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62 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2019 The Right Approach by Steve Williams, THE RIGHT APPROACH CONSULTING A Conversation With Prototron's Van Chiem I recently spoke with Van Chiem, a process engineer with Prototron Circuits, about devel- oping in-house flex and rigid-flex processes and capabilities at their facility in Tucson, Arizona. Steve Williams: Van, you have a very diverse technical background in PCBs. Can you tell us a little bit about your past experience and what brought you to Prototron? Van Chiem: I have over 25 years of experience in this field. I started as a process engineer at Unisys Corporation where we made computer chips and advanced component packaging for interconnections like wire bonding, flip chip, and tab bonding. This is my ninth job in the PCB industry. Another job I had was with En- thone in Connecticut at the time, which is now MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions. I was in the research group working on the formu- lation of solder mask to try and convert it to photodefinable dielectric material for micro- via. Instead of drilling, we used a photo pro- cess to create a microvia, and then the electro- less copper followed by plating the copper to form the microvia with smart circuitry. That was my second job in the industry. I have had seven more jobs, but that might be too much to talk about. Williams: How about we save the other sev- en for the next interview (laughs). So, you've seen a lot of technology changes in the last 25 years in the industry and were actually one of the original technologists. Chiem: Well, I don't like to talk about myself, but I guess you could say that. Williams: How long have you been at Prototron? Chiem: About a year and a half. Williams: And you have already accomplished quite a bit here. Prototron brought you on board for the specific purpose of upgrading their technology in a number of different ar- eas, right? Chiem: Yes, Kim O'Neil, the general manager here, brought me on especially to develop flex and rigid-flex processes. Van Chiem

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