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September 2015 • SMT Magazine 65 eas. That's where the tilts are coming in as a capability enabler. Matties: what are the demands that are brought on the conformal coating part of the business? Perkins: From a general demand standpoint, it's going to be basically those same higher throughputs and higher qualities associated with it. When we look specifically at conformal coating, the challenges that are coming in are with shrinking keep-out zones. With any con- formal coating process, you typically have three zones: the must coat, the must-not coat, and the tolerance area. That tolerance area is continuing to get small- er. You're having more components that are be- ing put onto the circuit boards that are intolerant to conformal coating, or more test points that are associated with it that need to be kept clean. You're seeing higher challenges in working with those. While you're both increasing throughput and increasing the speed of the process and try- ing to decrease your other areas, those variables sometimes work against each other. That's really where the biggest challenge is. A secondary challenge that's coming in is the demand for a lot more traceability, es- pecially as you get into automotive and the like—dealing a lot with factory information systems, MES interfaces, and closed-loop pro- cesses that are able to write back to those sys- tems and verify that we've done what we said we'd do. Matties: Every process has tended to be a silo, right? now, they're connecting these systems to do a few things. one, of course, is to increase product reliability and quality. the second is to find out who is liable for the defects because somebody's got to pay. Perkins: Absolutely. You've got hard cost asso- ciated with replacing parts. Then, you have li- abilities associated with them, especially as you get into medical and automotive. Matties: is your core market the higher-end mar- ket, such as medical, automotive, and military/ aerospace? Perkins: We're really going to be supplying to companies that are interested in having premi- um technology and the premium yields associ- ated with it. We're going to cater more towards those more challenging requirements. Matties: is there anything that i'm not asking that we should be talking about? Perkins: Well,the really interesting part with fluid dispensing is we work with fluids from 10– 15 centipoise, water-based agents, up to high -onductivity thermal interface material that have specific gravities of three and a half and are a couple million centipoise. When you look at the fact that we can basically dispense any back-end liquid, there is such a huge range of applications that we can get in, which a lot of the general industry comments say are "faster and more accurate." We also have more flexible equipment. As you look at the contract manufacturers, they're now saying, "I might have a project that lasts for a year to two, but then I'm go- ing to want to reuse this equipment after that for my next project." Now they're looking at how to reconfigure that same equipment to be able to do their next job and to work today with an underfill application and next year to change that to an edge-fill application, or something else. How do you make the equip - ment both lower in cost for driving down the manufacturing cost, but keep it highly flexible and highly reliable? Those, I think, are the big industry chal- lenges and we've got a great design team down in Carlsbad with a lot of experience. I've had 15 years with the company and I still a junior person within a lot of those teams. That speaks to the company's expertise in what the indus- try is looking for and where we can take some of those past successes and leverage them to be able to play in the 20 centipoise to 2 million centipoise neighborhoods. Matties: great. thank you very much for the in- terview. Perkins: My pleasure. smt tHe DemANDs ON AutOmAteD FLuID DIspeNsING continues interview

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