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36 The PCB Magazine • February 2017 by Barry Matties PUBLISHER, I-CONNECT007 At the recent electronica show in Europe, I sat down with industry icon Walt Custer, and Taiyo's John Fix, who went into detail about the company's newest direct image and thermal management solder masks. Barry Matties: John, can you tell our readers a little bit about Taiyo and what your focus is? John Fix: Taiyo is a world leader in solder mask products and solder mask-related products. We make via fill materials and legend inks, which are our main products that we service to the cir- cuit board industry. Matties: How many years have you been in busi- ness? Fix: Taiyo America just celebrated 26 years, and Taiyo overall recently celebrated 63 years servic- ing in the business. They've been doing solder masks since the late '70s. Matties: Yes, a lot of experience there. Now you guys are currently working on a couple of new products or maybe more than that, but two that I'm aware of. Fix: Yes. We are working on several items. Some of the newer ones are direct imaging solder masks. Another area that we're focusing on is thermal management products. A newer one is a heat spreader solder mask. Matties: Can you describe that product? Fix: Sure. As the industry advances, everyone is making smaller circuit boards and that requires more copper or heavy copper, which creates more heat. Within the automotive industry, ev- eryone wants to put circuit boards closer to the engines and that's just more heat. LEDs create a lot of heat, so there are issues with the circuit boards getting hotter; to extend reliability, how do you manage the heat? Years ago, Taiyo developed a first-generation type of heat spreader material. This was a mate- rial that would go onto the circuit board and THE POWER OF THREE

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