Global Machine and Management and First EIE Strike Important Relationship

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What follows is a frank discussion I had with Carl Spitko, senior technical advisor at Global Machine and Maintenance, and Jean Paul Birraux, marketing and sales manager at First EIE about the working relationship the two companies have forged, the value it brings to their global customers, and the challenges North American fabricators are faced with these days.

Barry Matties: Gentlemen, thank you for joining me. We were just discussing the new relationship between your two companies. Jean Paul, First EIE has been a well-established business with a deep product line for some time. Are you currently global?  

JP Birraux: Yes, we do sell global—photoplotters, inkjet printers and now direct imagers, with 900 + installations.

Matties: And Carl, GMM has been a distributor for a couple years?

Spitko: That is correct. Primarily we have been in the automatic dry film laminator area—rebuilding them, servicing them, spare parts, etc., all over the world, including China. We have a brand new machine in Nanchang. It's in full production—3,000 panels a day, every day, for the last year. It's doing quite well. They want to buy 16 more machines, so hopefully we'll be their chosen machinists. It's us against CSUN.

Matties: Carl, you have a deep experience in that area, don't you?

Spitko: Very much so. I started with Hercules and I dealt with their dry film laminator business, which is where I started my relationship with Hakuto; and then in 1988 I started my own business. That was quite good for many, many years, all through the '90s. We were selling 30 laminators almost every year for years.

GMM_Hakuto.jpgThen, in the early 2000s, there was a lot of turmoil. I think that’s a very good word for it. We're in a rebuilding mode and things are going quite well. We have seen more interest in our products and what we do now than we have in the last ten years. I can honestly say that. I don't know exactly what's going on, and I'm sure you guys might have a better feel for that, but my general feeling is there is a little bit more money right now in the industry than there has been for about ten years.

Matties: I agree. And there's been some pent-up demand for equipment as well, which is nice to see.

Spitko: The nuts and bolts are falling off their machines and people are ready to spend a little bit of money.

Matties: And Jean Paul, for First EIE, direct imagers and your DI system, is this new for you?

Birraux: Yes and no; we have been in the imaging business for decades, so it’s a natural move. We launched this machine about a year ago at productronica in Munich, and then we sold four in Japan and Europe, and now we are ready to sell the first one with GMM in the States.

Matties: Can you tell me about the technology?

Birraux: The technology is based on the state of the art DMD and the software is based on 30 years of experience in imaging and photoplotters. This is very important. The software platform and the electronics are the same as with the photoplotters. There is also the question of having the right light source to image a resist and solder mask, as we can do both with same machine without any changes. We are using a Texas Instruments DMD, which is a micromirror system, together with the mercury arc lamps light source. It’s low power, but with very special reflectors that makes the energy level very high. The key point is that the equipment will be affordable for the markets. You asked me previously, what makes EIE different? It is a simple, reliable, and affordable DI.  

Matties: Now, when you say “affordable,” that's a point of view. What is affordable?


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