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72 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 Feature Interview Sean Mirshafiei, chief sales and marketing officer for Isola, discusses the company's per- spective on material market trends and how they are adapting product development pro- cesses to respond to new customer needs. Nolan Johnson: Sean, can you tell us about what Isola does? Sean Mirshafiei: Isola is a global laminate sup- plier for the PCB industry. It's a conglomerate made up from multiple laminate suppliers, such as Isola, AlliedSignal, and even AlliedSig- nal's predecessors. As a global player, we are manufacturing in North America, Europe, and Asia, and we've been servicing those markets for years. In North America, we have a pres- ence on both the West and East Coasts. In Eu- rope, we're stationed out of Germany, and we have four facilities in Asia, including two in Taiwan and two in Mainland China. Our pre- dominant product focus is high-Tg FR-4s and high-speed digital materials as well as RF mi- crowave laminates. We service certain niches within the market. Our revenue is realized pri- marily in Asia with fair representation in Eu- rope and North America. Johnson: What do you see as the current mar- ket dynamics globally, and how is Isola re- sponding to those? Mirshafiei: Market dynamics are a mixed bag. In North America, you still have strong growth driven by the aerospace and defense market as well as continued investments in higher-end telecommunications and automotive safety, such as radar systems. There's also telecom- munications equipment for next-generation 5G applications, and strong defense spending which is bolstering demand broadly across our North American PCB customers. When you look at Europe, it's a little bit of a different story. The European market is very much tied to the automotive electronics indus- try as well as industrial applications. We have seen softness there in both markets. Some of our customers have had to take time off, and there have been some weakness between Q1 and Q2; we've had to respond accordingly. We ISOLA on Adapting Processes to Meet Customer Needs Sean Mirshafiei

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