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82 SMT Magazine • October 2016 there's always a lot of ups and downs. We do not have any high picks or low picks. Overall, it's pretty stable. One thing we have observed for PCB manufacturing is the trend of more in- dustries actually shifting to less developed coun- tries in order to produce more low-cost prod- ucts. We are seeing more activities in Indonesia, in the Philippines, and also in areas like Viet- nam and India. For Malaysia and Thailand— we term those as small mature markets because they started PCB building right from the very early years—they're actually leaning more to- wards retooling and what we call replacement opportunities. Las Marias: What are the challenges you're see- ing? Lau: The greatest challenge that we see is that things are getting cheaper. A lot of customers are demanding even cheaper machines. If you look at SMT production and PCB manufactur- ing, a lot of the focus is actually on the pick- and-place machine. For inspection machines, a Koh Young Talks AOI Landscape and Trends by Stephen Las Marias I-CONNECT007 During the recent NEPCON South Chi- na tradeshow in Shenzhen, Thomas Lau, sales manager for Southeast Asia at Koh Young Tech- nology Inc., speaks with SMT Magazine about the challenges, and developments happen- ing in the AOI sector. He also discusses indus- try trends, why manufacturers are increasing- ly looking into strengthening their inspection capabilities and putting AI into AOI machines. Stephen Las Marias: Thomas, what can you say about the current SMT landscape in Asia? Thomas Lau: In terms of the overall market sit- uation, the market was quite slow for the first half of the year, but things seem to be picking up. When it comes to machine investment, a lot of customers are pretty skeptical. A lot of them are still adopting a wait-and-see attitude because there are a lot of external factors affect- ing the market right now. For Southeast Asia, INTERVIEW Thomas Lau

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