Schmid: Bringing Integrated Solutions to the Market

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Matties: When you're talking to fabricators, what advice would you give them when they're looking at purchasing your equipment?

Nicolet: Really, to understand the performance of the machine, with regard to the uniformity of the process. Because it's not very simple to make a machine capable of making 25-micron line and space, that should be capable 24 hours per day, six days per week. And that is really what we have achieved, to combine the stability of the process through our machine.

Kostouros: Additionally, the technological advances that you're seeing here is a result of Schmid’s synergies with top line chemical manufacturers as well as alpha-level customers of ours. In the end, we are talking about producing results for our customers by addressing their tangible needs. Both from the advanced technology manufacturing capability side as well as the environmental performance side. This meant that we really needed to expand our way of thinking to show our customers how to integrate their entire factory. We have those types of solutions. As I mentioned earlier, we do not only focus on wet processes, but also dry processes, such as advanced factory automation and plasma processing that overall provide measurable positive impact on our customers’ environmental footprint.

Matties: Regarding the vertical approach, is there still a perception issue with vertical versus horizontal?

Nicolet: Yes, I think we were doing an interview when we showed the first vertical line. One year after, we had eight competitors in Asia copy us. I think it was the right way for the high-tech boards right now between the mSAP and the substrates. Now we have in our drawer the next generation, where we will be providing single panel processing system vertically. And I think that's the next step.

Matties: The other part of the equation in today's world is information, feedback, and sensors, for Industry 4.0. How does your equipment provide feedback to the factory?

Nicolet: All the new equipment made with the Infinity platform, including the original one, are ready for Industry 4.0. Sometimes I think people have the wrong perception of Industry 4.0; Industry 4.0 is a concept. To make the machine capable for that is very easy—everything should be recorded and after that, it's subject to the interface between the machine and the customer factory and this is the biggest point. And a lot of people think Industry 4.0 is the machine alone.

Matties: No, it's data and how it integrates.

Schmid_Interview.jpgKostouros: Our company also has a lot of experience in factory data integration. As an example, Schmid already cooperates with customers that require process cluster integration as well as Industry 4.0 requirements. The company has already achieved solutions to that purpose including the knowledge of producing and conveying process data online and integrating it with the overall factory performance.

Matties: So the sensors are there and you are already capturing the data from their line. How do you establish what data is captured? And can your customers then request additional capture points?

Nicolet: We capture everything that has an influence on the process. The pressure, volume, temperature, other variables. After that, "What we need more of is..." That is a request that you hear from a customer if he has a special demand. But all the data that has an influence on the process are recorded.

Matties: Congratulations guys. Is there anything that we haven't talked about that you feel like we should share?

Nicolet: I think all the things that we have in development now are just the tip of the iceberg, as far as what we see in the booth today. But what we are preparing for the next years will be, again, a little bit of a revolution in the printed circuit industry.

Kostouros: We can’t wait to show the world what we have in the pipeline. We have a very strong engineering and R&D capability combined with very high quality manufacturing. We also have the know-how to bring proven integrated solutions to the market such as our newest Infinity V+ platform. Let's go ahead and make it happen.

Matties: Gentlemen, thank you very much. It is exciting to see new equipment coming out.



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