Orbotech’s Strategic Decision for End-to-End Partnership Benefits Everyone


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Matties: And the feedback from the customers?

Cohen: They love it. It really opens up a whole new set of opportunities. Some of the customers that took a machine for a couple of months for evaluation, only realized how critical it had become to their process after the machine needed a new supply of copper deposition.

Matties: Talk about your regional approach. How does that work?

Cohen: Orbotech West basically covers from Moscow to San Francisco. It's 11 different time zones. Huge territory in geography, but smaller in market size compared to Asia. So we had to come up with the best way to support the countries, and to support our customers. We divided the area into six regions and two territories. In America, we have the West Coast, Central, and East Coast. In Europe, we have North, Central, and South. Every region has its own Regional Manager and team of engineers, multifunctional and multi-technology support, from DI, AOI, AOS, additive printing solutions (APS), and software. Every territory has its overall territory manager that the regional managers report to.

On top of that, we've established a new team called the Experts Team that basically covers the entire territory of Orbotech West, and supports the different regions by introducing new technologies, solving complicated challenges, advising and so on. We have process engineers, technical engineers in the LDI and AOI software, Industry 4.0. We’ve really created a powerful team that enables every region to be independent, and improves the overall performance of territory as a team.

Matties: The R&D that you do at Orbotech is phenomenal and you invest a lot of money into it. Can you share a bit about some of the projects that you have on the table?

Cohen: Orbotech invests between 12−14% of our turnover into R&D. We see that as a strategic investment. That's what we do. That's what keeps us far ahead of our competition, in PCB manufacturing, DI, AOI, AOS, and all those areas. We introduce new technologies every year. This year, in the West, we introduced the Precise for AOS and the Orbotech Diamond™ 8. The Orbotech Diamond is our first dedicated direct imaging solution for solder mask. These two technologies were a major focus for us. At the same time, towards the end of 2017 in Asia, we introduced a new AOI called Ultra Dimension™, which we’ll introduce to the Western market at IPC APEX EXPO 2018. The Ultra Dimension offers four solutions in one, including remote multi-image verification that provides our customers with improvements in quality, yield and cost efficiency. Of course, we're always working to introduce more. There’s a lot look forward to!

Matties: Just a few years ago, we could count the number of direct imaging machines on one hand. Today, in this show, there are 16 or 18 different options. But yours went after speed, and really, the high volume in China. I think you guys were printing in 12 seconds, if I recall right. Tell me about the direct imaging market, and some of the evolutions or progressions that you see there.

2Nuvogo500.jpgCohen: In the direct imaging market, Orbotech always had unique technologies based on multiwave lasers and large scan optics that defined our direction. We're focused on the depth of focus (DoF), which is critical in printing PCBs, and of course, the throughput and the quality of imaging. We do have competitors and most of them are pretty comparable as they all use the same technology. Our solutions are based on different proprietary technologies which we believe are better. We have the SolderFast technology on the Diamond, and the LSO on the Nuvogos. We took the Orbotech power, so to speak, and implemented it into much higher throughput in the solder mask. But all in all, we're focusing on our unique technologies, which form the basis of our competitive advantage in the past, today, and into the future. That is clear to us from our sales and implementation.

Matties: The fact that you have multiple disciplines, from inspection, to the Precise, to the solder mask, and direct imaging, gives an advantage as well; people can buy a package of technology from a single source.

Cohen: It's true, but it's actually much more than that. With the focus today on Industry 4.0, and the connection between the different parts of manufacturing into one central database, there are interfaces and interconnections between the different departments. The fact that Orbotech is part of so many processes in the plant, in the manufacturing line, gives us a huge advantage to help our customers implement Industry 4.0 capabilities. That's part of our focus here at the show as well, because we offer our own solution for Industry 4.0.

Matties: What advice would you give a fabricator who is really looking to bring in Industry 4.0, and improve the yields in their factory?

Cohen: First of all, the best advice is to consult with a company that implements those solutions, and understand what is available today and what can be implemented. As with any other technology, Industry 4.0 is picking up. Every year, we see more and more options available. So, it's not only important to know what's available today, but also which direction is most suitable for that fabricator. I think that we at Orbotech have enough experience to be that partner. I'm sure there are others, but we're very proud of what we're offering.

Matties: There are many interpretations and definitions of 4.0, as you know. From your perspective, what does the term mean?

Cohen: I agree, there are different interpretations. What we're focusing on is smart data management, automation, and the connection with the automation. We’re really looking at the entire process as a whole to enable better manufacturing decisions at every point. We've invested in reports, in tools, and in communication channels to improve the yield and to improve/increase the quality. Of course, all this is with an emphasis on traceability, 2D barcoding, and all the other elements that are a part of that. But in the end, we're focusing and providing high quality data in a useful way.

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