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printed electronics update continues PE guys have grabbed hold of. That's the way they think. Driving down cost as quickly as possible to expand the market makes a lot of sense to them. You could say that the Chinese, and in particular, Foxconn have also grabbed that concept by building boards and assemblies in an environment that allows them to dramatically reduce costs; this has opened up a much larger market for electronics than would have otherwise existed. Now, most of the world can afford electronic products, which were mainly sold in developed countries. As a result, all boats rise. More electronic gadgets require more electronic infrastructure, which creates more jobs which then provides more income and more buying power, etc. Now, PE takes this cost reduction to a whole new level. In just a few years everyone, everywhere, will have access to most of the technologies out there and printed electronics will make that happen. As I mentioned last month, in a recent assembly industry technology survey, printed electronics was the topic of greatest interest. Although not surprising to me, it does indicate that our industries are finally waking up. And as I said earlier, the EMS companies are in a prime position to leverage the capabilities of PE technologies for their customers. My biggest concern is with the PCB fabricators. There is both a great opportunity and an ultimate endgame for many. I'm not sure why there aren't many more fabricators walking a show like IDtechEx. I only saw a few (Sunstone, Viasystems, Multek). Maybe I'm way off base, but I don't think so. PCB Ray Rasmussen is the publisher and chief editor for I-Connect007 Publications. He has worked in the industry since 1978 and is the former publisher and chief editor of CircuiTree Magazine. To read past columns, or to contact Rasmussen, click here. video interview Global Outlook on Electronic Chemicals Market by Real Time with...productronica 2013 Chris Hrusovsky, Electronic Chemicals global business manager for OM Group, gives his perspective on the world market for electronic chemicals and discusses how product innovation and technical support have made them successful. Click realtimewith.com To View January 2014 • The PCB Magazine 11

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