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When I toured Atotech’s facility in Feucht, Germany, last year before productronica, I spoke with Andreas Schatz, Atotech’s global product manager of equipment, and Daniel Schmidt, Atotech’s global director of marketing. Andreas and Daniel break down the global plating and chemistry trends they see, most notably around horizontal plating and smart factory automation. We also discussed how this impacted the company’s systems approach while continuing to expand into new markets such as mid-level PCB production.
Barry Matties: Thanks for joining me, Daniel and Andreas. Please start by telling us a little about yourself.
Daniel Schmidt: After receiving my business degree in economics and marketing, I started my career at Atotech in 2005. In the beginning, I started in various electronics departments, where I was responsible for marketing, and product and project management. During this time, I developed a deep technical understanding of our electronics products and capabilities. In 2009, I became responsible for global marketing for the Atotech Electronics business, as well as corporate communication. Since 2018, I am responsible for global marketing electronics, technology roadmaps, and training.
Andreas Schatz: After obtaining my degree in mechanical engineering, I started my career at Atotech in 2010. In the beginning, I started in the engineering department, where I was responsible for the calculation and design of all necessary system components. Here, I acquired a deep technical understanding of all of our product lines and features. In 2017, I joined our global product management team, where I am responsible for all of our horizontal equipment products—Uniplate, Horizon, and Polygon.
Matties: Andreas, as a product manager, what is your job?
Schatz: Working closely with the other global product teams, including central marketing and the OEM groups within Atotech, my job is to essentially understand where and how the industry is moving forward, and then consider how this may potentially impact our equipment business. We follow what is important for the future regarding equipment, and from this, we can determine the features that are needed. Let’s take finer line and spaces in high-end PCBs as an example. In this regard, laminate materials are getting thinner and thinner, which means we need to continuously improve our transport capability to maintain process reliability for our customers—even under increasingly more challenging conditions. In simple terms, it’s all a question of how to ensure the safe transport of thin and highly flexible materials through turbulent fluid areas.
To read this entire interview, which appeared in the July 2020 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.