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64 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2021 (Editor's note: is special installment of Mi- chael Carano's long-running column is excerpted om a Q and A session held by the I-Connect007 staff.) Q: Happy Holden points out that direct metal- ization (DM) is more efficient, and more cost- effective than electroless. Is this the time to mi- grate? Carano: DM has been around for 25 years. It is more efficient, easy to provide in a continu- ous horizontal fashion, and is environmental- ly friendly. Asia is way ahead of North Ameri- ca. We are starting to convince companies that DM is ideal for flex and HDI fabrication. Asia already understands this. A Series of Questions on Price Increases Q: What are the challenges right now? Carano: ere are several—supply chain dis- ruptions: price increases, low yields from the fabricator's standpoint, and an inadequately trained workforce, as well as aging or inade- quate equipment needed to build high yield/ higher technology product. e money will be made in higher yields and more complex circuit boards. Q: What's new about those challenges? Carano: Mainly, the environment post-COVID is more challenging due to lack of ability to on- board workers; many line workers, so to speak, are poorly trained, and offered $12–$13 per Trouble in Your Tank Feature Column by Michael Carano, RBP CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

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