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PCB007-Aug2019

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22 PCB007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2019 ups and downs. We've lived through and survived those, and for the past three years, things have been go- ing well. We've entered in- to some new markets, but our traditional business in the PCB industry remains strong. Then, the photo- chemical milling industry picked up, and we've start- ed to get into semiconduc- tors and glass etching for flat-panel displays, etc. Matties: How long have you been with Chemcut? Lies: I've been with Chem- cut since I got hired at Atotech in July 2001, so since the inception of the new Chemcut. Matties: And what did you do before Chemcut? Lies: Before Chemcut, I worked 25+ years in a different industry, including at Avery Dennison, a worldwide leader in adhesive technology. Matties: What is your background? Lies: I have a degree in chemistry from the Uni- versity of Louisville. Matties: So, you came into Atotech in chemis- try because that was a big play for them. Lies: Yes. I worked with the chemistry and their equipment. They sold it as a package, and when the PCB market went over to Asia, they downsized the North American equip- ment. Matties: Right. You entered at a time when the market was declining in North America. Lies: Yes. Matties: What were you thinking (laughs)? Lies: Well, for me, it was all about location, loca- tion, location. We lived in State College, Pennsylva- nia, for close to 20 years— the longest my wife Maribel and I had ever lived in one place before; that was the first time I made a decision based on wanting to stay somewhere (laughs). It was time to settle down. Matties: That's great. It had to work because there were no options there (laughs). So, what was the challenge back then? At that time, Chemcut was six-years-old, and by 2001, most of the industry was gone. Lies: I think the challenge was to survive the first couple of years. Then, we wanted to keep our existing customers happy in PCB and pho- tochemical milling and let them know that we were still there because Atotech was mainly interested in selling their chemistry, and the Chemcut equipment brand needed to be high- lighted again as our main product line. Matties: The brand got diluted. Lies: Yes. When you look at Chemcut, the com- pany was primarily known for its subtractive processes. Atotech's chemistry is more for ad- ditive type processes like plating. So, I like to say we divested ourselves of Atotech and had to get back out there with the Chemcut name in the subtractive area. That was good for us because we went from a large corporation to a small entity, and at the same time, there was the advent of websites. Matties: High-speed internet came along right as that happened. Lies: And that opened up the opportunity for Chemcut to market ourselves to the whole world. We didn't need boots on the ground or Rick Lies

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