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NOVEMBER 2019 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 33 Starkey: You have to become a specialist in a given technology, and then you have propor- tionately less competition. You're close to your customers, both geographically and in terms of working together. Customers know that they can rely on your support and that you will rise to their technology challenges to provide them with the best service. Michels: That's exactly right. We have more than 10 people in our engineering department, so we work directly with the customer's de- sign people to jointly develop the design. Most times, it's developing and optimizing the board with them and then building it. If you are rea- sonable with the price, then it's not the subject of a lengthy negotiation. Starkey: I agree entirely. And reflecting on my own career in PCB fabrication, that's the sort of company I used to run; we weren't a manu- facturer so much as a provider of a technical and engineering service to our customers. Michels: And that's the importance of having the right people. Our company is already 40 years old, and we are able to offer this service, but we also have to find and invest in the right people and develop and keep the people. From my point of view, the PCB market worldwide is increasing at a minimum of 5% YoY with driv- ers like 5G, IoT, and autonomous driving, and it needs excellent, flexible European PCB spe- cialists to help develop prototyping and medi- um volumes. Starkey: Thank you for sharing your perspec- tive with us, Thomas. Michels: Thank you, Pete. PCB007 of the first producers, we were able to apply a function- al 3D-surface designed PCB according to the custom- er's requirements. Also, beyond precision and function- ality advantages, we offer our customers improvements in PCB protection—achieved by the gentle application of the functional surface, as well as by a reduction in the amount and type of chemicals used." (Source: Würth Elektronik) Würth Elektronik CBT, a leading European PCB manu- facturer, and Taiyo America have announced that inkjet solder mask is in production. IJSR-4000 JM03G is an inkjet solder mask product de- veloped by the chemists and engineers of Taiyo Ink in Ja- pan. The product is designed to meet all industry stan- dards for high performance solder mask in the automo- tive, aerospace, defense, communications, medical and industrial market segments. "We have been cooperating for over four years in the development of an ink- jet process solution and the time and effort spent by both companies has fi- nally paid off. We are pleased to have Würth Elektronik CBT as our first world- wide production customer for the IJSR- 4000 JM03G," stated Zach Maekawa, president of Taiyo America. Dirk Grether, a project manager at Würth Elektronik CBT, adds: "Togeth- er with Taiyo America, we pioneered a successful inkjet process. As one Würth Elektronik CBT, Taiyo America, Inc. Announce Successful Production of Inkjet Solder Mask

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