FLEX007

Flex-Apr2018

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APRIL 2018 I FLEX007 MAGAZINE 41 Shaughnessy: And medical you've got to go deal with FDA regulations; it's a whole differ- ent set of hoops to jump through. Talbot: It is, and really the trick with medical is to get the design right and consistent. Once it gets approved it has to be that way for the life of the part. The main automotive challenges, I would say, involve record keeping. And for medical, whatever the process is, you have to stick with it for the life of the product. Shaughnessy: In automotive they're also a little more concerned with cost, right? Talbot: Medical is, of course. So is automotive. To be honest with you, Andy, right now we're only 24 days into the new year and nearly half of our customers are shopping all their prod- ucts. This economy that we've had for about a year now seems to be booming and mak- ing everybody happy, and now we have a tax cut, and everybody is getting money in their pocket. That's increasing pricing because, for instance, in 2017, payroll increased 40% at Tramonto. Shaughnessy: A lot of companies gave out raises and ended up having lower numbers for the 4th quarter because of the raises. Talbot: And they're hoping that it's going to catch up, but the big push I'm seeing right now is that by the end of 2018, you're going to hear a lot of manufacturers say that we're getting back to a situation where everybody is trying to save a nickel or a penny. Shaughnessy: Have you had any orders that are using 5G? Talbot: We don't have anything in-house that's a concern for high-speed right now. Even the LCP materials is legacy stuff, so we're not see- ing any new stuff like that. And to be honest, we don't have a whole lot of communications customers. With the communications custom- ers we do have, typically we're building them circuits for their racks, servers and that sort of thing. Shaughnessy: Do your customers tend to work with you from the get-go starting at the design level? Talbot: Not all of them, Andy. Usually it's just if they have a problem, or if they think they might have a problem. We have lots of custom- ers who have experienced designers, and we help when they have questions. Shaughnessy: What kind of materials do you typically use for flex? Talbot: Standard polyimide typically, some DuPont and some Rogers and some others.

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