SMT007 Magazine

SMT-May2016

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52 SMT Magazine • May 2016 area is probably a few years away before we can actually get to those types of things. The things that we're thinking about are centered on tak- ing the reflow oven to the next step and really creating a smart and intelligent system that be- comes almost a lights-out tool. There's very little that the operator has to do with that tool from profiling to maintenance to intervention, with the tool to change reci- pes and things like that. There's a whole set of things that haven't been addressed yet, that we view as problems to solve that we're looking at. I can't get into much more detail than I have already, but we have some pretty good ideas about how to take the reflow oven to the next level. Las Marias: What can you say about the demand for your products in Asia as compared to the U.S. or Europe? Bouchard: Asia, in particular, has been soft for all equipment suppliers, not just BTU. We're not losing any market share or anything, but Asia has been soft especially over the last quar- ter or so. The Americas and Europe are actually very strong and that's consistent with the other companies that we've spoken with as well. The start of the year, although we're early into it, looks very good for the Americas and Europe. Parts of Asia are doing okay, but Asia in general is still a bit soft. Las Marias: Which markets are driving growth for your company? Bouchard: One of the areas that are showing strong growth for us is automotive. We're start- ing to look at LEDs, which is another area that we see some challenges that need to be solved. Overall, what we're seeing are customers that require a high precision, highly uniform and repeatable process for very demanding PCBs. That's where BTU really excels, and those mar- kets for us are in a growth phase. When those markets do well, we certainly do really well with our product line. Those are a couple of the areas that we see. Another area in our business that is very strong is semiconductor packaging, which has been soft; but that is again another area where BTU excels in performance, reliability, repeatability and process control. As we excel in those areas, those are what the customers right now in the Americas and Europe are buying. Las Marias: How do you see the next 12 to 18 months developing for the company? Bouchard: About a year ago, we were acquired by Amtech. We're now part of the Amtech Group and that transition has gone extremely well. We've made a number of changes and im- provements in our organization. We've become much more efficient, and looking ahead we're now very well positioned to grow the business. I would say at this point we're in that process. We're at the point where we are creating a new BTU moving forward. We are in the start of that process and our future is very bright. Las Marias: Bob, thank you very much for your time. Bouchard: You're welcome. SMT REducing SEtuP tiME to PRovidE MoRE uPtiME in PRoduction One secret to creating the world's fastest silicon- based flexible transistors: a very, very tiny knife. Work- ing in collaboration with colleagues around the coun- try, University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers, led by Zhenqiang (Jack) Ma, the Lynn H. Matthias Professor in engineering and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in electrical and computer engineering, and research scientist Jung-Hun Seo, used a simple, low- cost process called nanoimprint lithography to fabri- cate a transistor that operates at a record 38GHz. The unique method could allow manufacturers to easily and cheaply fabricate high-performance tran- sistors with wireless capabilities on huge rolls of flex- ible plastic. The research was published in the journal Scien- tific Reports. Engineers Fabricate Fastest Flexible Silicon Transistor

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