PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Mar2018

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36 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2018 for semiconductors, chemicals for the PCB in- dustry, as well as solder mask and copper foil. At this moment Elga is following many differ- ent projects with European PCB producers and one of them we recently did was with one of our German customers, to develop the first ra- dar boards in the automotive industry. We were very successful with them and for this reason, we are involved in practically all the European production of radar boards at this time. Together we developed a new dry film dedi- cated to the mass production of radar boards. Elga also recently developed some other dry films which are dedicated to very high techno- logical production. One of these is ultra-fine line dry film, which is the FP400 and FP700. It is a dry film with a very particular charac- teristic, which is that it allows the producer to use a dry film of double the thickness of the line width that you want to obtain, which is a 1:2 aspect ratio—and in some cases our customers have achieved 1:4. We developed a dry film with this characteristic because dur - ing PCB production, theoretically, the thick- ness of the dry film used is equal to the line size we want to produce—but with very thin dry films the dust presence in the cleanroom becomes critical with a consequent increase in scrap rate. The lowest thickness we produce for these dry films lines is 15 microns, with a theoretical resolution of the lines below five microns. An- other recent and important project of Elga's is developing a very thick dry film for some spe- cial production applications. We were success- ful with the production of 130-micron dry film and at this moment Elga Europe is the only company able to supply this dry film thickness to customers which is also for DDI/LDI expo- sure technology. Goldman: Is the dry film that thick so they can plate thicker lines and features? Is that the idea? Favini: Honestly speaking, I don't know, be- cause the project just started with them, but I suppose it's dedicated for high copper thick- ness deposition. Goldman: How are things in the European econ- omy? Favini: After 10 years of a difficult Europe- an ecomonic situation we are realizing an in- crease and improvement. This is very impor- tant for us, of course, because you know very well what happened in 2008–2009 when it was a complete disaster. But right now, all our cus- tomers are at capacity with their production. Some of them for the first time in their history are refusing orders and many are close to 1.8 as a book-to-bill ratio. So it is very, very posi- tive. The problem is that everybody is a little bit afraid to invest again in Europe after what happened 10 years ago, but I think that if this situation goes on in this way for a medium/ long period, new investment will be done in Europe with the opening of new PCB facilities. Goldman: Along with the expansion of existing companies. Favini: Yes. Some of our customers also start- ed to use Elga dry film in their facilities locat- ed outside Europe, mainly in Asia, to be able to meet the high European order requests. This is very important for us because it's a big chance to export our dry films to Asia where we can produce locally thanks to the fact that Elga re- cently became part of Eternal Group. Regarding the European market, right now we are leader with a market share of 71%, and the forecast for next year is 76%. We are also very strong in Russia with a market share of 62% thanks to excellent cooperation with our local distribution, Petrocommerz. Other very important markets for Elga are Israel and the U.K. where we practically have control of 100% of the market. Together we developed a new dry film dedicated to the mass production of radar boards.

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