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28 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2023 Morgan: Copper is not the best conductor, but it's the most practical and cheapest over- all. Silver is better, but silver's very expensive, so you can't really use silver. Copper is just a perfect mix. It's plated easily, you can protect it from corrosion, and it can carry high current as well. You want that in EVs, and we're talking high current as we are with power converters. Power electronics is big business now. Goodwin: is is all two-ounce foils, three- ounce foils, and then sometimes the heat sink on the other side is a copper heat sink. A lot of copper. Goodwin: A lot of money, a lot of copper. Morgan: But let's comment on the aluminum side as well. Yes, people do use copper for heat sinks; they use it for all kinds of things. Copper will carry on increasing. Aluminum has a strong part to play there as well; it's much lighter, for one thing. For automotive, you've also got to watch the weight, so if you can use aluminum to distribute heat, it's much lighter than cop- per. I guess we have a whole niche with that as well, Mark, which fits into this story. Goodwin: One of the things we've done there is the synergy part. Morgan: Right. Usually, regarding the heat sink on the packages, we've got aluminum plate with the proprietary ER1 finish we've put on to improve the thermal emissivity. Thank you both. I'm sure we'll chat again soon. PCB007 by Tom Kastner This may have been my favorite IPC APEX EXPO of all time. I've been coming since 1999, but I missed the last two years due to COVID and a busy sched- ule. It was great seeing some old, familiar faces and meeting some new ones, too. Although M&A deals in the North American PCB and EMS sectors were down in 2022 compared to the past few years, there was a lot of "deal energy" at this year's show. One reason for that is the num- ber of announced deals that are scheduled to close in early 2023: two PCB deals for Firan Technology Group and the pending APCT/Advanced Circuits deal. As of today, three EMS deals were announced in January: Artaflex's acquisition of Cus- tom Rapid Solutions, both located in Canada; the Gladiator Group's acquisi- tion of BEST, Inc., located near Chicago, Illinois; and Niche Electronics' acquisi- tion of L-Tronics in Massachusetts. Another reason for all the enthusiasm is that the industry's top companies are committed to growth and investment. Just about everyone I met was inter- ested in acquisitions in 2023, not just in the PCB and EMS sectors, but also in equipment, materials, wire/cable, software, design services, and related industries. Most buyers are interested in acquiring profitable, growing companies. A few are also inter- ested in distressed deals, but frankly, we have only seen a few of those lately. Even with all this positive energy, sellers may be a bit hesitant due to the gathering economic storm clouds. But as long as backlog is strong and there are no major issues with the business, there are buyers out there. Some of the shine may have come off valuations in the second half of 2022, but the market still seems strong compared to pre-COVID levels. Owners dealt with material price increases, parts and labor shortages, and other headwinds in 2022. Those issues may have calmed down somewhat, but now backlogs may be softening. U.S. buyers seem to be the most active. To read the rest of this article in Real Time with… Show & Tell Magazine, click here. Feeling the 'Deal Energy' Tom Kastner

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