FUJI EUROPE CORPORATION GmbH (FEC) is the European Headquarter of the Japanese group FUJI CORPORATION. Founded in 1991 has FEC moved 2018 to a new, own and self-designed building in Kelsterbach, Germany. The group was founded in April 1959. Apart from developing and producing SMT equipment, FUJI also develops, manufactures and distributes machine tools. FEC exclusively distributes FUJI SMT equipment. These are in particular modular placing machines and their accessories, spare parts and associated operating software. They are selling this products and solutions to customers in the following countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Czech Rep., Slovakia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Greece, Turkey, South Africa, Egypt, Middle East, UK and Ireland. The complete support package including service, training and technology consultant is executed in collaboration with some distributors. FEC has its own branch offices in Hungary, Romania and UK. Interview with Klaus Gross, General Manager FUJI EUROPE CORPORATION GmbH. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Klaus Gross: FEC exclusively distributes FUJI SMT equipment in the Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Russia and the Middle East. Our major market segments are: Automotive, Automotive communication, Automotive multimedia, EMS local and international, medical devices, mobile devices, whiteware electronics, Communication infrastructure, industrial electronic, lighting electronic, building technologies a.s.m. E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products? K.G: Automation technology makes the world of work much easier, enables more efficient production and increases workplace safety. In our understanding the machine has to frees operators from changeover and supply work, with additional features that strengthen the ability to maintain high-quality and productivity. FUJI is paving the way to the future of Smart Factories with this concept. E.E: What are the ranges of products? K.G: SMT placement systems from high mix/low volume to high mix/high volume production enviroment (NXTR-S / NXTR-A / AIMEXIII/IIIc), also Trough Hole Technology (THT) machines (sFAB-D,sFAB aplha), as well material logistic solutions (sItower 930 and sItower 773), stencil printers (GPXCII) also automated maintenance processes and tools and software for optimization and workflow processes (NEXIM). E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? K.G: Many manufacturing companies are currently modernizing and expanding their production facilities in terms of Industrie 4.0 requirements. In the process, it is advisable to simplify standard processes and routine tasks through automation and robotics. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? K.G: One of the drivers for the use of robots is the advancing digitalization, which small and medium-sized enterprises must face up to in order to remain competitive. In addition, continuous efficiency increases and process improvements are on the agenda, especially in manufacturing. For many things, people and machines are still needed. In the case of repeated tasks, e.g. in materials management and supply, the processes can already be replaced on a “small scale” by automation. This can partially cushion the shortage of skilled workers, because many routine tasks can thus be taken over by robots and humans can focus on much more important tasks. Klaus Gross E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? K.G: Whether directly in the line concept or in the production process – robots will be used in a variety of ways in the future. In our understanding, the use of a robot is merely a reallocation of tasks or resources and not a replacement of the human being. Wherever a position disappears, ideally a new one is created in a different place. However, the new jobs usually have a different requirement profile. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021/2022? K.G: Our biggest target is to recover from the Corona business loss in 2020. We are already in a good shape and we could gain our business already 80% and we will reach the level of 2018/2019 within the year 2022. We are in the pole position for 2022 with our new machine generations, which fits 100% the new market requirements and we are proud to keep our position as a top player within the SMT machines suppliers. Furthermore, we could keep our entire team, even though the pandemic period, and now we are best prepared to support our customer.