Material Matters

June 2007 Material Matters Raw material is a key success factor for PCM companies. It is also one where there is a dependency of the PCM company on the vendor because the performance of the etching process is tied to etchant and metal more than internal process controls. Problems such as flatness, surface, inclusions, fractures, adhesion, etch rate, over etch/under etch, puddling due to flatness, consistency and outputs/ sludge are controllable. In order to control, we must understand. If we make our decisions for purchase on price, we are only controlling cash. If we understand our process and its needs and the processes of vendors and how those processes impact PCM, then we can make the appropriate decision. It is also important to highlight that like a PCM company, metal suppliers have markets, market segments and routes to market. If we understand these, we can better assess if these companies are able to add value to a PCM company. Ben Scott, Datum Alloys Ltd