ISRI’s Commodity Roundtables Forum will take place Sept. 22-24 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago. The annual event attracts processors, brokers, traders, and other recycling professionals from around the world. Register here.
The electronics industry is constantly changing, and that’s what Craig Boswell, founder and president of HOBI International, Inc., likes about it. While these frequent changes can be challenging, they also make for a fascinating business.
Boswell, who also serves as chairman of ISRI’s Electronics Division, will serve as the moderator on the electronics panel at ISRI’s upcoming Commodity Roundtables Forum in Chicago. Scrap News had the chance to chat with Boswell and learn more about his interests in electronics recycling, how it’s changed since he entered the industry, and what he’s excited about for the upcoming Commodity Roundtables Forum.
Can you tell me about your career path and how it led you to HOBI International?
My sister and I formed HOBI International, Inc. in 1992 in response to the opportunity we saw in the electronics recycling space. I left an engineering manager job at Texas Instruments to work at HOBI not long after the company was formed. At Texas Instruments, I had managed electronics design projects and was involved in developing and deploying electronics manufacturing techniques. I currently am president of HOBI and work from our Dallas facility. At HOBI, I’ve been involved in the design, development, and deployment of electronics de-manufacturing and recycling techniques.
What initially interested you about the electronics industry, and what about it continues to hold your interest today?
I think one of the things I enjoy most about the industry is the constant change. We have come so far over the last 30 years, technologies that were science fiction when I was younger are now part of our daily lives. It represents a challenge for our company, but it is a fascinating business to be a part of.
How has the design of electronics changed during your time in the industry?
The biggest shift we have seen is the shift to mobility and portability. Our societal norm has become access to information and computing power at any location, anytime. This is not only driving advancement for consumer electronics items such as cellphones and tablets, it is also driving the explosion in data center capacity to allow that data to be stored and transmitted.
What are you looking forward to about ISRI’s Commodity Roundtables Forum?
There is always a lot to learn at this event, and it is a great networking opportunity. I think the last 18 months have really heightened my appreciation for the times we can get together in person as an industry.
Can you tell me broadly what will be covered on the electronics panel?
We are very excited to have Walter Alcorn from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) on the panel. I have known Walter for years, and he represents one of the leading experts on emerging trends in the consumer electronics space and how those trends are driving topics such as the circular economy.
What do you hope attendees take away from the panel?
This will be a forward-looking discussion. I hope attendees can gain information that will assist them in their business planning for the rapidly changing future of electronics, and how it now touches so many aspects of the traditional recycling industry. The lines have blurred between computing devices and traditional industrial items such as automobiles and appliances. These changes will have far-reaching impacts on the recycling industry as issues ranging from data privacy to network security impact everything from cars to refrigerators.
Photo courtesy of HOBI International.