Last week’s ECIA Executive Conference was a fascinating blend of strong speakers, special commemorative moments and great networking. Bud Industries has been a member of the Electronics Industry trade associations for generations, first in electrical components for radios and then with electronic enclosures. It has been a long, circuitous journey to the ECIA and our membership reflects the changes that our industry has gone through for over 80 years. Originally we were members of EP&EM, Electronic Products and Equipment Manufacturers. This group evolved, in about 1957, into the Central Division of the Association of Electronic Manufacturers (AEM), a sister association to the AEM Eastern. The goal of the group was to consolidate the distributor oriented electronics manufacturers into an association that would help the industry grow. In 1974, AEM Eastern and Central were merged into the Distributor Products Division of EIA, the Electronics Industry Association. EIA was composed of many subgroups including a group that later became the Consumer Electronics Association, the telecommunications industry association, and several others. Their goal was to represent the interests of the entire industry both among themselves and to Washington. It was a unique experience with both manufacturers of components and their end customers sharing everything from standards development to best practices.
In about 2004 or 2005 the various sub-associations in EIA decided their interests were no longer clearly aligned and they decided to spin themselves off. The Distributor Products Division had become the ECA (Electronic Components Association) and they gradually recognized that our real focus of interest was the supply chain of industrial electronic components as they move through to become finished goods. With this in mind, they sought out NEDA, the National Electronic Distributors Association and the ERA, Electronic Reps Association, to create a single group that could support the industry and resolve issues in the supply chain. ERA chose to remain separate, but ECA and NEDA merged in 2010 forming the ECIA.
Bud has taken leadership roles in each of the manufacturing groups and helped create the trade groups that evolved with the needs of the industry. We are proud to have been one of the founders of ECIA and are very excited about its activities ranging from supporting globalization to education to improving the supply chain. While electronic enclosures may not be the “sexiest” of components, we look forward to maintaining our role as an integral part of the industry and to supporting its growth.