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52 SMT007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2018 Las Marias: What are the major drivers for growth for your company? Hughes: We have terrific penetration of the stencil market with our NanoClear products in the United States. For NanoClear, most of the growth is coming from Europe and Asia. For NanoProof, the growth is all coming from OEMs wanting to waterproof their devices. 2018 is going to be the year when most premium elec- tronics offer some form of waterproofing and traditional solutions such as conformal coat- ings do not cut it. Las Marias: What trends do you see as you look out at the electronics manufacturing industry? Hughes: Increased complexity and functional- ity of PCB design. Both trends mean that the use of nanocoating with stencils or PCBs is going to be more prevalent. Las Marias: What percentage of your custom- ers do you work closely with from design to assembly? Hughes: Very few. Most customers come to us as either the stencil does not print well and they need a nanocoating, or the marketing team has decided they need waterproofing for the device and the engineering team has been tasked with making something work without changing the design. Las Marias: What is your customer satisfaction goal? Hughes: Very high. Once we get spec'd into a product, we stay with the product for years. Las Marias: What is the most important attri- bute for customer service? Hughes: Speed. We need to get back to our customers quickly. Las Marias: What is the cost of not meeting customers' needs? Hughes: You do not spec'd into a program and lose the business opportunity. Las Marias: What is your biggest unfulfilled need from your supply base? Hughes: Inventory. Some of our raw materials are either custom or in high demand. As our business grows, we are placing more demands on our suppliers and some are struggling to keep up. Las Marias: How important is the technical expertise of the customer service staff? Hughes: Very. While our customers don't neces- sarily understand all the details of our chem- istry solutions, being able to understand their needs is critical to not only establishing cred- ibility early on but also allowing us to offer a solution that works. Las Marias: What is the most important feed- back/metrics you want from your customers? Hughes: Repeat orders. If they like it, they continue to buy. Las Marias: How would you rate your respon- siveness to all customer requests? Hughes: Excellent. As a smaller company, we are very nimble and so can customize develop- ment quickly to meet customer needs. Las Marias: What is a recent example of how you exceeded customer expectations? Hughes: Much of our work is covered by confi- dentiality agreements but an excellent publi- cized example is a Rauland Borg case study using NanoClear. Within a six-month time frame, Rauland Borg applied NanoClear on all Edward Hughes, Aculon

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