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APCT recently acquired Cartel Electronics and its affiliate, flex and rigid-flex maker Cirtech. During DesignCon 2018, I spoke with APCT President and CEO Steve Robinson about what this acquisition means for the San Jose-based fabricator.
Andy Shaughnessy: So, how does the news about Cartel affect your plans for 2018?
Steve Robinson: The acquisition of Cartel Electronics brings much-needed capacity; the acquisition of Cirtech brings specific certifications inherent to the defense and aerospace industries and entry into the flex and rigid-flex market place. And 2018 brings us the challenge of creating and integrating systems in all four of our facilities to best serve our customers.
Shaughnessy: Are you excited about any new technologies, PCB or consumer?
Robinson: It’s been my goal from the beginning to have the capability to say “yes” to our customers’ technology needs. We’re always pushing the envelope in that endeavor and to that end, now we can manufacture not only highly advanced technology HDI work, but we’ve added flex and rigid-flex capabilities as well. All of this is while still offering of world-class lead times. We’re very excited about these offerings to our customers.
Shaughnessy: You’re a fabricator. Why do companies like yours come to DesignCon?
Robinson: It’s a great event for us. We’re here to help. We’re not “selling” at DesignCon; we’re trying to find solutions for our customers’ needs. We’re not looking for customer/supplier relationships; we’re trying to find long-lasting partnerships. If you’re involved in PCB design or manufacturing, you really should come to DesignCon.
Dave Wiens, Mentor, a Siemens Business
PCB designers working with flex or rigid-flex technology face many potential risks that can derail a project and cause costly design failures. As the name implies, flex and rigid-flex designs comprise a combination of rigid and flexible board technologies made up of multiple layers of flexible circuit substrates, attached internally and/or externally to one or more rigid boards. These combinations provide flexibility for the PCB designer working on dense designs that require a specific form factor. Rigid-flex allows the PCB design team to cost-efficiently apply greater functionality to a smaller volume of space, while providing the mechanical stability required by most applications.
Dave Lackey and Anaya Vardya, American Standard Circuits
The design process is arguably the most important part of the flex circuit procurement process. The decisions made in the design process will have a lasting impact, for better or worse, throughout the manufacturing cycle. In advance of providing important details about the actual construction of the flex circuit, it is of value to provide some sort of understanding of the expected use environment for the finished product.
When I spoke with APCT President Steve Robinson a year ago, he said he was interested in adding flex and rigid-flex capabilities, and working closely with designers and engineers. With the recent acquisition of Cartel and their subsidiary Cirtech, APCT now has a flex and rigidflex facility, along with military and aerospace certifications. At DesignCon 2018, I asked Steve to discuss these acquisitions and what they mean for APCT and their customers.