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76 SMT Magazine • August 2015 by Barry Matties i-connecT007 I recently met with Eric Weissmann, presi- dent and CEO of Photo Stencil. In this inter- view, Weissmann shares some important points about the venerable stencil, the latest in stencil innovation, and the impact stencils, blades, and cleanliness can have on your product quality. Barry Matties: why don't you just start by telling me a little bit about Photo Stencil? Eric Weissmann: Sure, I'd be pleased to. Photo Sten- cil has been around since the early '70s making sten- cils, screens, and squeegee blades primarily for the SMT industry. Historical- ly, there has been a con- tinuum of products and demand for products for printing materials, from back in the old days with chemically etched stencils up to the mod- ern, multidimensional 3D electroform type StencIlS: Why they Still Matter stencils. What we're seeing now is that there's been a bifurcation in the market for these sten- cils as well as simple ones that are served by laser-cut stencils. It's a piece of stainless steel that a laser cuts apertures through, which sol- der paste can then print through. That's on the one hand, and then there are the much more advanced applications with smaller features, products going into harsher environments, ad- vanced packaging, and electrical interconnects on the micron scale. That is where we see our future. For the last 18 months or so we've been making a lot of investments in our capability and our facilities to be prepared for where we see the market going. Matties: what do you think of the new jet style applications? Weissmann: Dispensing versus printing is the broader question, and of course dispensing is a "dot at a time" kind of thing. It's a lot slower. We have the same kind of thing internally, the one-at-a-time versus a parallel process. When we make an electroform stencil, we do everythin g IntervIeW

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