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April 2017 • The PCB Design Magazine 41 a lot of value in the model of an en- gineering and NPI facility. Now, the natural progression is to assist our cus- tomers in launching their volume or- ders offshore. Because of my team's ex- perience, we have the ability to design for success in lower cost regions. In many cases now, they're coming to us because it's a recipe transfer problem the customer is facing. They ultimate- ly are going to need to go to a cost-ef- fective solution, but they can't transfer the same recipe we build in NPI. We can build anything, but they are never going to get it built offshore success- fully, so we're now focusing a lot more resources in developing NPI and DFM feedback that allows them to be suc- cessful. We're engineering for their ul- timate solution, not just launching an NPI program for them. This model has been very attractive to a lot of Tier Ones. They have leveraged our speed in the NPI build, al- lowing them to get to market quicker and they are trusting us in the recipe transfer, in order to take advantage of pricing for product produced in low-cost regions as well. That's a big part of our growth, especially over the last two years. Shaughnessy: What do you see over the next five years or so? Are you planning to expand into any new markets? Robinson: We will continue to focus on what our customers are asking for. Our customers want our engineering expertise, and they want our commitment to a high level of service. We have a very responsive inside sales team as well. We get quotes back to customers in a few hours. We strive to be very effective with our com- munication, our follow-up, and we give them very honest feedback and commitments as we go forward. That said, we have customers now asking us to look at expanding some of our technologies. Flex and rigid-flex technology is something that we're looking at right now. If we do add that capability, we will not be adding to our existing footprint, but perhaps through an- other acquisition. We acquired the Connecticut operation in April of 2016, which added a sub- stantial manufacturing site for us on the East Coast, where we now have additional resources and capacity to support those regional custom- ers. We have a significant level of revenue com- ing from the East Coast and our new facility out there is doing a tremendous job supporting that growing demand. Shaughnessy: Right now, you don't do any flex? Robinson: We are currently focused only on rig- id boards. We are very dedicated to what we do. However, flex and rigid-flex is a growth market in North America, so it is something we are con- sidering. There could be other acquisitions that, logistically, might make sense for us regionally. But right now, it's about being more efficient and continuing to focus on the technology that we're seeing currently. We're not seeing a lot of new and emerging technologies, but thinner, faster, and smaller. That's where all the OEMs are driving us, so it's low loss/high speed materi- als with smaller features, smaller holes and just finer detail. As you invest in those capabilities they become significant, so you have to be very certain of what you're doing. Shaughnessy: It's funny. We see some designers who automatically go to HDI and then sometimes STEVE ROBINSON DISCUSSES APCT'S TENFOLD EXPANSION

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