When is it worth buying a board in Europe and when in Asia?

One of the most fundamental trends that production automation should bring will include the return of production to Europe or North America. Why? Because the most expensive part of production today are "man-hours". If there will be fewer skilled regular workers and, on the contrary, more expert and creative people globally who have to be paid well, the natural cost of logistics from one end of the planet to the other and the “price” in the form of the time delay caused by this transportation will become one of the most fundamental variables in the entire production process.

Photonics is not electronics. Nobody is able to predict its future in 5 years

„Not even 1% of what we develop and produce stays in the Czech Republic. We only have certain strategic partnerships with universities but that within the overall revenue of the entire company really stands for a tiny fraction” as Mr. Martin Zoldak of Argotech company states at the beginning of our dialog. The Argotech company is truly one of the very few companies in this country that specializes in the field of photonics. What is a dynamically growing industry that is in the near future about about to become the sought after “rapid change” in the sphere of further development of technologies. In the last decade we have gotten used to everything around is being constantly fast paced and in fast motion and this change having an exponential character. However now we are in stage when further development is theoretically possible but it derails due to physical limitations. Optic fiber might be even faster but physics has its certain limitations and boundaries in terms of distances, temperatures, power input, scrap heat. That's why alternatives are being looked for and photonics has, amongst all other fields, best potential opportunities to overcome and exceed such limitations.

IPC Class 3 practically

Boards manufactured in class 3 according to IPC are designed for demanding applications. They can be used in cases where high, continuous and critical performance is required, or the environment for the operation of the boards is unusually harsh and product failure cannot be tolerated. In all these cases, reliable rigid boards manufactured according to IPC standards for class 3 are used, specifically according to IPC-600G and IPC-6012D. The IPC-600G standard defines the acceptance criteria for defects in the printed circuit board manufacturing process, from the input material to the final output inspection. Acceptance criteria are graded in classes 1, 2 or 3, with the strictest criteria applying to class 3. The IPC-6012D standard specifies qualitative criteria, i.e. measurable specifications of the monitored characteristics of a printed circuit board, it also specifies inspection and testing methods for each characteristic of the board and, last but not least, defines an inspection plan according to which the board is to be inspected to meet the Class 3 requirements.

Gatema is thriving in Austria and the DACH region. Under the banner of Katema Tec

Boskovice, 4 Februrary 2021 – Gatema PCB, one of the fastest and at the same time dynamically developing European printed circuit board manufacturers, continues to strengthen its position in German-speaking countries. Following last year’s acquisition of the well-known German firm Kubatronik, which specialises in the manufacturing of sophisticated boards for aerospace, military and medical applications, the company is continuing to find success in Austria. There it operates under the banner of the sales offices of Katema Tec, which was established in cooperation with the experienced manager Andreas Kader who is also leading the company.

Industry 4.0 does not mean people will be replaced with machines

If a printed circuit boards manufacturer claims his key and unfair competitive advantage is production speed, then make sure he is going to be the first one to begin implementing automation and digitalization of all its activities within its own internal processes. Because what is most costly is human error. That is just a pure fact that 10 out of 10 production companies will confirm. But the fact is that even in spite of this highly expected arrival of the 4.0 industry it does not mean that human labor will not be needed any longer. “People will not be replaced by machines, they will only be transferred to positions where their creativity will be at better use form us. We see this on a daily basis.” as Ondrej Horky, a Commercial manager for Gatema PCB a.s. adds. Gatema PCB a.s. company belongs to one of the fastest producers of printed circuit boards within the European scale.