Zuken Annual Conference

A User’s Perspective on Zuken’s Annual Conferences

Today, Christopher Groft, an electrical engineer from AAI Corporation, talks about why he attends Zuken’s annual conference each year.

Given unstable economic times, I was privileged to be able to attend my 5th consecutive Zuken Conference in October 2012. I wanted to take a moment to convey some of observations from the conference.

Originally named Zuken Design Automation Conference (Z-DAC), this year’s conference was re-branded Zuken Innovation World (ZIW). The new name embodies Zuken’s focus on innovation leveraged by Zuken’s product offering. ZIW attendees see innovation in the making in the form of presentations by both industry participants and Zuken experts.

I spent seven years working in electronic component distribution sector as a Field Application Engineer. During those years I had exposure to numerous suppliers’ offerings of hardware and ECAD tools. I am always overwhelmed by the level of effort Zuken puts forth to satisfy its existing customers and win new customers; ZIW is a perfect example. Unlike a vendor rep drive-by or a local users group meeting, ZIW is an orchestrated effort to join users and experts!Over the years my expectations of what I’d gain at the conference have evolved. At my first conference, I expected training as part of the event. However, I have come to anticipate face time with users and Zuken experts. As an E3.series administrator, librarian, and user, time with other users allows me to see how others use the tool providing a glimpse outside of my company’s “box”.

Regarding time with experts…

There is no amount of phone calls or service tickets that can equal the ability to grab a couple minutes, sit down, and discuss issues and ideas with the very engineers that develop, design, and test the products you are using. In a word, PRICELESS.

Expectations and assumptions disappear as you walk away from the conference with that “AHA!” idea. A snippet of information – whether it is one or many – makes the whole experience worthwhile.


Chris Groft is an Electrical Engineer with AAI Test & Training, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron company. At AAI, Chris serves as a member of the ECAD Tool Management Team.

Thanks to Chris for sharing his thoughts. Now is a good time for us to remind you that the next series of annual European and North American conferences will come in the spring of 2014.

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