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At the recent SMTA International conference in Chicago, I sat down with Lenora Toscano, OEM director for the company’s electronics solutions division, based in Waterbury, Connecticut. Our conversation covered MacDermid’s dedication to fully understanding the needs of the end-user market of PCBs, her own role at the company, which involves much interaction with OEMs, and the benefits that both she and MacDermid bring to SMTA and IPC meetings.
Patty Goldman: Lenora, tell me a little bit about your company and your role there.
Lenora Toscano: Our electronics division supplies chemicals and chemical processes to PCB manufacturers. In an effort to expand our customer base using our knowledge from PCB manufacturing, we recently introduced a photovoltaics and an electronic packaging segment to our portfolio. This allows us to take the knowledge and expertise we have from 90 years in metal finishing and 50 years in electrical interconnect, then expand that knowledge base to emerging markets. Exposure into these new markets also allows for more innovation.
My role is to understand the needs of my customers’ customers, the end-users. We sell to the PCB manufacturer and they then sell to an OEM in any type of industry—consumer electronics, automotive, infrastructure, etc.—and it’s my responsibility to understand what these end use markets require in their PCB performance. If we have an understanding of what their end use needs are, and what their performance criteria is, we can ensure that the chemical processes we have at the manufacturer are appropriate for today’s technology, as well as provide a pipeline of products for use in future designs.
Goldman: How long have you been with MacDermid?
Toscano: It was my first job out of college; I’m starting my 18th year.
Goldman: That’s impressive.
Toscano: Yes, it was the right decision for me and it has been a great opportunity. I’ve been able to travel the world, meet interesting people, and learn so much. I really enjoy interfacing with the OEMs because I get to learn what type of technology is coming. Understanding their challenges as technology changes is very interesting. One of the things that has surprised me the most about my job is that as a chemical supplier we are the bottom of the industry, right? It’s really the low man on the totem pole and I thought, 'These OEMs aren’t going to want to talk to me. They’re not really going to have time to speak with the chemical supplier,' but the reception has been overwhelming. They really do want to understand all the steps within the manufacture of their products; they want to understand the supply chain and how the chemicals work. The reception and collaboration has been exciting.
Goldman: And now with the OEMs you get a very broad picture and overview, which is excellent. Speaking of your customers, who are they? And do you see the OEMs as your final customers, or do you go beyond working with the OEMs and bring that information back?
Toscano: Basically, I need to understand the entire supply chain. So I need to understand what the capabilities are at the fabrication level. I need to understand what’s happening at the assembly level and then during final build for the OEM. Ultimately, I need to know what the final product will be exposed to, expected end use life, and performance requirements in end use. Really, I’m trying to make the electronics supply chain smaller and bridge communication at all levels.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of SMT Magazine.