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42 PCB007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2021 Feature Interview by Barry Matties I-CONNECT007 In this interview, Barry Matties spoke with Peter Bigelow, CEO of IMI Inc., about the trickiness of managing CapEx in a company with limited resources. ey discuss the impor- tance of planning things out in advance while still being flexible, why companies shouldn't be afraid to invest in processes that may save them time and money, and why firms with ITAR cus- tomers may wind up spending as much on IT and cybersecurity as on equipment. Barry Matties: We have been looking at the pro- cess of CapEx, how people go about deciding what they're going to spend their funds on, and the motivation behind it. When you're looking at CapEx expenditures, what's your approach to ranking or prioritizing where you're going to invest your money? Peter Bigelow: Well, that kind of explains it all. I may not be the typical owner because we're a small company and I wish I had more capital dollars. We spend about 8% of sales on capi- tal, which is a large percentage, but in dol- lars it's not huge. I typically have something I must replace or something I want to buy new, and something which comes out of the blue. With this year as an example, we bought a new etcher and that was more of a replacement than an addition. We're also buying lab equip- ment, which is technologically advanced so, in my mind, it's not a replacement, but an addi- tion. In past years, we've put in direct imaging (DI), which was an addition; we bought drill machines, which were a replacement; and you have that kind of a flow that goes on. So, I look out a few years and say, "If I can average spending at so much per year, what are the major things that either appear will need to be replaced or appear to be newer technologies we should be embracing?" You work through a budget and then you move the pieces around based on the opportunity. A piece of equip- ment planned for two years out becomes avail- able, so you move it up and push something else back out. You're doing a lot based on need. en you have the things which you don't plan

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