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Werner Peters, founder of Lackwerke Peters GmbH & Co. KG of Kempen, Germany, died on Jan. 1, 2017. He was 85.
Peters was one of the founders of the European PCB industry, developing the first German circuit boards back in 1956 in conjunction with colleagues at Isola and Ruwel. From 1970 onwards, when he took over a company in Krefeld, he expanded the company by developing resist chemistry to a high level, meeting the specifications of a number of OEMs not only in Europe but worldwide.
Under the name of Lackwerke Peters, his company moved to Kempen in 1984 to a purpose-built factory from where he produced a range of chemicals for the electronics industry of such eminence that his company is a true global supplier, rivalling competitors of much larger status. It is widely known that under his guidance his company developed products for niche applications as well as main-stream, giving a bespoke nature to chemistry that few companies have emulated. Indeed, the dedicated in-house R&D at the factory in Kempen helped the European electronics industry to meet the demand of the international market place.
A much-loved family man, Werner Peters gave of his time to serve on technical committees and to guide industry associations as a director, namelyVDI/VDE and VdL or ZVEI in particular, and encouraged young talent from local colleges in Kempen. Lackwerke Peters have been a member of EIPC for many years, and have been a valued contributor to the technology debates that have taken place at many venues over the years.
The Peters Group is now managed by his daughter Brigitte Schwartz and his son-in-law Ralf Schwartz as the second generation; they took over management responsibilities in 1995 and are loyal to his company philosophy and the fundamentals of his strong beliefs.
It might be said that Peters was one of the pioneers whose legacy is the foundation of a key supplier to a demanding technological industry that has not only kept pace, but led the way. For that, his contribution as a man has to be most highly regarded, and eternally remembered.