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76 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2020 Hardin: There are manufacturers out there that also sell solder bars, and we buy the solder dross back from the customers. The way the cycle typ- ically works is we sell it to the cus- tomer over an LME price, which is the cost of metal plus manufacturing. It's what all customers are going to pay for when they buy solder bars. Now, when they generate their solder dross, they're getting a third of the value of the metal cost. If they're just sending solder dross out the door, 80%, more or less, of the solder that they're buying is replacing that dross that they're then selling and shipping off as haz- ardous waste—but getting paid about 30–40% of the actual value. They're losing 60+% every time they send dross out the door. Johnson: That must drive the actual average purchase price of the solder way up. If they use your product to do on-site dross recovery, then they get something more like 95% efficiency? Hardin: Exactly. 95% of the solder bars that they buy from a solder manufacturer, whether it's from us or anybody else, ends up under their product versus 80% of that being shipped out the doors as hazardous waste. Johnson: Help me imagine what a setup is going to look like for using MS2. What equip- ment do you need? How do you put the prod- uct to work? To achieve such a reduction in solder waste is pretty significant. Hardin: For many companies, the savings are in the thousands or millions. We're con- stantly adding new companies each quarter and significant companies globally, and they all see huge savings. One thing I can always say about MS2 is once the customer has gone down that path by taking the time to help us implement it inside their process, it never leaves. We don't see companies start to buy from us and then go away. Once they're a cus- tomer, they're always a customer because they see the savings right away. Hardin: Our company is a solder manufacturer, but our history has always been in dross recy- cling. Solder dross is a waste that's formed in the through-hole assembly process of PCB manufacturing—a large solder pot of the sol- der is constantly in motion, forming a gum called dross, which is removed from the pro- cess and sold back to companies like us. We recycle that solder dross back to usable metal and can then sell it back to the customer. The MS2 product was developed when everything was becoming lead-free, and prices of solder went from being $2 a pound to up to $30 a pound. The cost of dross became a huge prob- lem once everything went lead-free. We thought that the product we used to recycle solder dross could be re-blended and, in a pure form, sold to the producers of the dross globally to eliminate both the solder dross problem and cost. The solder dross that customers generate from the wave soldering machines represents about 60–80% of the total waste that they generate in their facility. It also requires them to purchase new solder bars. About 80% of the new solder bars that a cus- tomer buys is to replace the solder dross that they're removing from the process. If we're able to eliminate that waste and help the cus- tomer to become 95+% efficient with the sol- der they buy, all they have to do is implement the MS2 process into their lines. Johnson: What did they do with the solder dross before your product was available? MS2 ® molten solder surfactant being poured onto the surface of the solder bath.

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