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30 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2022 Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Alain Kahn of CCI Eurolam discusses Euro- pean market trends. With his extensive back- ground in the European PCB market, Alain provides a needed perspective on Europe's changing views on PCBs, China's dominance, and how to attract young people into industrial jobs. Nolan Johnson: Alain, before we start our dis- cussion, will you give us some of your back- ground? Alain Kahn: I have been working in this business since 1968. I am probably one of the oldest remaining PCB guys; perhaps there is another one in Europe or even in the U.S., but I think it's relatively rare to have such a long career. I started work in a family company, most of which acted as a distributor for General Elec- tric USA. At that time, there was a product called Textolite, which was a laminate, epoxy glass. It was manufactured by GE, by the way, in Coshocton, Ohio. An Inside Track on the European Market At that time, our company had two people— myself and my business partner Bernard Bis- muth. We were young. Bernard was an engi- neer and had been selling laminates to the PCB industry here in France. We did this for about 10 years, and the market was growing, so we suggested to GE to build a masslam fac- tory in the Paris area as we knew GE eventu- ally wanted to have a factory in Europe. We opened it in 1981, and as we had a le- wing government in France, GE decided to stop, so we took over their part in the masslam operation. Not long aer, GE decided to retire from the European market, and eventually from this business. Now we had the possibil- ity to distribute for a French company mak- ing laminates called Drouet Diamond. Unfor- tunately, they went into bankruptcy aer three years and were taken over by Nelco. But it created a big problem for us because we were an important laminate distributor already distributing Arlon and we were chang- ing for the second time in a few years as a sup- plier of laminate. We established an efficient partnership with the German Dynamit Nobel, but aer 10 years,

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