Transline Technology is Bullish on Design Engineers

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Matties: We saw a trend starting, but didn't pay attention until 2000–2001, when the crash came.

Savalia: That's when people realized.

Matties: It was like a light switch.

Savalia: Yes. That's why in '96 and '97 we changed our strategy to high-end RF/microwave. Our business still went down until 2007, but from 2007 on our revenue has been growing a minimum of 10% a year.

Matties: When you look at capital investment into your facility, what sort of technology do you look at to carry you to the future?

Savalia: Last year we changed our chemical processing equipment, and we also invested in an AOI. This year at IPC APEX EXPO, we were reviewing new LDI machines.

Matties: When you look at a supplier for that, what are the important characteristics you look for? Is it just the technology, or is it the reputation of the company behind it?

Savalia: The reputation, technology, everything. Because we work with RF and microwave material that shrinks and expands, the machine has to be flexible to adjust that technology.

Matties: When you talked about the chemistry earlier, what was the behind that change?

Savalia: We didn’t change the chemistry, but the machine itself. We have four different etchers for the different metals and different chemistry in each.

Matties: Who did you choose for your equipment?

Savalia: Chemcut. Now we're looking at Orbotech for LDI.

Matties: There's also some new technology for LDIs from companies like Schmoll and a few others, have you looked at those?

Savalia: Yes, at APEX I saw them at three or four different vendors. It was quite a few. We're not 100% sure yet. There are some good machines to choose from.

Matties: Any final advice you would give buyers about buying RF and microwave circuit boards?

Savalia: Mostly look at the quality and service, not only price, especially for the high-end product. When design engineers design the circuit board and they go for a cheap board, then the product fails and they have to go to another place while the engineer is still waiting for the product.

Matties: Chris, I appreciate your spending time with me today.

Savalia: Thank you very much.


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