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70 PCB007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2019 Interview by Barry Matties I-CONNECT007 Averatek's President and COO Mike Vin- son talks with Barry Matties about the bene- fits semi-additive and additive processing can bring to the shop floor as well as some of the current challenges and limitations that con- tinue to leave many manufacturers hesitant to implement the technology. Barry Matties: Can you tell us a little bit about your company? Mike Vinson: Averatek was a spinoff of SRI In- ternational. We began about 12 years ago. For the last seven years, we've been focusing on circuits for the printed circuit board industry in a variety of ways. One of the ways is with semi-additive processing. We have a particular ink that allows us to make very thin copper layers that we can then build upon for semi- additive processing. We can go back and etch away the very thin copper that we put on ini- tially, and then leave the traces behind with virtually no deformation in the trace itself. So, that enables very fine pitch and very fine lines for circuits. Matties: Additive processing is a fast-growing trend. What's the driver behind it? Vinson: Yes, we're seeing a lot of interest now for additive as well as semi-additive process- ing, mainly trying to get the finer lines with less processing steps. With the additive pro- cess, you're not doing as much of the etching away. You don't have the chemistries or the materials to dispose of after the etching pro- cess. You can also limit a lot of those steps, de- crease the amount of time spent, and minimize the damage done in those steps. Matties: We see companies printing circuit boards completely through additive. They start with a solution and wind up with the board. It's a nice technology for rapid prototyping. If you want something, you design it in the morning and have it out by lunch. You can do this, but is this where we're headed? Vinson: Many of those printing processes have some gaps where they're trying to get enough conductivity into the circuit to be usable in Averatek on the Future of Additive and Semi-additive Processing Mike Vinson

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