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NOVEMBER 2020 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 87 Coll: Over the past number of years, especially in Asia, some copper foil factories have completely retooled from PCBs to foil for lithium-ion batteries. We know our compet- itors in Europe are doing a nice blend of products for both PCBs and lithium-ion battery copper foil. Looking at what they've done, our goal is to provide a similar product blend in North America. We will continue to service our customers in PCBs but utilize that excess ca- pacity for the domestic lithium-ion battery market. There is a lot of excitement from our employees seeing the prod- ucts manufactured in Japan, know- ing that the technology will be im- plemented into our factory in the U.S. The difficulty is, while we both manufacture copper foil, the science of electroplating is the same, the art behind the processing is vastly dif- ferent from copper foil manufacturer to copper foil manufacturer. Having our ND colleagues being physically present in Camden is critical for technology exchange. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we simply can't get the right people into our factory, which is slowing down this process. Currently, our difficulties are more from ex- ternalities than they are from our direct cus- tomer base or technology changes. We have continuously adapted in the past and will con- tinue to so in the future. Our integration with ND coincided with the start of COVID-19. Therefore, ND was unable to dispatch their technical experts, and we've not been able to send anybody to Japan. We've been trying to be creative, like everyone else, using as much video conferencing as humanly possible. The teams are working very closely and trying to develop critical relationships though we've not had any chance for direct face-to-face commu- nication. Johnson: Once you do get face-to-face, it ought to be much better. Coll: That's the way we're looking at it, too. The real key that we've been working on is transparency, making sure that our colleagues in Japan know what we're doing and why. Sometimes, it may be a little bit of commu- nication overload, but it has helped to devel- op trust and mutual respect for each other in these difficult times. Johnson: This is the time of year when busi- ness plans and roadmaps are being put togeth- er for the next calendar year if they haven't been already. You have a new roadmap com- pared to this time last year. Coll: Correct. The process we're starting now is to compare our individual roadmaps. Then, we will move forward by creating a detailed un- derstanding of all the products and capabilities each party brings to the table. We've been able to go through PowerPoint presentations and WebEx meetings and attempt to understand what everyone has to offer in terms of prod- uct performance, technology, and understand- ing the full gamut of capabilities. Drum-plated foil enters into the first bath of the treating process. This first bath is a mild copper sulfate solution used to clean the foil and remove any oxidation that may have occurred between the original plating process and the treating process.

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