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10 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2022 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team e I-Connect007 Editorial Team discusses with Technica's Frank Medina, Ed Carignan, and Jason Perry about trending hotspots that provide the PCB fabricator a high return on investment (ROI). A theme that carries throughout the conversation is that tradi- tional methods for calculating ROI are being replaced by models that include more qualita- tive factors. Nolan Johnson: Frank and Jason, Where do you see the ROI hotspots in manufacturing right now? Frank Medina: One is solder mask equipment; another area is automation and material han- dling. Jason Perry: I think there are several more areas. A lot of effort has been put into the inner layer and outer layer departments. People are moving toward upgrading the back end of the process. We're seeing more demand for sol- der mask improvement and technology, direct write type of technology, and inkjet applica- tions. Reducing process steps, improving through- put, and improving time to market—getting product through the shop faster always equals higher dollars and lower costs. ere's a drive toward that on the back end, including auto- mation to reduce labor costs as those costs continue to increase. We're seeing demand to automate repetitive tasks the operators would normally be doing. e goal is to repurpose The ROI Hotspots

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