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62 The PCB Magazine • September 2015 of their components being used inside cars, with sensors, etc. We're seeing more of them go to plasma treatment. This is not only from a batch standpoint—where they were using our machines before—but now they're using an au- tomated machine because they have the new MES3 requirement for automation and tracking to guarantee that if there are any problems from the consumer side later, they can backtrack and figure out exactly which lot and which device went through which process. Matties: To see who's liable. Doan: That's right. It's all about liability in the end. That's one of the things they're push- ing on us right now. One of the big guys out of Europe just recently sent us an MES3 spec saying, "If you can, we want five machines that meet this criteria," in terms of automation, but also recipe control, lot tracking, and all of that. Matties: So with the head-in-pillow issue, that's obviously a big defect. Is this one of the steps someone would utilize to mitigate that? Doan: Yes, it's definitely one of the steps you would use to mitigate that, because for head- in-pillow it's a physical way for them to do the bond. If you have any type of layer in between when you have the physical contact, it will cause poor adhesion. By removing any of that unwanted material, you improve the bond. Matties: Why wouldn't someone just do this as a matter of best practice to begin with? Is the machine very costly? Doan: The machine isn't very costly, but I think it's more in terms of looking at it from a longevity aspect. I think we've gotten so used to certain products having a certain life- time and exchange rate that we don't really build them as reliably. A very good example— although I know it's outside of the automo- tive world—is from the old days, when we had VCRs. Originally, everything was hand soldered, everything was treated, and the re- liability was very good. Then we went to an automated world where we're making them very cheaply, but the VCR, instead of lasting CARMAKERS NOW EMBRACING PLASMA TREATMENT continues FEAturE IntErvIEw Jonathan Doan, nordson march.

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