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46 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2024 Interview by Barry Matties I-CONNECT007 In part two of our interview with IPS team members Travis Houchin, Larry Boehm, and Kaal Glazier, we shi the conversation to the upcoming IPC APEX EXPO in April. Barry Matties: I would like to discuss the technology you will showcase at IPC APEX EXPO and what you expect from this year's show. Travis Houchin: We will showcase our ver- tical rotar y processing machines ( VRP), which can produce extremely tight lines and spaces. We'll also have a conveyorized piece of equipment. No doubt we will have many con- versations about contact-free processing as many are moving into producing UHDI. Visi- tors will also see our very low-volume, small- footprint equipment. Is there a growing demand for vertical, contact-free processing? Houchin: Yes. Interest in contact-free verti- cal processing is growing compared with tra- ditional conveyorized machines. e ability to etch fine lines and spaces is increasing for all our customers. We have designed afford- able small pieces of equipment with low sump volume and small footprints. People are using these a lot to experiment with vertical and contact-free processing to see what can be achieved and how it benefits them. Overall, is vertical on a comeback? Houchin: It is. We are finding so many more people wanting to do vertical processing for several reasons, including eliminating pud- dling on the top surface and track marks from wheels on the conveyor. So, we are seeing ver- tical as the way of the future. Vertical is not a new concept for IPS. Of course, IPS is well-known for its automated plating lines and horizontal lines, but you also have a long history in vertical equipment. Houchin: Correct. Our VCM and VRP prod- u c t l i n e h a s b e e n a r o u n d f o r 3 0 - p l u s IPS Technology Showcase

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