For two decades, Adaptsys have distributed for the world’s leading names in device programming, tape & reeling and carrier tape – providing innovative solutions to both the Electronics Manufacturing Industry and Mechanical Component Manufacturers. Alongside the distribution of products, Adaptsys provide their own leading-edge systems and tools, adding value for customers by increasing productivity, traceability and quality production. With offices throughout Europe and a global network of agents, the company supports customers around the world with an outstanding portfolio of on-site and on-line services. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? ADAPTSYS: Device programming, Test and Tape and Reel including taping consumables and our Re-flex II On-Demand Carrier Tape Forming System E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products? ADAPTSYS: Adaptsys has released the enhanced Re-flex II On-Demand Carrier Tape Forming System, which produces both standard and custom tape pockets either directly onto a taping system in-line, or to reel. Re-flex II also comes with an optional Crosswinder to boost efficiency even further. This year, Adaptsys has also launched its ‘Fast Carrier Tape’ service in which it can produce a new custom tool in a very short turnaround for urgent requirements. E.E: What are the ranges of products? ADAPTSYS: Adaptsys supports customers across Europe in all aspects of electronics manufacturing, from device programming and board testing to tape & reeling, and now also including a much broader range of taping consumables at an affordable price and with a quick turnaround. More recently, Adaptsys has been working with manufacturers around the world, providing them with a flexible solution for forming custom pockets for anything from small microcontrollers through to more complex components such as connectors. We provide a complete service from the initial consultation through to providing dedicated tooling and all of the consumables required. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? ADAPTSYS: The carrier tape market has remained pretty much unchanged for 40 years, with customers buying in reels of pre-formed tape for their components, primarily from Asian markets. However, orders cannot be fulfilled if suitable tape is not available. Component suppliers are therefore challenged to ensure that the right types of tape are always in stock. As an alternative, producing the required pocketed tape in-house, as and when needed, could help overcome this challenge, especially in more recent times when supply chain issues are leading to increasing delays. Owning the pocket-forming process lets component suppliers buy raw, unformed tape and create the packaging they need on demand. It prevents running out of the right type of tape while also simplifying inventory, reducing expenditure, and saving storage space. Adaptsys introduced the Re-flex II tape-forming system as a cost-effective and usable solution to this challenge. Re-flex II was originally created to fulfil Adaptsys’ own need for pocketed tape. The resulting system proved so easy to use and versatile that the concept was readily commercialized. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? ADAPTSYS: Since the start of the global pandemic early in 2020, the electronics industry has seen many supply chain issues. Carrier tape is just one of the areas in which we are seeing increased prices due to shipping prices and increased lead times for pre-formed tape that is manufactured in Asia. The Re-flex On-Demand Carrier Tape Forming System provides a flexible solution to this problem by enabling customers to take control of their entire taping process, forming tape in-house, either as part of their production process, or straight to reel to ensure that they do not run short of tape. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? ADAPTSYS: Re-flex II represents a true breakthrough in the field of carrier tape. Traditionally used for electronic components in standard formats, carrier tape is being increasingly used by manufacturers of more complex products such as connectors, as well as mechanical components, stamped parts and the like. Re-flex II is now capable of forming pockets up to 25 mm in depth and on tape widths up to 88 mm. The real advantages offered by Re-flex II of savings in cost, space and time can be realized by a wider component packaging marketplace. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021? ADAPTSYS: Because of the recent global pandemic, Customers are welcoming the opportunity to become less reliant on supply chains and assume greater autonomy over their own processes in-house. Re-flex II by Adaptsys is the perfect system for helping them to do this. By replacing the high cost of purchasing pre-formed carrier tape with the far less expensive flat tape material that is used by Re-flex (also provided by Adaptsys), a Return on Investment can be achieved within one year. Through challenging other well-known issues of lengthy lead times, expensive shipping and sizeable storage requirements long since associated with existing component packing approaches, this new technology provides carrier tape as required which, in turn, guarantees substantial improvements in lead time to market and stock control.