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AUGUST 2018 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 73 We'll only win if the customer wins, that's usually our motto. that you can see the machines and you can compare. The other thing is you can try them out, you can bring substrates and you can see; and at that point, you begin to understand the many aspects of the cleaning process. You go from cleanliness to material compatibility to process settings to chemistries that are out there. We, obviously being one of the suppliers, have to make certain decisions. So, it helps us, the customers, and everybody in the value chain to talk to each other. These technical centers are typically equipped by our equipment partners because they see the benefits of putting their machines in. Then the customers come in and use it; we have no financial benefit in it because we don't see it as a value add. But we want to be an objective platform to recommend certain processes. Typically, when the customers ask us for advice, we give them two or three recommendations just to stay neutral. But it's relevant for us to have our own engineers understand the equipment and the cleaning equipment manufacturers understand our products. Las Marias: What factors should users consider when selecting their cleaning process? Wack: Every customer has a different requirement, a different substrate, and a different specification in terms of cleanliness. There's not one product that we recommend. So, we use the tech centers to run the trials and the machines and the cleaning product. We have extensive knowledge of cleaning all the solder pastes that are currently used in the semiconductor or SMT industry. We have an internal cleaning platform where we keep track of all the data, so that when the customers come in and say they are using solder paste one or two, we know roughly what process we've cleaned this with before, what machines we've cleaned it with, so we can conduct a fairly easy first trial and see if we're going the right direction. Then there might be optimization or other aspects, from water generation to water disposal, that the customers may be interested in. There are so many facets to the cleaning process that it's first a discussion when they come, then it turns to the trials and continues. But overall, general customer process or project probably takes on the order of six to 12 months before implementation. It's not something you can do overnight or over the weekend. Las Marias: What can you say about the future of the cleaning industry? Wack: I think it's very bright; we have benefitted from the increase in cleaning demands over the last 10 years. I just don't see an end to it because as I've mentioned earlier, everything's becoming more integrated and smaller, and more difficult to clean. It will probably move more people to clean either with water or with DI water, for organic acid (OA) or no clean fluxes, and they will turn into probably potential and future customers of ours. Now that we have more or a presence in Taiwan, I think they will help us to capture more market share; and because we are here, we can demonstrate and show customers what they gain by working with us. We'll only win if the customer wins, that's usually our motto. But in general, I think the future of cleaning is bright—it's across all industries, in automotive, in consumer electronics, or maybe higher-end products as well. The other thing is that, generally, more electronics are being produced, new innovations are coming out, so if there is no replacement to the solder paste, I think customers will continue to merge towards more cleaning in the future. Las Marias: What are the challenges for your company? Wack: The challenge is getting to the people before they realize that they have a problem.

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