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66 SMT007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2018 Feature Interview by Stephen Las Marias I-CONNECT007 With the opening of its new technical facility in Hsinchu, Taiwan, Zestron now owns a total of eight globally linked technical support facilities throughout the world. The new facility includes an analytical lab, a technical center, and office space, and it will enable the company to deliver comprehensive cleaning trials with various cleaning machines and cleaning agents right to the doorsteps of its customers in Taiwan. In an interview with SMT007 Magazine, Dr. Harald Wack, president of Zestron, explains the challenges their customers face in cleaning, the increasing need to clean PCB assemblies, and the role of automation in the cleaning process. Stephen Las Marias: First, tell us more about Zestron, including how business was last year, and your outlook for this year. Dr. Harald Wack: Most of our products are water-based products. The last 10 years, we have developed a lot of very innovative green chemistries—pH-neutral products to clean flux residues and with concentration levels of between five to 10%, sometimes 15%. So very green, with a lot of DI (deionized) water being the rest of it. We've had a tremendous amount of success in the last 10 to 15 years. The last year has been double-digit growth, mostly higher double- digit growth in Asia. In the U.S. and Europe, it's more of a mature market, but I think it must be probably between 10 and 20%. Overall, we've seen very satisfactory results, and we've been humbled by this success. We continuously try to get better and work on what we can improve in our company. The first couple of months this year had been also very positive. Las Marias: What are some of the major drivers of growth for the company? Wack: Numerous markets are employing more and more electronics devices, including automotive, Industry 4.0—with the machines talking to each other—and the consumer PCBAs: To Clean or Not to Clean

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