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40 SMT Magazine • August 2014 I-Connect007 editor Richard Ayes recent- ly interviewed Rafael Nestor Mantaring, vice president for design and development at Phil- ippines-based EMS firm Integrated Micro-Elec- tronics Inc. (IMI), who discusses the benefits and impact of printed electronics for the elec- tronics manufacturing industry and the current challenges the technology faces. I-Connect007: Printed electronics has been around for a long time, but during the past few years, it has become of the hottest topics in the industry. What can you say about the developments in this space? Mantaring: While the past few years have seen rapid developments in this field, the ap- plications are still limited or very niche. That is because active circuits produced using printed electronics suffer in performance and require a larger area when compared to circuits fabricat- ed using conventional substrates. But it has its space: in displays, thin batteries, solar panels— although still at a very low efficiency—wearable electronics, and sensors. I-Connect007: From your perspective, what is the impact of printed electronics in the EMS/ PCBA industry? Mantaring: I don't expect it to have any sig- nificant impact in the short to medium term. Because the applications are very niche, EMS companies may not find the target markets or applications attractive. Furthermore, suppliers will likely do their own manufacturing. After FeATure SHorT Conversations with… Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc Challenges Remain in Printed Electronics

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