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54 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 Feature Interview Ken Parent, Insulectro VP of sales and prod- uct management, discusses the current dy- namics in the materials marketplace and how Insulectro is developing educational resources to help design teams and fabricators better un- derstand the capabilities and features for the emerging laminate materials. Nolan Johnson: Ken, let's start with a quick in- troduction of you and Insulectro. Ken Parent: Insulectro is an electronic materi- als distribution company. We have been do- ing business in the PCB world for 50+ years. We provide materials that our fabricator cus- tomers use to build PCBs. In the last decade, Insulectro has also expanded into the printed electronics world, which brings some interest- ing perspectives to electronic material require- ments. And we are focusing on how materials get specified in design as we continue to work through our OEM ACT! program—Accomplish Change Together!—which educates OEMs and designers by partnering with our fabricator customers. Johnson: What are the dynamics in the market right now, and how do you see it changing? Parent: Material selection right now is very dynamic especially with the two major lami- nate suppliers we represent. On the rigid lami- nate side, Isola has brought out at least seven new materials in the last 10 years, including products like Tachyon® 100G, I-Tera® MT40, I- Speed®, Astra MT77, and materials that they're just started to release as well. Many new ma- terials are coming to the market, and they all have a very special performance attribute that is needed in the market. On the flex side, we're also seeing new ma- terials addressing high temperatures, for ex- ample. And there's a renewed interest in ma- terials that have been around for decades but now seem to be hitting their stride, such as DuPont's Interra™ HK 04 buried capacitance material. There are great opportunities for new materials, but it also creates a lot of work and demand for educating the designers and fab- ricator customers on how to best use them. A lot of work is being done on laminates as well with copper foil enabling higher performance electronic in electronic products and using Insulectro's OEM Program: Time to ACT! Ken Parent

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