This week, John Fix, Manager & Director of Sales and Marketing from Taiyo America, discuss what is going on with the latest trends in high-performance solder mask.
Dan Beaulieu: So, what’s new at Taiyo?
John Fix: Hi Dan, there are a lot of new things going on at Taiyo. You may have heard that we acquired Circuit Automation to our Taiyo America portfolio, and we now call them Taiyo Circuit Automation. So, we now can offer not only solder mask but the equipment to screen print the solder mask. This allows the customers to get a better experience in solving solder mask and equipment problems within their process and optimizing their process with the experience of our people. We also hired direct Taiyo employees in Europe. Our European Manager, Stuart Down, is in the UK and he has over 30 years of PCB experience as well as Harald Kutzias based out of Germany with 30 plus year years of PCB manufacturing experience. So, we have two highly experienced people to help the European market learn more about Taiyo.
Dan: What trends do you see in the PCB market?
John: The North American and European markets have a lot in common. Both are building higher tech PCBs with tighter requirements; higher layer counts are requiring higher performance in reliability. Thus, we see a move towards digital imaging be it LDI or DI as well as inkjet. Many would be surprised to learn just how many inkjet solder mask installations there are in North America and Europe. The number just keeps rising each year. Another big trend we see from the move towards EVs as well as smaller and more functional devices is thermal management. All of these electronics are doing so much that we have to find a way to move heat.
Dan: What new products are in development?
John: Well Dan, to meet these customer needs our lab has been hard at work designing inkjet products to fulfill the various equipment providers in the market. As you know there are many choices for inkjet and we work with all the major players like Notion, KLA, SUSS and Microcraft and we need our solder mask to work at the highest levels in all their equipment. So, we have a series of products, IJSR-4000 JM Series for jetting solder mask. Also, we have been heavily promoting our automotive grade solder mask to the European market PSR-4000 CC01SE and PSR-4000 HH01XR, meet all the high temperature storage requirements of 200°C for 2000 hrs as well as the tough environmental regulations required for products used in Europe. Lastly, we have ThermoCool, a thermal management product that moves a lot of heat at 10 W/m K. Thus, our lab has been really busy over the last several months and we are eager for our customers to try these products.
Dan: What are you doing at Taiyo to meet these market needs?
John: Well Dan, as I mentioned before, we have added more people to field not only for Taiyo America but also for Taiyo Circuit Automation. In addition, we have a new European distributor in Ventec that is helping us expand our reach and business in Europe. We also added Viking in the UK for Taiyo Circuit Automation to add more equipment service and sales. We have a lot of new products that are there for the high-end PCB requirements that our customers so badly need. The industry is changing everyday so our R&D group is expanding to help keep up with all the new projects that the sales team keeps feeding into Carson City.
Dan: Okay, I’ll put you on the spot, what is the most exciting products are in development right now?
John: I’m most excited with the ThermoCool, with all the applications needing thermal management and electronics devices continuing to get small and more functional this will be a growth area for Taiyo.
Dan: Where do you see the company in a year? In five years?
John: Good question Dan, I keep seeing Taiyo growing. We are exploring all kinds of new technologies within our industries as well as areas just outside our industry as well. Innovation has always come from North America so it’s important that Taiyo continues to invest in R&D and drive towards making new and better products while at the same time improving our efficiencies so we can pass that on to our customers. I also see a lot of environmental improvements coming from Taiyo America in the next few years as we try to improve our carbon footprint as this have been an important topic from our parent companies. Thus, I think you will see a lot of interesting new things from Taiyo over the next several years.
Dan: Thank you!