Tecnometal produces and supplies quality services for reliable electronics that are increasingly the protagonist in research and innovation, respecting the environment.

Interview with Guglielmo Martinelli, Chief Commercial Officer at Tecnometal.

Easy Engineering: How was 2022 for your business, a short summary?

Guglielmo Martinelli: For Tecnometal, 2022 has been a year of growth, followed to the good turnover’s increase in 2021. The main origin of this growth is given by services and technology that Tecnometal delivers and try to improve every year for their customers.

E.E: What products/services did you launch this year?

G.M: Together with our usual production of PCBs double side and multilayers starting from prototype up to mass volume quantity, every year we try to offer new services and products. 

From the service point of view, we are opening a new website for the online PCB prototype sales. This service will be available in the first months of 2023.

From a technical point of view, we have improved a new technology “Low Cost” for Rigid-Flex PCB: the Semiflex PCB has been already widely tested in the past years and today is strongly trust. 

Moreover, we are working on a new surface finish for PCB, developed by an American company in these last years: the ENIG without nickel. This new technology is suitable for HDI and high frequency PCB’s applications. 

But in the past, we had developed other special new technologies for PCB for thermal power, lighting and automotive applications. 

Since its foundation, Tecnometal has always based their focus on service and innovation and this allow us to increase always from beginning of our history.

E.E: How did the market change, compared to previous years?

G.M: I will say that “we are all sailing in a stormy sea.” After pandemic the economy has suddenly expanded, followed by a recent slowdown; moreover, the geopolitical conditions complicate further this unstable situation. Then to reply in one word to your question, market is become more volatile than in the past and consequently this condition requires companies to do choices more difficult.

E.E: What are the new challenges in your field of activity?

G.M: The main challenge in our field is to keep up the technological evolutions, that are always more thrust, whether it is for new applications as IoT or IIoT, industry 4.0, 5G. 

Today we are arriving at microchip dimensions unimaginable until a few years ago, such as 3 nanometer chipsets that will inevitably require increase complexity and reliability of all process, PCBs included.

E.E: How did you overcome these challenges in this more competitive environment?

G.M: Research and innovation have always been on Tecnometal DNA’s, thanks also to the cooperation of our partners which support us in this vision. 

However, for a PCB, s manufacturer, this continuous technological evolution must always be walk together with a more careful reliability of the production processes. Reliability is to be the real challenge for the companies who work in the industrial electronics. Reliability is the key word for a competitive environment such as electronics and almost all our investments go in that direction.

E.E: Tell us about product innovation and how will it impact the future?

G.M: As mentioned above, the new emerging technologies will drive the markets.

For example, applications such as 5G, IoT, IIoT, Industry 4.0 but in general wireless and connectivity applications and products will require increasingly performing materials and processes.

For example, the demand for these PCB s base materials is expected to grow more than 6 times in the next few years.

Furthermore, the miniaturization processes of technology for HDI PCBs will require increasingly sophisticated technologies, such as the Impacts on HW Interfacing (Sensors, Components, Controls), Component Embedding (Active and Passive) in Packages (SiC and SoC) and PCBA (SiB). All these applications and technologies will drive the future of Electronic Devices.

E.E: How will product innovation help the customers?

G.M: Product innovation is the main condition for offering to the market new answers and solutions, it is the main way able to guarantee the future of each single company. But innovation for a process technology factory like Tecnometal, means also to push-over the production processes and controls. 

Innovation in this case it become also a tool for verifying the reliability of own processes and direct the new investments.

E.E: What are the industry trends in the markets you are currently active?

G.M: Tecnometal is present in many different markets: from automotive to medical, from aerospace to the consumer, therefore we can see different industry trends in each single market, but perhaps the common characteristics of all are two, one of technical nature and another of productive nature: 

  • The need to include in the electronic devices more remote connectivity functions (USB doors, Wi-Fi, app etc.);
  • Re-Shoring. We have been witnessing since some years to a re-shore phenomenon (Companies that in the past had displaced the productions in the Far East and which are now gradually bringing them back to Europe). In addition is to consider also the recent American law issued the “Chip and Science Act” which goes in the direction of safeguarding american electronics productions, but more generally with influences also to all western economy. These actions have allowed many european companies in our sector, including us, to increase their productions level.

E.E: What do you think the trends will be next year?

G.M: I believe that in the next years there could be new scenarios driven by the circular economy which will mark a technological acceleration through different sectors including the electronic one. Another trend will arise from the development of those technologies already mentioned above as for IoT, IIoT, 5G, Industry 4.0 and, another important boost will come from electronics for automotive. Other new trend speeding up shortly, will be: robotic, AI & cognitive transformation, immersive technology, Blockchain.

E.E: What is the outlook for 2023?

G.M: We will probably see a contraction in 2023 demand of all industrial sectors. This is given also to the inflation containment action issued from World Centrals Banks against the strong inflation of 2022. 

However recent market studies foresee a new expansion within the end of 2023.

Tecnometal is growing during last years and our 2023 outlook is to increase again, and thanks to our solid bases that have been created in over 30 years of activity on PCB manufacturing, we trust in the future with optimism