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38 PCB007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2019 eductor nozzles to a very high flow; it's clos- er to two liters per minute per nozzle. At that high velocity, many of our competitors get thin at the knee. We don't have that problem, so we can go to a very high current density from 34–38 ASF on these machines, increasing out- put by 20–30%. Matties: So, you're adding capacity. Wood: Yes. Three VCP machines give the same output as four. Matties: Obviously, this is a proprietary solu- tion. Why has it not been copied? Wood: The technology is from the U.S., and we manufacture the concentrate there—and in a facility in Asia—so the key ingredients are manufactured and controlled by us. For five years, others in the industry have tried to copy it but have not been successful. Matties: It sounds like the ROI is straightaway? Wood: Absolutely. John Nash, my boss [and Ce- rambus president], has said to many custom- ers, "Don't pay us for the brightener. Give us all of the savings that you receive from a lower operating cost." No purchasing agent has tak- en him up on it yet, but that speaks volumes. Matties: I also understand that Cerambus con- tinues to expand. Wood: Yes, we're expanding into other markets. We're doing a lot of work in Thailand, and we're expanding into Southern Asia with the rest of the PC shops. We're also expanding into the more rural areas of China and business is going very well. We have a very good market share, and we're doing a lot with these advantages. Matties: I would think your market share is in- creasing pretty quickly. Wood: It is. We have a very high growth be- cause of those advantages, and people are buy- ing more VCPs. Matties: When I spoke with John [Nash], he mentioned a new technical center. Can you talk about that? Wood: Of course, we have our Dongguan fa- cility that is a manufacturing and technology center, and we are planning to move from the San Jose area to the Las Vegas area with R&D and manufacturing. Matties: How do you see the market right now? Wood: Most people are going into the VCPs for consistency, and the end customer wants it. So, since our product works best with VCP, we see a little softening. But our sales continue to grow, and I see some more demand when I visit Thailand; there's a lot more demand there for buyers that want to have a fallback if any- thing happens regarding the trade war. Matties: That seems to be a frequent topic of conversation in China. When you look at the Chinese market, how many years have you been here? Wood: Cerambus has been here for many years, over 15. But over time, people haven't realized the advantages, and purchasing staff inside China are now understanding what the operating cost is compared to the price. So, instead of what the price per liter is if they analyze the full cost, that's when we expand our business. Matties: The level of sophistication in Chinese manufacturing has increased as well. Wood: Yes, we've witnessed that. One of the things that I've noticed for some of the auto- motive is they now use conformal microvias on the outside of the board. We had one customer who was running at 8 ASF with a competitor in VCP, and now they're running a through- hole and that microvia 6x5 deep at 27 ASF. So, our chemistry has some big advantages. Matties: What advice would you give to a fab- ricator in China?

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