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26 SMT007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2023 Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Alpha Circuit is a PCB fabricator located in Elmhurst, Illinois. Given that the launch of a new PCB fab is a rare occasion these days, we caught up with the senior team—Prashant Patel, president and CEO; Steve Smith, gen- eral manager; Steve Ryan, sales and direct sup- port—guiding the buildout of Alpha Circuit's brand new 44,000 square foot facility. ey discuss what goes into equipment selection and line design, and the timing couldn't have been better. At press time, the new facility was on schedule for test production by the end of January. roughout the conversation, the Alpha team shared its methods for designing the facil- ity, the parts of the fabrication process that are critical to get exactly right, and where the sur- prises were in the process. Nolan Johnson: Gentlemen, welcome, and con- gratulations on your new facility. Let's start with a little background about the company. Steve Ryan: Alpha Circuit started in 1981, as a single-sided and double-sided board shop. Zenith was one of our big customers early on. We did a lot of punching and crunching back then and it is what really catapulted the rev- enue stream for us. When I joined the com- pany in 2009, we were comfortably an eight to 12-layer multilayer and double-sided manufac- turer. In 2013, we started doing flex and rigid- flex, increased our multilayers up to 28 layers, and started manufacturing copper-based ped- estal-type design work. Prashant Patel: When I acquired the company in 2020, my vision was to continue Alpha Circuit Alpha Takes the Greenfield Route

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