MARCH 2014    
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Covering the World
The Cutting Edge
On the Road
Dan's Six Pack
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Booth # 1577




Open Invitation - IPC APEX EXPO 2014


See you in Vegas!


This is one of our favorite times of the year at Taiyo America because it's the one time when we get to meet up with our distributors, our sales agents, our partners and most importantly with you our customers. It's also a wonderful time to check out the new products and services exhibited at the IPC APEX EXPO. One of my personal pleasures is walking around checking out the new equipment because l love innovation of any kind particularly when it applies to our industry and because I like to see the synergy that equipment might have with our products at Taiyo America.

This year I am looking forward to seeing the new solder mask sprayer that is being introduced by ITC Intercircuit. I not only want to see the sprayer for myself but I am anxious to see what the PCB fabricators think of it as well.

Speaking of new and innovative equipment and the synergy between that equipment and our products, Taiyo America has been working with Maskless Lithography on developing a process for both PSR-4000 LDI and PSR-4000 PRiSM to work with their exposure equipment. We've also been doing some work on the Ledia Direct Imaging System as well, with PSR-4000 PRiSM.

I would invite all of you to stop by our booth (#1577) and check out some of our new products and product improvements. This year we are excited to be introducing a brand new low cost solder mask called PSR-4000 ECLiPSE as well as a new spray solder mask called PSR-4000 GRAFFiTi (now you know why I want to check out ITC's new solder mask sprayer!). Not to mention that it's a great time for you to just stop by to say "hi" and catch up on what we've been doing since we saw you last year.

Oh and one more thing, we have some great new UV color changing lanyards this year, perfectly designed to handle that cumbersome show badge, so make sure we're your first stop. They're free for the first 250 people that stop by so make sure you come early, they'll be going like hotcakes!


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The Cutting Edge...of Specialty Materials



During this installment of The Cutting Edge, I will talk about specialty materials.  Specifically, piezoelectric, pyroelectric, and ferroelectric materials will be addressed.  The properties of these materials have been studied and applied to technology for a little over a century now, but materials that exhibit pyroelectric properties were first recognized by Greek scholars in 400 B.C.  The Curie brothers during their original study of pyroelectric materials then discovered the piezoelectric effect and went on to characterize those materials, as well.  Today these materials are used in devices such as heat and pressure sensors, energy harvesting devices, printed memory, gas grill lighters, and sonar arrays just to name a few.


Piezoelectric materials exhibit a special response property when the materials are compressed.  When pressure is applied, these materials give off an electrical charge.  Conversely, when an electrical charge is applied, the materials expand.  This property was first utilized in sonar devices during WWI and expanded to consumer devices after WWII.


Pyroelectric materials give off a temporary charge when exposed to temperature change.  They have found use mostly in temperature sensors, but studies have expanded to attempt to utilize this property in energy harvesting devices.  One such device puts these materials in solar cells to harvest energy from the Infrared spectrum thereby expanding the efficiency of a solar panel array.


Ferroelectric materials are a very specialized type of material that displays unique properties.  They will flip polarization when an electrical field is applied and reverse their polarization when that field is reversed.  This property is being applied to make binary memory materials for printed electronics applications.


If you would like to find out more about these materials, please feel free to attend my presentation at the IPC APEX EXPO show on Wednesday, March 26th at 1pm. There will be a Printed Electronics series of talks on the 25th and 26th about this and other topics during the conference, so please check the schedule for topics that may be of interest.



Josh Goldberg

Marketing Specialist


For readers that are interested in information regarding these exciting technologies, the materials, processes, or our participation, please feel free to contact me at or at 775.885.9959, x. 132. 


At the 2014 EIPC Winter Conference


I had the pleasure of attending the 2014 EIPC winter conference in Geneva Switzerland at the end of January.  The conference was well attended by PCB manufacturers, end users, suppliers, consultants, research groups, distributors and agents.  The schedule included short presentations from a variety of attendees. Presentations included new equipment ideas, new test procedures and new chemistries to name just a few.  All eyes will be focused on this meeting next January as rumor has it there will be a mind altering presentation given by Taiyo America.


The two day event allowed enough break time during the day to meet, mingle and otherwise network with many of the participants.  Near the end of day one we were treated to an outing to nearby CERN to tour the research facility and see the Large Hadron Collider.  CERN is the world's largest Particle Physics laboratory; few people realize that the World Wide Web was invented at CERN in 1990 by two employees, Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau.  The size and scope of this laboratory is no less than amazing, and to hear that it is home to over 14,000 employees was even more impressive.  To learn more about the projects at CERN visit their website at  The day ended with a group dinner at an authentic Swiss restaurant (fondue, YUM).  Being of Swiss decent this was a real treat for me, and when they lit my dessert on fire I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore.

Day two was more of the same, but it had a different feel to it now that I knew most of the people sitting in the meeting room.  Presentations instantly became more interesting regardless of subject matter. The tour at CERN was the topic du jour during the breaks.  I quickly built relationships with people from around the world who I didn't know just 24 hours earlier.  This conference was of value to me from a personal and a professional point of view, therefore I highly recommend attending this great event.   


Donnie Monn

Business Development &

European Sales Manager 

p: 651.491.4199


Interview with Walt Custer of the Custer Consulting Group 


Walt Custer

Walt Custer is an industry analyst focused on the global electronics industry. Prior to forming Custer Consulting Group he was VP, Marketing & Sales for Morton Electronic Materials, a global supplier of specialty chemicals and process equipment for the PCB industry. A member of IPC since 1975, Walt has received both the President's and the Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame Awards. He is an IPC Ambassador and a member of the IPC Executive Market & Technology Steering Committee. Walt is also a Director of the EIPC European PCB trade organization. He authors regular "Market Outlook" columns for Global SMT & Packaging magazine, the Journal of the HKPCA and the TTI, MarketEye website.


In this edition of our newsletter we are very pleased to bring you an interview with our industry's foremost prognosticator Walt Custer. Walt is our industry's "go-to" guy when it comes to talking about where we've been and where we are going. We are thrilled to bring you this six pack of questions with Walt.

DAN:  Can I ask you about on-shoring; is this real or just wishful thinking?

WALT: Beginning in the early 2000s OEMs were driven (often by their shareholders) to subcontract their manufacturing and concentrate on their core competencies, especially developing new products. Manufacturing was shifted to third parties in lower cost regions - especially China.  Ultimately the entire supply chain followed.  Manufacturing costs initially plummeted and volumes rose especially for high volume consumer goods.  

More recently labor and overhead costs have risen in Asia, the China RMB has strengthened and shipping costs to N. America have increased. Intellectual property protection also has been an issue.

Domestic companies are now looking carefully at their "total delivered cost" and considering re-shoring to improve their response time and protect their intellectual assets while still remaining competitive on price. A "Buy America" movement and an effort to increase local employment have also supported on-shoring. To this end Motorola began manufacturing its Moto X smartphones in Texas and Apple is making its latest Mac Pro in Arizona.  On a wider scale thanks to NAFTA incentives, local proximity and inexpensive labor, Mexico has become the second largest auto importer to the USA.  Admittedly many of the electronic components used by Motorola (now Microsoft), Apple and the Mexican car plants come from China but N. American manufacturing is slowly returning. And there's more, appliance resellers like Walmart have pledged to source more US-made products and for innovative startups product intros will often be done based upon local manufacturing. Short term this will mean more prototype and low volume PCB production in the USA, not a lot initially; but I believe the "tide is turning."

So to answer your question - on-shoring is real but the short term impact will be small.
DAN:  Walt how do you see the western market at this time? By western market I mean both Europe and North America.

WALT:  In N. America PCB shipments declined 1.9% in 2013 vs. 2012 but rose 3.2% in 4Q'13 vs. 4Q'12 (IPC data).  European PCB shipments were down 0.9% for all of 2013 but were up 5.1% in the fourth quarter.

My early estimate is that 2014 will be a better year with both N. American and European PCB sales increasing in low single digit growth.  

It should be noted that both the N. American and European economies are still very fragile.  Stronger growth is possible but there is also the possibility of a disruption.
DAN:  American companies are worried about their diminishing vendor base. Unlike Taiyo America, many of our vendors are pulling out or reducing their services, this has worried the Fab owners, should they be worried? Your thoughts?

WALT:  Most key suppliers to the PCB industry are now multinational.  They have established service, distribution and in many cases manufacturing and R&D in local markets. Taiyo does an especially good job of this for the USA with its Carson City facility.  I think domestic PCB manufacturers that have embraced financially sound global suppliers with local support staffs will be fine.

DAN:  What is your prediction for 2014; will it be a good year?

WALT:  I think 2014 will be a better year than 2012 & 2013.  At this point I am expecting 5-6% global PCB shipment growth however realistically most of this will be in Asia.  N. America and Europe have been declining markets in recent times (but they finished strong in 4Q'13). China, Taiwan, S. Korea, Thailand and more recently Vietnam have enjoyed more robust longer term growth.  

China is now facing cost and labor issues and in my opinion will eventually (not in 2014) lose PCB market share to lower cost Asian and perhaps African countries.

As noted above in 2014 I expect that N America and Europe will finally grow again but in low single digits.  While the military market has suffered due to budget cuts, industrial electronics, new product introductions and re-shoring efforts will create opportunities.

DAN:  Electronics growth has been very cyclical.  Are there methods that will predict future changes in our business climate?

WALT:  Leading indicators can predict rises and falls in the business cycles. For PCB and semiconductor shipments the PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) is a 1-2-month leader.  For those selling capital equipment this same PMI gives about a 6-month warning about coming growth and declines in demand.

DAN:  What are sources of data to monitor your company's growth vs. the industry?

WALT:  Here are some of the sources we use:

-    Regional PCB shipments for N. America (IPC), Europe (Eurostat), Japan (JEITA) and Taiwan/China and S. Korea  
     (composite sales of groups of local PCB companies)

-    SIA semiconductor shipments by region

-    PMI leading indicators by country ( and

-    Electronic equipment sales by region (US DOC, Eurostat, JEITA and Asian composites) and product types (composite
     company financials by sector)

-    And of course your company's monthly data to use as a comparison

DAN:  There you have it, some information you can take to the bank, I love the idea of our shipments growing 5 to 6% this year, don't you?!

If you want to discuss forecasting technology or data availability as it applies to your business I will try to help.

Walt Custer

(707) 785-1777  


  Facility Shot
Taiyo America, Inc. is a subsidiary of TAIYO HOLDINGS CO., LTD., the world's leading manufacturer of specialty inks and solder masks for printed circuit boards. Taiyo offers conductive inks for manufacturing printed electronics, solar cells and other applications, as well.
2675 Antler Drive     Carson City, NV 89701-1451     Ph:775-885-9959     Fax:775-885-9972 
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