PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Feb2017

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52 The PCB Magazine • February 2017 FEATURE INTERVIEW by Barry Matties and Pete Starkey I-CONNECT007 Known for their film-based products, Agfa- Gevaert has turned its focus to the difficult task of inkjet printing the solder mask by partnering with solder mask expert Electra Polymers. Sit- ting down with Frank Louwet and Mariana Van Dam of Agfa Specialty Products, I-Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties and Technical Editor Pete Starkey learn more about the partnership and where they currently stand in the develop- ment of what will be a definite game changer. Matties: Frank, you're a part of the Agfa Specialty Products group, and the three areas that you're covering are Advanced Coating and Chemicals, Functional Foils and Classics. Tell us a little bit about the Classics. Louwet: Classics are based on our core photo- sensitive Ag technology and contain three ap- plications: Aerial, Microfilm and NDT, a film for non-destructive testing. This latter is an X-ray film used in industrial applications for checking weldings in pipelines and airplane engines. Matties: And what about the functional foils? Inkjet Printing Solder Mask Louwet: The Agfa functional foils business is based on our in-house capability of producing and coating mainly polyester films. It can be done all in one place. Main application areas for these functionalized polyester films are media for security printing, synthetic paper and back sheets for PV. SYNAPSTM is the trade name for this synthetic paper. This high-duty polyester print medium is used for menu printing, manu- als, advertising or name cards. Matties: The area that we're talking about is ad- vanced coatings & chemicals, producing and com- mercializing films and inkjet inks for the PCB and chemical milling industry. You said you have 40% of the film market, which is substantial. That's quite an accomplishment. Louwet: We have good products combined with a good sales and service organization. Agfa Ma- terials has its own sales organizations in Europe, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, South East Asia and the U.S. The local sales teams have good technological capabilities, so they can give ex- cellent service and support to customers. Cus- tomers appreciate this. We have very good in- roads into this market and are now also devel- oping UV inkjet inks to digitalize some of the

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