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2016: Brings Bright White LEDs and Digital Printing

As we begin 2016, it is fun to predict what some of the big stories will be for Taiyo and the solder mask PCB market place. 

In the past few years, you, our customers have been asking us for products for LEDs, inkjet, and direct imaging, and we got it. And now after some real hard work between Taiyo's R&D and Sales & Service groups we have some great solutions that will be realized this coming year.

White Solder Mask

White solder mask for LED lighting has been one of the bright spots for the PCB industry (pun intended). The automotive industry is predicting a growth for LED in all segments (headlights, tail lights, side lights, interior lights, auxiliary lights, parking lights, brake lights, fog lights and daytime running lights). That is a lot of LED lights per vehicle! Right now the average vehicle has around 56 light bulbs. Recent research suggests that the global size of LED lighting for automotive is over USD 17 billion and by 2019 it will grow to USD 27 billion, yes billion! To meet the demand for this market segment, Taiyo set out to develop a white LED solder mask that is focused on the unique demands of the LED market. One of the specific properties the industry is looking for is white color stability. Our new PSR-4000 SW01TA has demonstrated excellent color stability for the various harsh testing conditions that are required by the automotive lighting industry. We have several PCB manufacturers testing this product so 2016 will be an exciting year for Taiyo as this product moves into this growing market. Let me emphasize, LEDs are a growing market so please make that purchase of a new car this year and help push the growth of this sector even further. After all, it's the American thing to do!
LED in car lighting

Meyer Burger PIXDRO IP410
Now on to Inkjet Solder Mask

After years of talking and working on a suitable inkjet solder mask, it's here. Finally, we've done it! We at Taiyo America are in the midst of our first inkjet solder mask installation at GE Healthcare. Taiyo is working closely with the inkjet equipment supplier, Meyer Berger, and with the flex PCB manufacturer, GE Healthcare and will be running full production soon.

As I look forward to inkjetting solder mask throughout the rest of the PCB industry I know we still have a little work to do to meet the expectations of many of our rigid PCB customers. However, the inkjet equipment manufacturers are very close to a solution and there will be additional installations of inkjet equipment and inkjet solder mask in 2016.
And last but not least, Direct Imaging

For those that can't wait for digital inkjet printing there is still direct imaging for standard LPI solder mask. As I have learned over the past few years, there are so many DI equipment manufacturers that it is difficult to understand how they differ from one another. What makes it even more difficult is that not all solder masks will work on all of these different DI machines. With the increase in various chemical regulations and UL costs we know that PCB manufacturers do not want to readily switch their current solder mask to another one that may work better with new types of exposing equipment. However, the lure of this type of equipment resolves the biggest issue in PCB manufacturing, registration. Taiyo America is working to address this dilemma in two ways. We are designing a solder mask that will optimize your process with this new equipment set. At the same time we are rapidly working to see if we can modify existing products such as PSR-4000 HFX to work on DI exposure machines, so that it will not require any additional UL costs or end user approvals.

These are just three areas of optimism and excitement I see for 2016. Stay tuned and keep telling us what you need, because we are as always aiming to provide our customers with the very best solder mask solutions on the market, of not only today, but in the future.

I look forward to seeing you as we promote these new products. We had a wonderful time at the recent EIPC Winter Conference in Dresden, Germany and we look forward to visiting you in March at APEX in Las Vegas. If you get a chance, I encourage you to participate in some of the other industry events throughout North America and Europe; we look forward to seeing you at the EIPC Summer Conference in Edinburgh, PCB West in Santa Clara and Electronica in Munich.

The Cutting Edge of...Specialist Coatings for Specialist Applications

During the productronica show in Munich, Germany this fall, I was asked if I would like to take some time with I-Connect007 and discuss Taiyo's outlook on the future.  We discussed where the future of circuit boards is going, and how Taiyo is pursuing new markets. Click the graphic below for the full interview.

Also, keep your eyes open for my article "Solder Mask for LED Applications: Formulation 101" in I-Connect007's upcoming PCB Magazine.  It is an introduction of the basic premise behind white solder masks for LED applications and is meant to help inform formulators and end users alike of some of the basics behind the increasing market of products developed for the LED industry.

   If you have any questions or are interested in what new markets Taiyo America is exploring, 
please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or at 775.885.9959, x. 132. 
Wouldn't you really rather have a "Volkswagen" or
Not your father's "Volkswagen"

I just couldn't decide between these two classic tag lines that some US auto makers used in the 60's and the 80's.  Do you remember which companies used these tag lines?  The first line was from Buick and the second was Oldsmobile.  If you're wondering why I inserted Volkswagen in place of the GM cars, I'll tell you: Continue reading...

Volkswagen Phaeton

Donnie Monn
 Business Development &
European Sales Manager
ph: 651.491.4199

Talking with PNC's Sam Sangani

Full disclosure, Sam is a very good friend of mine and I also work with his company helping him with sales and marketing. There are a couple of very good reasons why PNC is an interesting company. The first is that they are on the east coast and frankly there are not many shops left on that side of the country. The other thing is they offer what they call Total Concept Design Fabrication and Assembly all in one location, which I think puts them ahead of most PCB companies out there and thus are always interesting to talk to.

Click here for the entire conversation...

For more information about PNC go to www.pnconline.com

Taiyo's upcoming events:

March 15-17
Las Vegas

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