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To supply the medical sector with the most modern technology in the future, AT&S has implemented a comprehensive technology upgrade at the Ansan site in Korea, with which the production technologies in the plant have been raised to a new level. “After this upgrade, around 8,000 square meters of additional production space will be available, most of which will be used for the manufacture of interconnection solutions for medical technology applications. At the same time, our production equipment was also brought up to date”, explains Christian Fleck, COO of the Automotive, Industrial and Medical business unit at AT&S.
A technological revolution is taking place in medical technology. Hearing aids, insulin pumps, and implants are already important tools for doctors today. Future applications – for example, artificial hearts, implants for specific pain suppression, or new generations of arm or leg prostheses that optimally support the natural sequence of movements, will further increase the demands on technology in medicine. Just like in other high-tech industries, products are becoming increasingly complex and multi-layered: a diagnostic device that contains two sensor functions today will need five tomorrow. The technology is becoming increasingly powerful but still has to find space in the smallest of spaces and process an increasing amount of data. This trend will increase further through new technological approaches. In diagnostics, for example, artificial intelligence will increasingly be used for data evaluation in the future, which requires the integration of new, specialized components. Circuit boards, substrates, and interconnection solutions from AT&S create the necessary platform for such highly integrated, miniaturized electronic systems.
With the newly installed systems, such as multilayer flex presses, machines for e-copper coating, and highly innovative UV lasers, production capacities will be increased by more than a quarter. On the other hand, the new infrastructure makes a significant contribution to more efficient and resource-saving circuit board production, for example in the area ofwater treatment.
“The medical technology sector is an important part of the AT&S strategy and an exciting business area that we are constantly developing,” says AT&S CEO Andreas Gerstenmayer. “With our interconnection solutions, we are among the world market leaders in this segment and are already thinking intensively with our partners about solutions with which diagnostics and therapy can be revolutionized in a few years.”
The AT&S plant in Ansan specializes in the production of high-tech printed circuit boards for a wide variety of medical areas. For example, interconnection solutions for hearing aids with special sensors for targeted noise suppression in certain situations or circuit boards for cardiac catheters that enable 3D interior images of the human heart are produced. Some manufacturers also rely on AT&S technology for smart drug pumps that can automatically dispense controlled quantities of a substance when required.