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DECEMBER 2019 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 33 and provide accurate hole locations and tell you if they're in the right spot. The machines also have the ca- pability of putting a probe down into the hole for inner layer depth mea- suring. Matties: What demand do you see for lasers coming into North America? Palmer: Lasers represent our fastest growing business segment. Lasers are used for high-speed microvia drilling, depth drilling, cavity pro- cessing, and customers are looking at laser vs. mechanical processing. Laser technology has come a long way, and Schmoll has invested heavily in laser machine development, as you can see when you visit the Schmoll booth. Matties: When they introduced their laser, it was a smart move, and it was perfect market timing, as the HDI sector was demanding laser drilling. Palmer: Absolutely, and our first laser was placed four years ago in the Bay Area. Now, we have dozens of machines placed in North America, and we've already sold three at this show. It's an exciting part of our business. Matties: Let's talk about Schmoll for a moment, which is run by Thomas Kunz and his brother, Stephan. They have been doing this for years. Palmer: Yes, Thomas bought the company several years ago when it was much smaller. Thomas is the technology driver behind the business. As a whole, the company is equally smart, innovative, and they focus on custom- er intimacy. Some people think that because Schmoll sold 1,200 machines last year, they did it all in China and only the largest U.S. man- ufacturers. But Stephan, who manages sales, gets just as involved in a one-machine sale as a multi-machine sale. Schmoll will bend over backward to satisfy the customer, so they're an exciting company to work with. Matties: It's interesting you mentioned China. I went to visit Victory Giant Technology and saw a lot of the Schmoll machines there. Palmer: It's true; many of the largest manufac- turers in the world prefer Schmoll. Matties: We've been doing business with Burkle for quite a while, and you've found a great place. Palmer: I really like working with Dick Crowe. As you know, he has tried to retire a handful of times, but now I've asked him to stick around for a while. I can certainly use his wisdom and support, so he's going to do that. Matties: He's great, and I know he has threat- ened to retire. Every time, I think, What are you going to do, just sit around and play your guitar? Palmer: He still does that, but he likes his two hours in the office and his cup of coffee every day, and it's great having him around. Matties: Kurt, I'm so happy for you. Congratu- lations on your new position. Palmer: Thanks, Barry. I'm excited to be in this position and working for a great company. PCB007 IMPEX measuring system proX3.

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