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Jesse Ziomek, VP of sales for DIS, updates Pete Starkey on the capability of the company to achieve ultimate accuracy in layer-to-layer registration, not just in rigid multilayers, but also in flex and rigid-flex builds. Jesse also comments on keeping technology exciting enough to attract young engineers into the industry.
Pete Starkey: I’m delighted to have the opportunity to sit down with Jesse Ziomek, who is the VP of sales with DIS Technology. Jesse, it’s great to see you again, and I thank you very much indeed for sparing the time to join us. I really appreciate it.
Jesse Ziomek: It’s always a pleasure, Pete.
Starkey: Thank you, Jesse. Your byline is, “It’s all about alignment.” DIS can justify the claim of being pioneers in optical registration. We spoke last year at IPC APEX EXPO, and you explained how DIS had really fine accuracy in pinless registration. You’re now redefining accuracy for flex and rigid-flex alignment and your innovators and pioneers well-recognized in pinless registration systems. I saw you in the Adion booth at productronica in Germany in November.
You are clearly having an extremely busy week. There was always a crowd around your exhibit and emphasizing your mission to stay ahead of the competition by continuing to innovate and providing industry-leading application support. Here we are in the U.S. on your home ground and not a long way away from home. What are your latest product features, and how has the show been for you?
Ziomek: It has been great. Thanks again, Pete, for the introduction, and it was great to see you in Germany. We were busy. We introduced the rigid-flex pinless system. That was very exciting, new technology being introduced. We’ve had a really good run globally here in our backyard, in the U.S.; the technology really picked up and proved itself out. And then globally, we’re very successful, as you know and that continues, but I’m not here to talk about all the wins that we’re having, but the capabilities of the systems. With rigid-flex, we have anything from 10 to 40 layers and if you’re looking for that one-mil registration. This system is going to be able to do that.
There’s also new, exciting technology on the pinless side. We have customers right now that are utilizing it for a couple of different reasons. To do the internal package, we have one customer that’s successfully doing 24x30-inch panels, 36 layers, one-mil and one-quarter layer-to-layer registration, dead on every time. And what’s even more exciting about that is with rigid-flex, there are critical parts that need to be held in place.
You have some shops are doing a lot of internal pinning and we have another system that eliminates that. The Spartanics punch, and all that stuff, goes away. And those are big wins for companies when you’re not just introducing a new technology that’s advancing the build capabilities in the layer-to-layer registration, but there’s a lot of other cost savings that are implemented as well. It is an exciting turn, but it’s about capabilities for us. We are providing customers additional capabilities with our tools.
You have customers, like I said, before on the rigid size that were only able to do 10 layers when they went from post-etch punch to the DIS system, and now they’re doing 30 layers. Those are game-changing. It brings on new customers and capabilities and the same thing on the rigid-flex side. Our customer that has the pinless system is already doing bookbinders on this. It’s wild stuff. And this is what the new tools bring the new customers and capabilities, and that’s where we’re starting to hone in because customers are utilizing the tool; now, they’re saying, “What else can we utilize this for?” They’re fun times for us as well.
Starkey: I’ve certainly seen your systems and equipment in action in production, and you’re not making wild claims. I think everything that you stated in terms of capability has been demonstrated to be consistently achievable production. I’ve been there. I’ve seen it. It’s really spectacular.
Ziomek: And by any means, we’re not perfect either. Every customer that takes on our technology has to embrace that technology. If you have resistance, it’s not going to work, and I think I’ve said this before, but the customers that embrace the technology and really go all-in with us are the ones who are making moves and doing big things. It’s a two-way street, and we learn from that too. A lot of our updates on our technology—whether it’s mechanical or software—all feedback from our customers that give us, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them. It’s equally as important.
Starkey: Exciting times. While we’ve been talking, a group of STEM students was directed past the booth, and they were all looking a little bit bewildered as to what this industry is all about. What can we do to attract those people into the industry? How can we make it exciting?
Ziomek: If you want the younger generation to come into this industry, you have to give them new toys to play with. You must give them new tools. If you want the young blood to innovate, create, and help grow your company, you have to give them new tools. You cannot expect these people to get excited and motivated about working with primitive tools. It’s just not going to happen, especially when they know that it’s available and out there. If I were to give my advice to those companies looking for the young blood, I’d say to give them the right tools to be successful.
Starkey: That’s great. We need to encourage these people.
Starkey: I’m two generations older than them, and I can recall when we had to do things by traditional methods and with traditional tools, such as an awful lot of hand operations. I’m not one of the older generations who says, “There’s only one way of doing it, and it’s our way of doing it.” I certainly admit and admire that there have been so many technological developments over the last quarter of a century. It’s a completely new ballgame now.
Ziomek: It is.
Starkey: As you said, it’s an exciting ballgame. If we can convince these young people that it’s exciting, then they will join our industry rather than go as one.
Ziomek: And we need all the generations contributing at the end of the day because everyone has strengths and weaknesses, as well as something to contribute. But yes, there are exciting times ahead for us. We’re glad to be a part of it.
Starkey: Jesse, it’s great to see you. Thanks for giving us so much of your time and for sharing your information, wisdom, and opinion. I really appreciate it.
Ziomek: Likewise. Thanks, Pete.
Starkey: Thanks, Jesse.
To watch this video interview from IPC APEX EXPO 2020, click here.