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42 PCB007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 That means on the front end, you have to wait a few days more for your prototype board, but time to market is way shorter. You may have five days longer lead time for your proto- types, but your time to market is shorter. This gives our customers a competitive advantage to place their products earlier into the market. Shaughnessy: You'll have consistency. Anac: Exactly, and directly from the start of a project through to volume production. Shaughnessy: What segments do you serve pri- marily? Anac: Primarily, we serve the industrial sector. We are also doing medical and railway solu- tions. In automotive, we're doing trucks and transportation, but not Tier One automotive. Matties: We're here listening to the designers, and one of the core messages from the instruc- tors is to talk to the fabricators as early as pos- sible in the design cycle. Where they're using a service like yours, they're not talking to the manufacturer. How do we get around that? Anac: That's why we are here with our local engineers to support. Many times, you get the data package, the whole setup, and all things are qualified, and the layout is done. But the hot topics, like cost drivers and reliability im- provement as well as design for manufactur- ing, start with the design. At this stage, we can help designers to improve their projects. Matties: But the instructors are talking about when designers are starting their designs, and they need to pick their fabricator. And you use multiple fabricators in China or in Asia. Are all the factories that you use located in China or in Taiwan and other areas? Anac: Currently, most of our factories are based in China. The whole infrastructure is there, from chemical suppliers for copper plating or surface finish to all global players of laminate producers. They all have their plants in China, and the best PCB factories are also there. Matties: If they want to talk to the fabricator, how would they do that working through your organization? Is that a possibility? von Bargen: It's not necessary to talk directly to the factories because that's our job. That's why we have local companies with local teams, in- cluding engineering departments, working closely together with the customer. Our facto- ry management team in China is in full control of the factories' performance. We provide this service to our customers so that they can fo- cus on their business. But if a customer would like to visit a factory, it's no problem. It's pos- sible because we are very open about what we do and we have a very strong relationship with our factories. Matties: That makes sense. If they want col- laborative engineering, they're going to come to you as the engineering representation of the factory for their DFM and all of the other con- siderations. Anac: Exactly. And that is also what makes us different from other suppliers. We have our own NCAB people in the factories—our factory management. We are in direct contact with the NCAB's China facility.

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