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12 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2018 Feature Article by Stephen Las Marias and Patty Goldman I-CONNECT007 For this month's issue of PCB007 Magazine, our fo- cus is on equipment—not just on who's got the latest and the greatest, but on how people decide what to buy, when to buy it, and how those decisions are made. In preparation for this issue, we invited Kathy Nargi-Toth, president of Eltek USA, and Matt Turpin, president and CEO of Zentech Manufacturing to a discussion on the decision-making process for new equipment, and the key considerations for choosing the best machine solu - tion for a process. Headquartered in Israel, Eltek manufactures rigid- flex, multilayer flex, and HDI PCBs. The company works primarily with the military, defense, and aerospace seg - ment, and medical electronics. Baltimore-based Zentech Manufacturing, meanwhile, is an EMS firm mainly fo- cused on the mil/aero and medical electronics markets. "Ther e are probably three main ways that a PCB fab- ricator would evaluate new equipment purchases," says Nar gi-Toth, who has been in the PCB industry for over 30 years. "The first would be to address a capacity is - sue, or a bottleneck. So, you're looking for more of the same, perhaps. The second would be to meet a techni- cal challenge that your current equipment can't. The last one would be to do something that is new or rev- olutionary. That case would follow your roadmap and w ould be looking to purchase equipment that may not yet be available. In these cases, it is best to be work - ing with your main equipment suppliers. Often, they are already looking at new techniques that can ad- vance you along your roadmap. Most fabricators are doing some amount of each of these three types of pur chases, depending on how the particular operation is focused." A ccording to Nargi-Toth, in Eltek's case one of the primary focuses is equipment that can handle thin materials. "There seems to be an overriding decision-making process when we go about buy- ing a new piece of equip- ment. How does it handle fle x material? How does it handle the sequential lamination, sub-com- posite layers or plat- ed through-hole in- nerlayers? This mate-

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