Japan’s Thermosetting Plastics Association Represents at IPC APEX EXPO 2015


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At the International Reception, held opening night of IPC APEX EXPO 2015, I-Connect Technical Editor Pete Starkey made the rounds and found some visitors from Japan, namely, Kazutaka Masaoka, from Thermosetting Plastics Association (JTPIA). In this brief interview conducted amongst the reception attendees, Masaoka-san and Starkey discuss Japanese vs. North American circuit board quality and business trends.

Pete Starkey: Masaoka-san, it's a pleasure to meet you here.

Kazutaka Masaoka: Nice to meet you.

Starkey: Could you give me what brings you to San Diego for IPC APEX EXPO, and also some idea of your first impressions?

Masaoka: Yes, thank you. Originally, I'm from Hitachi Chemical. I was 60 years old when I retired, and then I moved to the Association. Before that, I worked in R&D, on the development of dry film photoresist—for a long time.  So I've been interested in this kind of exhibition for many years, and I’ve enjoyed seeing the technical trends moving and changing year by year, generation by generation. For example, at the start of developing my product, the focus was how many lines can fit between through-holes? When I started to work, in terms of that, it was just two lines between through-holes, but the technology today is changing so much. It’s very impressive.

Starkey:  We have always looked to Japan for the leading edge in technology. How do you see the comparison between the technical capability now in Japan and the technical capability now in North America?

Masaoka: Basically, previous circuit boards in the West were based on the military application. They were known for their polymer substrate, and you know that type of substrate has to have high temperature resistance and be of very high quality. But at that moment, 20 or 30 years ago, the U.S. technology level was very high, and our Japanese quality of the previous circuit board not. Since then, the Japanese people have made a lot of effort to improve the capabilities of their circuit boards. But the U.S. is moving as well, and changing and developing year by year. So perhaps quality of the previous Japanese circuit board is very close to yours, but still competing. I think we need to have some impact or stimulation from technology or market or people.

Starkey:  So what would you say is your main purpose coming here to this convention?

Masaoka: To look at the typical trends and observe the markets.

Starkey: Masaoka-san, thanks for your time and best of luck this week.

Masaoka: Thank you.

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