase. Business inkjet grew by 6.4%, with MFPs responsible for the increase, while printers decreased by 16.8%.
Germany: The German market followed the overall Western European negative trend with a 5.8% decline after two negative quarters. However, the business inkjet market was stronger than the Western European average, with an increase of 7.4% compared with the regional average of 6.4%. The laser market in Germany has shown negative growth for a year now, but color devices increased 1.1% compared with the 18.9% decrease in the mono laser segment. The inkjet market also decreased, by 0.7%, with consumer inkjet showing a 3.3% decrease. Both multifunction and printer devices saw declines, with a 1.2% decrease for MFPs and a 16.4% decline for printers.
France: France performed better than the Western European average but still showed an overall decline of 4.0% in 1Q16 over the same period last year. Inkjet decreased, but laser declined more than the inkjet market. The consumer markets for inkjet decreased 6.3%, more than last quarter, and business inkjet increased 19.2%, contrasting strongly with the slight positive trend seen in Western Europe. Inkjet MFPs declined by 3.1%, but laser MFPs increased by 2.2%.
The UK: The UK recorded a very poor performance this quarter, with an 11.4% decline. This is in line with the negative trend seen in Western Europe, though the UK performance was even worse. Business inkjet performed worse than the regional average, with only a 2.6% increase. Both the laser and inkjet markets declined, but we saw positive growth in A3 laser MFPs.