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NOVEMBER 2020 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 55 er service, meet everybody's expectations, and set the stage to where the customer confidence is high moving forward that they're invest- ing in a company that's going to be around 20 more years. Matties: That's great. In terms of market, do you see PCB fabricators increasing orders, or do you see growth in the other sectors? Brask: I would say 70–80% of the growth is PCBs. Matties: What kind of equipment are they pur- chasing? Brask: We are building larger plating lines. We have always made fully automatic plat- ing lines, but typically smaller lines. When it came to the larger lines, we needed to ex- pand our staff and facility. We see big line or- ders more often, and we have multiple big copper platers going on right now, so that's an area that's growing in the PCB and aero- space markets. Matties: Why do you think you see more and more of the plating area? Is there a shift in think- ing going on out there? What's the impetus? Brask: I believe it has to do with customer ser- vice and support. Right now, if we build a line and use my domestic supplier base, whether I can get them a pump or not, there are 20 oth- er companies that can too. That is huge right now. A lot of people have equipment out there where they are affected by the COVID-19 get- ting parts or service technicians in. Compa- nies are trying to hire people to do it, but they don't have that expertise level. There's a trend of looking at who can service them in North America. Matties: But in terms of why they're purchas- ing it, is it a capability they're going after? Brask: Yes, and capacity. Matties: And what are you offering that en- hances their capability? Brask: The via fill technology is one big area of development. You can buy, if you go to Asia, the great big continuous platers and that kind of stuff. Competitors are introducing larger-for- mat machines. Only a fraction of the U.S. cus- tomers are going to do that, though there are many here in the U.S. that need that same ca- pability on a smaller scale. That whole area of the business has boomed, and we've worked hard with the chemical suppliers to make sure our systems are configured for their process. That's an area of growth. With the some of the SAP and mSAP pro- cesses that are happening, companies are do- ing a lot of medical work to implement those and be actively involved as a vendor for all of the plating and conveyorized steps to do that. People are entering the market with new technologies as chemical suppliers and pro- cessors where we've gotten contracts to build test facilities for. Overall, the technology is still evolving, regardless of the economy, the reces- sion, and the environment out there with CO- VID-19. There's still a need to do sub-micron lines and spaces and contact-free processing wherever possible, and IPS will continue to be a supplier for that, and we see that being the future niche. Matties: With COVID-19, which will pass in some period, one way or the other, you're cre- ating a nice supply chain for the domestic mar- ket. That's going to stick, so your longevity plan is well in play. Line nearing final assembly.

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