A Conversation with Gaby Waisman, Orbotech, Ltd.

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GW: Overall in Asia today we have over 700 people. Most of it is service, although we have it split up between operations, R&D teams, etc.

007: Are all of your sales direct?

GW: Yes, most of the sales worldwide are direct. We feel it's very important because it really allows us to feel the vibe of the market. We want an unbiased relationship with customers in order to better understand where we are as an organization, as well as where they're headed, and I believe the only way to do it is to provide a service directly but also maintain the relationship. That's how we are geared and how we're built. But to answer your question, most of this organization is customer support.

I have to share with you that I'm an electronics engineer, which is my background. I always tell our R&D team in Germany that has developed this new machine (DI) that I'm really jealous. I could probably very honestly never have achieved the level of professionalism and skillset that they have. As proud as I am about my engineering capabilities I'm not even close. The fact that they have been able to develop not only a very sophisticated light source but also the ability to attach the optic system that can maintain that depth-of-focus for such a multi-wavelength light source is really a phenomenal achievement. The level of R&D that we have that was able to make such a machine happen is honestly beyond me (Laughs).

007: When did you launch the new equipment?

GW: We launched it at the TPCA show in October in Taiwan. We had a fantastic event which I believe had more than 50% of the global PCB suppliers participating. It’s been exciting and we've had quite a few sales.

007: How many have you placed now?

GW: I would say a couple dozen. Not all of them have been installed of course; we've only been selling them and installing them as we go since we just launched them quite recently. The feedback we've received from customers already using it has been truly amazing. I know I'm not objective, but I believe it's a real revolution. We finally have a machine that lets us not only significantly reduce the cost to print by 40% but also become a real alternative to standard, traditional exposure. Most of the market today is still exposure, not the LDIs and such. Today if you buy an exposure machine you're probably making a mistake, because this new machine is very cost-effective and can also provide the old advantages of an LDI with an improvement even towards the current LDIs that we have—it is 18 microns vs. 25 microns, better registration, and obviously all the scaling that allows for very sophisticated capabilities as well as a higher yield. On top of that you get half the fullness, which is better than exposure, using many resists. So you have the flexibility of using different resists which is contributing obviously to cost performance, and have all the advantages of a DI. I think that this is the real breakthrough that we’re talking about. It’s the first time in which we finally have a solution at hand which is able to target this kind of a market, and this is a different market than what we've been working with so far.

007: What do you see for the China in 2015?

GW: I don't see the growth in 2015 being higher than in 2014. If you measure the growth I see this as a slower growth than we're used to seeing, but so far it is still growing and is still the fastest growing market in the world.

007: The number of cars that I see on the road today in China compared to just five years ago is unbelievable.

GW: It's the cars, the rapid growth of the 4G base stations, products, etc. The entire electronics industry in China is gaining momentum, but the domestic sector is obviously growing very fast. But we're quite optimistic, I think that we obviously target capacity expansion, which is one side of the market, but we also cater to the technology changes and the fact that we can provide solutions for the changes in technology. I believe that we're not going to have a slowdown in the cycle of different new and exciting technologies that are going to drive our business but also the business of our customers. As you may know about five months ago we also purchased SPTS, a very exciting company in the UK providing solutions for advanced packaging. So our ability to have solutions in the microelectronics area has just expanded tremendously. SPTS is providing different kinds of solutions to advanced packaging, and not the ones we have been providing so far so it is completely complementary. We definitely see good potential in the synergy of technologies and the ability to offer additional technologies that we have in-house with the capabilities of SPTS. It’s a very exciting time for us and we're very bullish about the future as well.

007: Does all that feedback from your equipment come back to you guys so that you can see the trends in yields, etc.?

GW: Our capabilities basically provide the factory manager of the plant with a very detailed analysis of his production floor. We are basically aggregating all the raw data from the machines so we can analyze it and provide business intelligence for the general manager. This is done on a plant level and it is actually a very powerful tool that we provide as part of our service package. We can provide quality improvement tools by aggregating the data from say AOIs, LDIs, and other machinery that we have and they can definitely improve their processes and we've seen it happen firsthand in many places.  

007: The way that your equipment is integrated into the factories from the front line all the way to the AOIs, I can imagine you have probably one of the most unique snapshots of what's going on in our industry than anyone else out there. Gaby, thanks again for your time. 

For a related video from RealTime with...HKPCA & IPC Show 2014 click here.

About Orbotech Ltd.

Orbotech Ltd.(NASDAQ/GSM:ORBK) has been at the cutting edge of the electronics industry supply chain, as an innovator of enabling technologies used in the manufacture of the world’s most sophisticated consumer and industrial products, for over 30 years. The Company is a leading provider of yield-enhancing and production solutions, primarily for manufacturers of printed circuit boards, flat panel displays and other electronic components. Today, virtually every electronic device is produced usingOrbotechtechnology. The Company also applies its core expertise and resources in other advanced technology areas, including character recognition for check and forms processing and solar photovoltaic manufacturing. Headquartered in Israel and operating from multiple locations internationally, Orbotech’s highly talented and inter-disciplinary professionals design, manufacture, sell and service the Company’s end-to-end portfolio of solutions for the benefit of customers the world over. For more information please visit the Company’s corporate website at www.orbotech.com



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