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54 PCB007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2018 Matties: What effect do you think that will have on the market? Dunn: We already see so much consolidation, but as you get bigger, you lose some of the re- lationship side of things. The one thing that the smaller companies are much better at, in my opinion, is the relationships and the depth of knowledge they have regarding their cus- tomers. Matties: We saw consolidation back in the late '80s and early '90s where we had 3,000 shops, and now we have about 270. How much more consolidation can we have? Dunn: When you think about the shops that you assume will consolidate—either sell or re- tire altogether—that's a big number. Matties: We always talk about aging designers, so it's nice to see some young energy here at AltiumLive. I don't know that there is enough to fill the supply chain of the need, but we are seeing this trend. I look at the supply chain of the fabricators, and we see GreenSource Fab- rication building a new fully automated facili- ty. It's a factory of the future. It's the model of what factories have to be. I don't know what they invested, but let's assume it's $40–50 mil- lion to build a new factory. There's not a lot of people coming into this market saying they want to invest that amount of money. Dunn: Into a market where generally—even though it's all custom electronics—we're treat- ed as a commodity, that's a big investment. Matties: In my mind, it's kind of an uncertain future for meeting demand, or we're going to see the level of prototypes being built offshore in other areas. I think we are already starting to see some of that. Dunn: I think we are, yes. The old adage used to be that the lead time offshore is long; it's 20– 25 days plus shipping. Now, it's not uncom- mon to find offshore suppliers turning boards in five days, which is no different than North America. Matties: I'm hearing about close to fully auto- mated factories in China that are moving to zero waste and building HDI in mass quanti- ty. When you look at the GreenSource Fabri- cation approach, it's lot size of one. Alex St- epinski [VP of GreenSource Fabrication] goes further to say it's not just a lot size of one— it's any panel, lot size of one. It could be thin or thick because the process is flexible to han- dle this. When you're building lot size of one, it doesn't matter if you have a mass quanti- ty factory or not. If I need one, I can put one in and get one out. Even with the way proto- types are built, it may not be challenging or difficult for a person to do it all—one to many. Dunn: It's exciting. Matties: It will be interesting to see what hap- pens. I know there is a lot of conversation around tariffs. Have you felt any impact from those conversations yet? Participants in the robotics challenge at AltiumLive.

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