As I see it. . .
It's no secret the US PCB industry has been playing catch-up for the last 20 years and Insulectro is going all-in to do our part.

At Insulectro, we take seriously the need to educate our people and peers on the products and processes we support. Insulectro must be experts across the entire value chain so that our customers are well equipped to compete in the global microelectronics market.

Here are a few ways we are taking action on education:
  • Currently, we have 3 CID or CID+ (IPC-certified) teammates
  • Training Fabricators' Process Engineers and conducting Process Audits
  • Continued hiring of Product Managers who are process experts
  • Design Education focused
  • Leadership involvement in PCBAA
  • OEM Forums with Fabricators, Designers, Supplier-Partners

In this issue, you will see all the ways Insulectro is investing in Education. Check out our teammates' articles to see how our commitment to Education benefits everyone in the supply chain.

Patrick Redfern
1@5 Scope Out Michelle Walsh's 1st Column in Process Education
2@5 Tim Redfern Gets Thoughtful about Value of Distribution
3@5 Live Training on DuPont Chemistries
4@5 Perfect Matchup - InduBond® Press with Copper-Steel-Copper
5@5 Isola's TerraGreen® 400G Expands the Possibilities
Ken Parent Speaks Out!
Learn On!
Taking Our Commitment to Education to a Higher Level
Always be learning! 

Always be teaching! 

In our business today it is extremely obvious that there is an incredible short supply of talented people coming into the business. There's a need for people at all levels of the PCB Manufacturing supply chain. How will you begin to bridge this gap? How much better would your business be today with a fully staffed and educated workforce?
Insulectro has a desire to take our commitment to education to a higher level. I know many of our peers in the supplier-partner and customer and OEM side of the business have a strong desire to bridge this gap. More importantly they have ways they can contribute to solutions. What is the solution? What comes first, great students/workers willing to learn or impactful teachers able to motivate these workers to engage in our business?
On July 29 and 30th in Arlington VA the United States Partnership for Assured Electronics, USPAE held their first face to face meeting. Thank you, Chris Peters, for keeping a diverse group on task during this meeting. The major takeaway I had from this USPAE meeting was the need for and willingness to bridge the workforce and education gap. 

There were five major universities attending and contributing at this meeting as well as private organizations focused on training. Without a doubt there is a tremendous amount of work to do to bring talent into our business and I know educating and retaining the fresh talent is where the real work begins.
The future of education is exciting with tools that are available today. As an example of our commitment to Always be Learning culture, Geoffrey Leeds, Product Manager Flex Substrates is investigating Artificial Intelligence for our customers to save time and money in streamlining yield improvement…. and in this process, he is teaching me what’s possible when you let your new talent run.
I ask for your thoughts and ideas on how we can help you (some have already submitted some game-changing ideas) as I engage in our next step to move our relationships forward for making “Future Circuits Faster”

Insulectro has stepped up with our commitment to Design Education and with our Product Management Teams product training program. This is just the beginning of what I envision for our future of PCB Education. 

Learn On! We're all in.
Ken Parent
Chief Operating Officer| 949-587-3370
Our Core Value - Learning
We Also Like to Share
What We've Learned
Just as learning is a core value at Insulectro, so is sharing our knowledge on the key Printed Circuit Board manufacturing processes to ensure American fabricators stay competitive and can continue to build high technology future circuits. Industry veterans are retiring and leaving a knowledge gap with the current engineering and operational talent entering the workforce. 

The Insulectro Product Management Team is a collective group of subject matter experts that want to educate our customers not only on each of their focused process areas, but due to the breadth and depth of the collective teams’ knowledge, they can also address the interactions of the entire fabrication process.
We are building a library of content that can be presented virtually to a broad group of multi-site engineers, or in person when needed to combine engineer/operator level training and process audits around best practice recommendations. 

Lean on us as your trusted advisors and put our experiences to work. We are passionate about sharing our knowledge and learnings with the new generation of process engineers that are entering our industry at this exciting time. 

Need help in a process area not listed below, let us know, we have resources and plan on continuing to expand the training content. 

Insulectro Process Education Menu
  • Laminate 101
  • Flex Lamination 101
  • Registration Basics
  • Inner Layer Dry Film Imaging Process Overview
  • Copper Foil Types - IPC Call-outs
  • Copper Foil Manufacturing & Surface Condition Impact
  • Chemical Process Control Training
  • Basics of Drilling & Routing

Michelle Walsh
Vice President of Product Management| 949-587-3251
At DESIGNCON This Week in San Jose
Isola Group Courts Engineers and Designer with Its
High-Reliability Copper-clad Laminates
Isola Group, the leading global and local manufacturer of copper-clad laminates and dielectric prepregs for use in the manufacture of PCB boards announces it will exhibit at DESIGNCON in San Jose, CA, on Tuesday, August 17, and Wednesday, August 18, 2021. Isola will display in booth #925.

Due to the pandemic, the event was moved from its usual January date to mid-August. The venue has changed as well from Santa Clara to the San Jose Convention Center.
“Isola is presenting a broad array of products that are truly exciting for our customers, designers, and engineers,” commented Sean Mirshafiei, Global Sales & Marketing Officer. “We are presenting to the marketplace two exceptional products now available. The first is IS550H laminate and prepreg. IS550H is a halogen-free material that is designed for E-Mobility high energy and high voltage applications providing extreme thermal stability, superior CAF performance, and FR-4 like processability. It’s perfect for demanding automotive applications.

“The second is TerraGreen® 400G, an extremely low-loss halogen-free material designed for use in the next generation of 5G infrastructure systems. This new TerraGreen® laminate has 25% lower loss over ultra low-loss materials and a proven CAF performance at 1000 hours 100VDC/65% RH/85 degrees C.”

Isola also plans on showcasing exhibiting high speed digital products, like Tachyon® 100G, I-Tera® MT40, and I-Speed® that facilitate next generation designs. The exhibit will feature RF/Microwave laminates, such as Astra® MT77.

Mirshafiei continued, “As circuit boards continue to become thinner, smaller, and faster, OEM designers are demanding a new breed of materials with lower loss and lower Dk to design and build boards that were never before possible.”

In its 26th year in Silicon Valley, DesignCon was created by engineers for engineers as a place where designers, fabricators and assemblers can exchange ideas and learn better ways to make printed circuit boards. Over 5,000 industry professionals participate in a two-day exhibition and three-day technical conference held at the San Jose Convention Center.

“The Isola team is looking forward to greeting attendees and sharing with them the game-changing products our company offers. DesignCon is an important tradeshow as it offers us the opportunity to match our products with an engineer’s or designer’s needs. Plus, after a long year and a half of limited travel, it’s an opportunity to network with peers, colleagues, and experts and get reacquainted,” Mirshafiei concluded.

The exhibit floor is open Tuesday, August 17, and Wednesday, August 18, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
An I-CONNECT 007 Interview
Isola Responding to the Market
I-Connect 007's Barry Matties Interviews ISOLA CEO Travis Kelly
(see link below for full article)
TRAVIS KELLY: The new facility in Chandler, Arizona is up and running. We have our R&D lab, which started many months ago. It houses many of the corporate executives, as well as shared services, such as human resources, finance, and IT. Also, we went live with our quick turnaround facility several months ago. That’s going well, but as you can imagine, there’s a launch curve to that facility as we have tested the run-at rates on the equipment. Now we are producing revenue-generating orders. It’s no longer just qualifications for customers, it’s producing and fulfilling orders that are coming in from our customers primarily in the United States.

Chris Hunrath on Future Tech
Buried Resistors. . . sometimes you can’t resist change
August 2021
Insulectro is very active in training and education on both PCB and Printed Electronics products including design implications and opportunities. There are many cases where “cross-pollinating” technologies have great potential. Here is a case where advancements in Printed Electronics (PE) can bring something valuable to PCB’s.

The drive to increase speed and density seems to have no end. The push to get more out of the materials and tighter geometries has taken us to some physical roadblocks. Now this is very different than the nanometer scale of chips. Nevertheless, we are trying to stuff more in smaller spaces.

One area that has been talked about a lot but implemented infrequently is embedded components. This type of technology has the potential to bring speed and density benefits. If such components are planar, they reduce thickness, circuits, vias and even layer counts. All of which can contribute to better performance.

Let’s discuss buried resistors. There are several workable technologies available today. There is an older method that due to material science in PE has new potential. DuPont has developed a high temperature resistor ink that outperforms most PCB laminates for thermal resistance.

In general, conductive inks, the ones that don’t sinter, use a binder system to pull together and hold the conductive particles. The binder system also often determines drying/cure processes, thermal performance, and flexibility.
This new system is very different than the inks previously used. In addition to thermal performance, it is flexible and fracture resistant making ideal for thin inner layers. It is resistant to PCB process chemistries such as alternative oxide making it more predictable.

The new ink as printed will be at 100 ohms per square. There are two additional blending components where resistor values can be tailored from 5 to 1300 ohms per square.
The chart above showing resistor values at different blending ratios.

This ink can be screen printed, stencil printed, and nozzle printed.
Nozzle printing is becoming more common in the Printed Electronics (PE) world.

For PCBs, it may be preferred for small lots and the technology has become very good (down to 20 microns) while the equipment cost is relatively low. This could be a great tool for prototypes. Production can be done with more traditional screen printing.

I am excited to be offering this technology to the industry. We have been meeting with customers to educate them on the potential as well as the process details. We are sampling customers now.

Let us know if you have interest.

Chris Hunrath
Vice President of Technology

Thoughts from Tim Redfern
Insulectro is More Vital Than Ever
A Case for the
Value of Distribution
Rarely has the impact of the global supply chain been felt in our daily lives like it is today. Most people go about their lives with little regard to how products get designed, manufactured, and delivered to the point of purchase.

For businesses around the globe the trend since the turn of the century has been toward a high velocity global supply chain, Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory, and measuring inventory turns in hours rather than weeks. There are many obvious benefits to this strategy: cost, cash, space to name a few.

No question that it is an attractive business strategy.

You can certainly see why manufacturers would be “all-in” on a global supply chain strategy. In a predictable and reliable world, it’s a win-win strategy with its bonanza of benefits. The problem comes when the world is not predictable, nor reliable.

However, we are constantly faced with both predictable and unpredictable events that have had severe effects on business. In the past decade we’ve dealt with a trade conflict leading to increased tariffs between China and the United States, WTO actions against Chinese metals manufacturers for “dumping” their products into Western markets, natural disasters that have disrupted the supply of component products that were previously never paid any attention.

COVID-19 exposed even more of our vulnerabilities over the past 18 months and the ripple effects continue into the current semiconductor shortage and freight dislocation.

It’s in times like this where I have experienced first-hand the value that Insulectro plays in the global supply chain. I’d always counted our product offering, service model and technical support being what our customers value. But, in this constrained market, I realize that Insulectro also has systems, knowledge and know-how to manage and predict the needs of its customers. In essence, our business model also has the built-in ability to absorb many of the challenges inflicted by an unpredictable world.

Insulectro plays a very valuable role in the global supply chain by providing a “shock absorber”. Its investment in inventory means that our customers don’t have to source globally. They don’t have to plan out 4, 10, and sometimes 16 weeks for inventory.

Insulectro’s capability to manage that inventory and stock it locally to serve quick turn demand but is also able to act as that shock absorber that helps to smooth out supply and demand challenges in an unpredictable global supply chain.
Tim Redfern
President - Insulectro Printed Electronics | 855-995-0200
PE is Booming. . .
Insulectro Printed Electronics Hires Substrate Expert Jeffrey Crawford
Insulectro Printed Electronics has had a fantastic year distributing DuPont conductive inks and pastes and a wide array of best-in-class substrates,” announced Tim Redfern, President of Insulectro Printed Electronics.

Because of the wide variety of substrates offered and our intention to aggressively market them, I am pleased to announce Jeffrey Crawford coming on board.

"Jeff comes to us from DuPont Specialty Products where Jeff enjoyed a 20-year career in a variety of key positions. His last six years at DuPont were spent supporting Tedlar® PVF Films, a protective surface product distributed by Insulectro,” stated Redfern.

Crawford received his MS degree in chemistry from Drexel University. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Shippensburg University. He is the author of many academic papers and shares a patent on Spin Printing of Electronic and Display Components.

During his time at DuPont, Crawford held positions ranging from Materials Scientist, Application Development Specialist (Tedlar®) to Technical Sales Business Development Manager.

Jeff is the right guy at the right place and right time for Insulectro,” enthused Insulectro Vice President of Sales Kevin Miller. “He has a thorough knowledge of substrates and meshes his science understandings with business development. We look forward to seeing where Jeff can take us.

“With over 20 years in the industry, Jeff has a unique ability to look at problems in different ways. He’s a Six Sigma versatile and efficient professional with leadership training and experience.” Miller concluded.

Insulectro's PE line offers products from such premium brands as DuPont (Dupont Teijin Films™, Intexar® wearable stretchable ink systems, Tedlar®, and Kapton®), Coveme, Kodak, 3M, Saint-Gobain, TCI, Sabic, and Chemours. Products include a diverse array of polyester materials, polyimide, FEP, PTFE, and PFA. Insulectro also offers its own line of polycarbonate products under the Clarity™ brand.
News from the DuPont Chemistry Desk
Educating the Production, Process Engineering & Quality Engineering Teams
Recently, Insulectro and our DuPont ICS colleagues partnered for technical seminars at customer sites to provide in-depth training for CIRCUPOSIT™ 3350-1 electroless copper, CUPULSE™ pulse plating and ELECTROPOSIT™ EP-1100 acid copper plating processes.

The focal point of these training sessions was to educate the production, process engineering and quality engineering teams on the full scope of these metallization processes. The goal of the sessions was to tailor the content to the various teams to highlight the important aspects of each step of the production process.

We also focused attention on upstream and downstream influences and effects on the performance and quality of the PCBs produced in a given line, including material set, lamination, drilling and plasma, all with the goal of BUILDING BETTER BOARDS FASTER.
Other training and education programs that we offer to our customers include analytical lab training for process control, including wet process analyses and instrumentation such as CVS for control of acid copper and tin plating systems. We also perform detailed process audits and provide ongoing support and education to our customers as technology is ever changing.
Finally, we have experience working with PCB fabricators in preparation for OEM, ISO and NADCAP audits to ensure that they are running best practices and the production lines and supporting resources and documentation are compliant and present the best opportunity for a successful certification.

For any questions or technical process needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to me:

Paul Welter
Director of Sales, DuPont Chemistry | 612-309-8745
The DuPont Chemistry Line
With the acquisition of East Coast Electronic Material Supply (ECEMS) in late March, Insulectro has brought another best-in-class product line to our customers. The addition of the DuPont Electronics Imaging & Interconnect Solutions (ICS) chemistry line, which was legacy Dow Chemicals before the Dow-DuPont merger, adds a complimentary piece to an already robust Insulectro product offering.

DuPont ICS is innovating new metallization technologies across many platforms:

Electroplating Applications
  • Microfill™ EVF-III for advanced via filling and through-hole plating
  • Microfill™ LVF-IV for next generation SLP applications

  • Copper Gleam™ PPR-II for high aspect ratio pulse plating
  • Electroposit™ EP-1600 for high aspect ratio DC plating
  • Copper Gleam™ HS-200 for horizontal DC plating in FPC applications
  • Copper Gleam™ ST-920 for DC vertical continuous plating (VCP)

IC Package Substrate
  • Microfill™ SFP-II & Microfill™ LVF-IV for advanced SAP applications

Making Holes Conductive

Electroless Copper Solutions:
  • Circuposit™ 3350-1 Vertical Electroless Copper
  • Circuposit™ 4000 Horizontal electroless copper for FPC/RFPC
  • Circuposit™ 6700 Horizontal Ionic Catalyst for Advanced HDI applications

Direct Metallization Solutions:
  • Next Generation Crimson™ & Conductron™ palladium-based systems
  • Next Generation Graphite 2000™ carbon-based system

Duraposit™ SMT-88 & Aurolectroless™ SMT 520

Process Chemistries:
DuPont offers a full line of cleaners, developers, strippers and other ancillary products to support printed circuit applications.

General Metal Finishing:
Full line engineering, decorative and precious metal offerings

As you can see, through this addition of the DuPont ICS chemistry line, Insulectro is now providing chemistry and technical support to the general metal finishing, plating-on-plastics, and wire plating industries, which we see as an area of growth.
Chemicals & Controllers
Focus Tech Chemicals
Insulectro continues to offer Focus Tech processing chemistry for you PCB processing needs.
Products Offered
  • Dryfilm Developing Chemistry
  • Dryfilm Stripping Chemistry
  • Tin Stripping
  • Alternative Oxide
  • Equipment Cleaners
  • Waste Treatment Chemistry
  • Plus, a variety of Process Chemistries

Control Equipment
Focus Tech offers chemistry control equipment to help manage the different chemical processes in the manufacturing process.
  • Specific gravity controller                             
  • Conductivity Controller
  • Colorimeter controller                                  
  • Cupric Etch Controller
  • Custom controllers with availability to connect to TrueChem software         

Jeff Johnson
Product Manager - Dryfilm/Chemistry/Paste & FAE | 720-260-3696
Chemplate Materials SL,
Producer of the InduBond® Systems, Distributed Puma style!  
As we enter our eighth month representing InduBond® systems in North America we are excited to see the positive acceptance in the North American marketplace with many on-site and virtual meetings including lamination room redesigns all targeting improvements in throughput, quality, and automation in the industry.
This technology is a standalone revolution to the lamination and registration process. At Insulectro we focus on solutions to simplify and improve the PCB fabrication process. To highlight the outcome the pictures below tell a fantastic story about this revolution!
The InduBond® X-Press has unmatched ROR control due to the innovative induction heating process. The Indubond X-Press is rated for temperature cycles up to 850° F. The X-Press requires half the physical footprint of a historic press while consuming a fraction of the required energy. Further gains such as more panels per opening and cleaner surfaces can be achieved by using our Copper-Steel-Copper (CSC) product with the Indubond process.
These pictures show a pressed 8-layer job stacked and laminated 20 panels high. Using only two .062” separators in the center of the stack to support the thermocouple panel used in the closed loop monitoring system. 

With the entire stack (X-Y-Z) exposed to a temperature delta of less than 2° F. The .008” CSC achieved a 60% throughput gain, unparalleled image transfer resistance with a CTE outcome consistent with conventional press lamination.
If you wish to trial samples of CSC or information on the InduBond portfolio lets connect!
Mark Satchwell
Product Manager, Foil & CAC | 203-219-7989
It's Not that Complicated!
The pandemic era has certainly introduced chaos and new complexities to the way we live and work. It’s certainly made “Getting Stuff Done” more challenging. Whether it’s securing containers to ship product from overseas or hiring personnel to ensure business continuity, the degree of difficulty in daily execution has significantly increased for all of us.

Over the past several months many of us at Insulectro have been exposed and/or re-exposed to the tenets of World Class Manufacturing (WCM), which has surfaced through interactions with key customer partners. 

The timing for this refresher course couldn’t be better for me personally, as in my new role I’m becoming much more familiar with the Operational side of our business and what we can do to get more accomplished, with a rising number of external challenges.

My favorite aspect of WCM as I become re-acquainted with its foundational pillars is a focus on SIMPLICITY.  

In this ever-changing, increasingly complex global supply chain, the WCM focus we’re instituting in on our business has caused us to step back and realize that simple is better.  This is not to say that how we achieve excellence in delivery for our customers is “easy”. It takes the dedication of hundreds of Insulectro teammates to coordinate the procurement, manufacture, and shipping of thousands of unique items to our customers every single day.

At times, with so much coming at us, it’s difficult to stay “out of the weeds” and focus our efforts on the “must haves” vs. the “nice to haves”. The pace of our daily grind can cause us to forget that the key to engaging and retaining a workforce that gets pulled in so many different directions is keeping it simple.

I’ve been contemplating a return to simplicity quite a bit lately, and how we can better convey our true operational imperatives to teammates, both visually and culturally, as we mature in our World Class Manufacturing journey. 

Aligning with the WCM key pillars, here are the top priorities on which we will continue to educate our Operations teammates:
  • Safety First, ALWAYS
  • Spotless Facilities (5S)
  • Uncompromised Quality
  • Customer Service Mindset
  • Teamwork & Communication
  • Ongoing Training & Education
  • Continuous Improvement
While these are simple, familiar concepts to any manufacturing leader, it’s important in these chaotic times that we step back, re-calibrate, and re-communicate that these “basics” are what we’re all about at Insulectro.  

Instilling these simple, yet crucial, imperatives within our culture in Operations & Supply Chain will ensure we continue to do our part to live out our Corporate Purpose: Enabling Our Customers to Build Better Circuits, FASTER.

Jason Shuppert
Vice President of Operations
A Super Matchup!
Make Your InduBond® Press
Sit Up & Take Notice
Bacon and eggs. Black and tan. Mac and cheese. Bert and Ernie. InduBond® and Copper-Steel-Copper!

Bonded Copper foil including VLP profiles onto a Steel carrier ensures that not only the low-profile topography is protected but the surface is clean, free from causing signal integrity defects as all FOUR edges are sealed. It's a star performer in an InduBond® press!
Carrier foil is available from 1µm up to 5µm, now CSC bridges that gap offering foils from 6µm to 140µm.

CSC is available in 8 mil which has twice the image transfer resistance as 15 mil aluminum AND can replace up to SEVEN standard 62 mil steel separators. Those separators not only cause circuit surface imperfections impacting trace lines but reduce stack height allowing more panels per lamination cycle.
I've got a lot to tell you about this matchup!

Mark Satchwell
Product Manager, Foil & CAC® | 203-219-7989
DuPont Di5100 Dryfilm

Achieve Finer Lines and Spaces than You ever Thought Possible 
DuPont Di5100 is the next generation MSAP film designed achieve sub 10 micron features. This film is also good to help you achieve 1mil trace and space features on more standard PCB work.

It is available in 15 and 25 micron thickness.

Contact me or your TAM for more information.

Jeff Johnson
Product Manager - Dryfilm & Chemistry | 720-260-3696

The People Behind the Puma
Meet Mike Freebery
Technical Account Manager
Wow. 40 years in sales and almost 6 of that with Insulectro. It doesn’t seem that long but as they say when you're having fun, time flies. 

I have been in sales since 1980 starting out in Key West, Florida, where my father was stationed as a Senior Chief in the US Navy. I went to Catholic school, graduated, and then went to work for my step-father in the retail home furnishings business, before moving to Tampa, Florida to pursue a degree in Computer Science. 

The realization that I was not a desk jockey came fairly quickly, which led me to a role as a Technical Account Manager selling telecom equipment and services for Avaya (a spinoff of ATT/Lucent), a Technical Account Manager selling enterprise software solutions at CA Technologies another large wall street company, and then on to Avnet Electronic Components where I was recruited as Senior Account manager to call on assembly shops and engineers at OEMs in Chicago and surrounding territories. Almost full circle, I now have had the pleasure to work the past 6 years at Insulectro supporting my previous customers' suppliers, the PCB shops. 

All this while being married to my beautiful wife Sandi and having two great kids and two energetic granddaughters. Wow, what a ride.

Mike is a left brain/right brain thinker.
When you were in grade school, what do you want to be when you grew up? I liked to draw and was pretty good in art class, so I always thought I'd grow up to be an Architect or Mechanical Engineer. 
Any nicknames you’d rather we didn’t know? As you can imagine, with a last name like Freebery, there were a lot, but the most common were Freebird and Free, but the one that stood out was Freeballs. 
How would your classmates describe you in high school? Not sure I should go there, but I did win Best Looking in my senior year. Just kidding, I would think they would say a good student, someone you could depend on, but a bit on the wild side.   
What do you recall about your first day at Insulectro? Like any new job, I was little nervous about what I had gotten myself in to but excited about the prospects and what the future might bring. 
Who made the biggest impression on you and why? Cliché, but my mother. She always taught me to be myself, live in the moment, pay attention and follow my intuition, I am in control of my own destiny.  
If you were a superhero, who would you be? Doesn’t everyone want to be able to fly. Superman all day, every day!
Favorite food on a Friday night? I live in Chicago, so Pizza it is.
And what kind of drink do you match that with? Like I said, Chicago, so Stella it is.  
Weekend for the Freeberys looks like -----? Every Saturday, honey do list. Happy wife, happy life. Besides that, my daughter dances on high school dance team and with a competitive dance academy, so high school football games and dance competitions. If I'm lucky, I get a round of golf or fishing trip in.   
What was your dream car then. . . and now? Although I dreamt of a new 280Z when I was sixteen, my first car was a used 1970 Buick Skylark GS and to this day, wish I still had it. So, all the 1970 era muscle cars are on my list.
Most embarrassing car you ever drove? Easy. It was in high school. My brother's 1970's Datsun B-210 Honeybee. LOL
If a movie was made about you, who would play you? Ed Harris. My wife always tells me I look like him? 
Who would play Trey Adams? Trey Adams, there's only one. Ok, maybe Nick Nolte or on a good day, Harrison Ford.
Favorite music? I like all types of music, but would have to stick with classic rock and roll and country.
Are you a lone wolf, a background artist, a prima donna, or the ideal teammate, and why? Some might dispute this, but I see all of these traits in me. I can do well when by myself or in the background, but also make a great teammate or can lead when it's called for.  
What are the top three things you’ve learned while at Insulectro? To be patient. There's more than one way to build a board. Change can be a good thing.  
If you could change one thing in your life by money, magic, or friends, what would it be? Magic. The money will come with hard work and some luck and good friends are here to stay.  
Last TV show you binged on? Gangs of London
What’s the first sentence in the Owners Manual for Mike Freebery? Why paying attention matters and what does it mean. 
Have you ever been kidded about your wardrobe choices? No, only the coffee I drink. 
Is post-covid easier or harder? Is Covid over? Either way, it's about the same, just different challenges. 
How would your best customers describe you? Great guy, responsive, truly cares.
What about your job makes you smile? Meeting an objective that makes other people smile. 
How would you like to be remembered at Insulectro? I'd just like to be remembered. Just kidding. Hard worker, fair, great team player and leader, a real asset to Insulectro and our customers!
Insulectro Unleashes the
Incredible Power of 5
Innovative Technology Coming
Isola's TerraGreen® 400G
In recent years Isola has focused not just on developing innovative products, but also on implementing a robust new product development (NPD) process. This NPD process begins with a deep understanding of the unmet needs and technical problems our customers are facing, and then translates those needs into a set of new product requirements.

While our NPD process utilizes a stage-gate methodology, we also recognize that certain base material performance characteristics can only truly be validated by building multilayer PCB test vehicles. Incorporating these test vehicles early in our development process allows us to target all critical properties in parallel, thereby avoiding the need for costly and time-consuming iterations in the NPD process when critical performance levels are not fully met.

TerraGreen® 400G, which will be introduced this year, is one of the new products that will have been developed from start to finish utilizing this NPD process. While the primary driver for this product is the need for exceptional electrical performance, supporting applications including 5G telecommunications, high-speed servers, storage and computing, and satellite broadband technologies, there are many other critical performance requirements that a product like TerraGreen® 400G must meet.

As with other products, thermal and mechanical properties must ensure high levels of reliability through multiple assembly processes and thermal cycles in the operating environment. And as the requirements for CAF resistance continue to become more stringent, new products must demonstrate superior and repeatable levels of CAF resistance across a range of PCB designs. 

From lab-scale to pilot-scale to production scale, we have validated performance at each stage of our development process to make sure that TerraGreen® 400G truly meets our customers’ needs and solves technical problems.

But wait…there’s more!  In addition to meeting all of these performance requirements, and with many of us being former PCB engineers, we are very focused on designing products that are as easy to use as possible. We understand the range and complexity of PCB designs that our customers build, and the need to encapsulate multiple layers of heavy copper in thick, high-layer count PCBs, in press cycles that do not kill manufacturing capacity, with drilling processes that do not break the bank, etc.! We consider all of these factors in our NPD process. Oh, and did I mention that TerraGreen® 400G is halogen-free!

We’re very excited about TerraGreen® 400G and would love the opportunity to tell you more about it!
Contact your Insulectro or Isola sales representative for more information.

Norm Berry
Director of Laminates & OEM Marketing| 603-365-6953 

Become a Puma!

Help us map out the future of Printed Circuit Board and Printed Electronics!

Join our Puma team and be a part of our growth.

Business Development

Click on the ad (left) to see various positions we are recruiting.

As advertised in i-connect007's PCB Magazine
Insulectro Unleashes the
Incredible Power of 5
Geoff shouts: "Get stuck on LF!"
Pyralux ® LF Thermoset Acrylic
Polymer Adhesive Has Staying Power
Pyralux® LF thermoset acrylic polymer adhesive was invented in the 70’s and is just as useful today as it was then. Its applications span from simple commercial goods to high tech probes lying out to the furthest reaches of our solar system.

The LF adhesive can be utilized in a variety of ways due to its high bond strength to multiple substrates (Kapton®, Polyimide, LCP etc).
The adhesive is the most common choice of product for simple single sided to complex multilayer Rigid-Flex boards.

The adhesive can come in several forms for flexible PCB designs. Bond-Ply, Coverlay and sheet adhesive are all standard constructions in multiple thickness and variations. For UL VTM applications Pyralux® FR is offered with similar construction offerings.

Pyralux® LF and FR single sided and double sided copper clads are also an option for simple easy to build panels.
Pyralux® laminates are the only choice to enable high reliability, high density circuitry for flex applications.

Click-Out our
Pyralux® Flexible Laminates Selector Guide. . .
(click on product name)

The standard copper clad laminate systems for any flex or rigid flex designs.
The standard copper clad laminate systems for any flex or rigid flex designs.
Single sided flex copper clad substrate
Standard acrylic adhesives for building multi-layer flex designs. Offered as coverlay, sheet adhesives and bondplys.
Standard acrylic adhesives for building multi-layer flex designs. Offered as coverlay, sheet adhesives and bondplys.
An epoxy-based adhesive system demonstrating both low loss and high reliability, specifically designed for OEMs and PCB design manufacturers. Offered as coverlay and sheet adhesive.
High temperature flexible adhesive system with an MOT of 225C.
Teflon®/Laminate system offered as a clad laminate or bondply. Ideal for RF designs.
Embedded resistance double sided laminate
Geoffrey Leeds
Flex Product Manager | 760-814-3727
Insulectro Unleashes the
Incredible Power of 5

It's Not Too Late!
Past OEM FORUMS Available for Viewing

You probably know by now our one-hour OEM FORUMS have garnered rave reviews and great attendance. Have you missed one and want to catch up?

All OEM FORUMs from our library are available by clicking on the box to view our complete library on VIMEO.
QUALITY CONCERNS (coming soon)
JUNE 24, 2021
PACOTHANE TECHNOLOGIES is the world's leading manufacturer of products to enhance and assist the production and quality assurance process for the lamination and manufacture of printed circuit boards [PCB].
Pacothane services the worldwide PCB and Smart Card markets, which includes Rigid Multilayer, Rigid/Flex, Cover-layer Flex, Flexible Multilayer, Copper, and Un-Clad Laminates.

These circuit boards are integrated into a wide variety of applications and markets that include telecom, data communications, high-speed computing, mobile devices, military, smart cards, medical and effectively all electronic products.
  • We develop and produce consistent, dependable, functional products that help to eliminate the hidden variables in PCB manufacture, reducing scrap rates and reworks
  • We provide uncompromising support to our distributors and their customers, through training, sales, and technical support

  • We help customers select the correct product for their specific application
  • We continuously improve functionality to reduce customers' finished product costs

Mike Carnarius (Southwest) and Pedro Rosales (Northwest) Insulectro Field Application Engineers are ready to assist customers with their lamination challenges through troubleshooting and making application based recommendations
Mike Carnarius
Field Application Engineer Southwest
Pedro Rosales,
Field Application Engineer
Silicon Valley
PACOTHANE TECHNOLOGIES® Proudly Produced in the USA with American Labor and American Materials!

And, don't forget, recently published Pacothane® Product Sample Guide available. Contact me for details.

Geraldine Arseneau
Product Manager - Pacothane® Products | 949-922-6819
@Mike Creeden
Design for Production Quantities
What Mike Does for Fun! 
I’ve had the opportunity to ride horses since an early age but in the last 15 years it has become one of the most fun pastimes I know. My wife Kelly owns a horse and rides weekly. However, for me I get the opportunity to ride at guest ranches several times each year. This has taken me to some beautiful and serene places. Horses are best described not as pets or beasts but rather as, “Partners.”
“Design for Production Quantities” is a Partnership of designing for end use.
To answer design related questions, I often interview design engineers and ask them how many boards they will build of this circuit. The answer I often receive is, “I plan to prototype and build 5 boards.” I typically will stop and rephrase the question, “How many boards do you plan to build in production quantities, monthly, yearly, and in the product’s life-time?” This question is asked purposely vague at first, because it often reveals how we as designers will design circuits irrespective of the overall production requirements of the end product and this can truly be a disaster in the making.
  • Prototype - Typically a limited run build to ensure performance metrics, which can cover many purposes.
  • Pilot – Preproduction build that is often a limited quantity build to ensure success on the production line, prior to being released onto the manufacturing floor for large quantity builds.
  • Production – End customer build that is tailored to meet the full scale production quantities on a monthly, yearly, and in the product lifetime basis.
All boards will probably be built with a limited run prototype quantity prior to being built into mass production. This has a purpose of debugging the circuit. Some circuits will only be built with a limited build quantity because they may only serve a limited purpose as a debug, characterization, or some other limited purpose usage. Other boards may be prototyped and then built in production with a small quantity requirement. Lastly, other boards will be prototyped, piloted, and then built in production with a large quantity requirement.
The differences in these varied production build quantities can make a big determination in the design and material decisions. These decisions can affect the long term producibility, reliability, yield and costs. When circuits are built in large production quantities, every small cost adder can make or break a company’s profitability and every effort to save pennies can help.

When circuits are built in small production quantities, the small savings often should not be the driving factor in our design decisions because they will not be repeated, and the costs are not the most overriding factors. I once had the opportunity to work on several circuits for a NASA orbiting satellite that contained a deep-space telescope called, (TESS) Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. This had a production run of one.

As you can imagine, the driving factors were not associated with saving pennies. The driving factors were long term reliability, quality, and optimal performance.
This example can manifest with many variations. There are many people who will insist on having the maximum results of all the following perspectives: schedule, performance, cost, and quality metrics. But what must be realized is that these perspectives are often in conflict or competition. Which perspective takes precedence should be most influenced by the needs of the production quantities.
We see this principle occur often in the material laminate world, whereby a customer will make material decisions based on the cost perspective when the production run may be a very small number. When actually the cost of the materials, as a percentage of the total bare or assembled board cost, is only a small percentage. The appropriate material selection may increase this by a few percentage points.

This is an insignificant cost adder when the other factors for a low quantity build should be considered, such as reliability or performance. Another example of this type of decision happens when OEM purchasing department selects a bare board fabricator purely on the cost perspective, instead of the quality perspective. Because a prototype is built in a low volume with the purpose of debugging your circuit, why would you select the cheapest proto-type quote, potentially sacrificing performance or quality. The goal is to debug the circuit not the capabilities of the cheapest proto shop.
As in partnering with your horse, partnering with your fabrication shop, and designing your circuits based on the perspective of the end production quantities should best satisfy the long term goals. The best cowboy/cowgirl stories show the beauty and serenity of riding into the sunset…

We wish you “Happy Trails” as you design for production quantities!

At Insulectro, with our Design Education Program, we are eager to freely support signal-integrity reviews of design circuits prior to fabrication. Also, we are ready and eager to create one or several training sessions for the OEM or your fabrication team. These will be tailored to meet the exact needs of the audience, brought by a technically appropriate presenter, with specific content to further your team’s success and provide that edge to meet the needs of advancing technology trends.
Contact any of our Technical Account Managers or call any of our branch offices to schedule your Virtual Training Session soon.
Stay safe, happy, and healthy!
Mike Creeden CID+ MIT
Technical Director, Insulectro Design & Education| 949-587-3370
CAC® Inc
Superior surface quality,
supporting thinner foils  
The best and most economical solution for using difficult-to-handle thin, reverse treated & double treated copper foils. Important to producers of increasingly high technology PCBs.

  • Improve efficiency - All 4 edges are sealed from the factory, ensuring a pristine surface
  • Increase productivity - supported 6µm to 140µm foils, eliminate handling defects
  • Superior finish – Reduce image transfer by x2 with 8 mil CSC
  • Limit variation – CSC achieves a comparable heat rise & cool down rate in a traditional press with separators
  • Supply chain simplification - North American sourced aluminum, steel & copper
For additional information, please contact me.

Mark Satchwell
Product Manager, Foil & CAC® | 203-219-7989
Drills, routers, endmills!
Let Kemmer Improve Your Board Quality
One area that is often overlooked in PCB manufacturing is the fabrication department.

Insulectro carries the Kemmer GmBH line of routers and endmills to supply all your routing needs. Our technical team is standing by to evaluate your needs and assist you in lowering your overall total costs, assessing your pain points, and offering solutions, as well as providing top quality and performing tools.

Contact us today and we will be happy to meet with your team and get started on improving your quality and lowering your tool costs.

Insulectro has inventory in many Router and Endmill diameters for immediate delivery. We look forward to assisting you!

Please contact your local Insulectro branch for additional product information and availability.

Geraldine Arseneau
Product Manager - Drill & Business Development - Canada | 949-922-6819
Design Education - An Insulectro Priority
Insulectro Sponsors New Design Trade Association
Printed Circuit Engineering Association™ (PCEA) is an international network of engineers, designers, fabricators, assemblers, and anyone related to printed circuit development.

Our mission is to promote printed circuit engineering as a profession by encouraging and facilitating the exchange of information and the integration of new design concepts through communications, seminars, and workshops.
If you are a professional serving in the printed circuit industry from any associated discipline, you are encouraged to join. Membership is free and you’re encouraged to be involved as we all seek to collaborate, educate and inspire one another. Visit the web-site at:
I-Connect007 Interview by Nolan Johnson
The Demand for Copper with Denkai America's Michael Coll & Chris Stevens
Nolan Johnson spoke with Michael Coll and Chris Stevens of Nippon Denkai, home of the last-standing ED foil manufacturer in North America, about the demands and projections they’re seeing in the copper market currently.

Nolan Johnson: There’s plenty of news about the market demand for copper, that the demand far outstrips the current manufacturing, and that demand will only grow. You must have a good perspective on that. Can you give us and our readers an overview?
Michael Coll: Sure. We look at the copper market from the perspectives of both our supply and our customers’ demand. Electrodeposited foil starts with dissolving recycled copper wire in acid prior to electroplating the copper into sheet form. The recycled copper we use comes from a large network of scrap vendors that we’ve worked with for well over 30 years. When we look at the supply side of the equation, we have not experienced any issues receiving the scrap copper that we need to meet customer demand.

Through the first quarter of the year, copper prices increased at an unparalleled rate, however, prices have declined rapidly due to the release of strategic reserves in China. While our supply is stable, our customers are communicating that the copper foil supply has tightened, specifically in Asia. This is due to the combination of increased orders in the electronics industry as we emerge out of COVID, combined with increase demand for lithium-ion batteries (LIB) for electric vehicles.
Chris Stevens: Our customers are clearly communicating that the emphasis on shifting copper foil production from PCB to lithium-ion batteries for EVs is putting a strain on the foil market. The two competing industries both have significant demand, and foil suppliers are looking at how to allocate their capacity between the PCB and LIB businesses.

A big part of this is the excitement around EVs and the opportunities that the emerging market segment has to offer in the future. It is more attractive as a newer segment than what printed circuit boards have been historically, and we hear there is conversion of existing capacity for PCB applications going into LIB.
As advertised in i-Connect 007's PCB Magazine.
Not All Foil is Created Equal!
Copper - Steel - Copper from CAC® Inc.
Bonded Copper foil including VLP profiles onto a Steel carrier ensures that not only the low-profile topography is protected but the surface is clean, free from causing signal integrity defects as all FOUR edges are sealed.  
Carrier foil is available from 1µm up to 5µm, now CSC bridges that gap offering foils from 6µm to 140µm.
CSC is available in 8 mil which has twice the image transfer resistance as 15 mil aluminum AND can replace up to SEVEN standard 62 mil steel separators. Those separators not only cause circuit surface imperfections impacting trace lines but reduce stack height allowing more panels per lamination cycle.
Panel size options range from 12 x 18” up to 26 x 38”, in top, bottom or middle configurations.
  • Reduce stack height - More panels per book per opening (#1 CSC 8 MIL replace #7 62 mil separator plates
  • Eliminate surface defects as the factory finish copper surface is protected during layup
  • Production Efficiency gains by reducing the overall mass to heat AND cool in a cycle
  • Layup Efficiency – No separators to clean resurface or polish 
  • Consistency in stack mass CTE using CSC build
  • Increase quality assurance as image impressions are FOD concerns minimized
For additional information, please contact me.

Mark Satchwell
Product Manager, Foil & CAC® | 203-219-7989
Fine-tuning Operations
Is Trying to “Stretch” the Most Out of Your Consumables Hurting You?

Shur-loc, IBC Brush and Equipment Service are being recognized by customers as key contributing factors in Insulectro helping them to increase their departments efficiencies in areas of their facility.

Shurloc Frame Systems:
With a minimal cost and an immediate return on investment, the day you begin using the system and stretching……why wait?
So… what is the difference between your frames and the Shurloc EZ Frame?
Let’s look at conventional frame building versus a Shurloc EZ Frame.
What if your screening operator, or anyone for that matter, could build a frame in less than 10 minutes! What else could this person be utilizing this extra time for?

A conventional frame takes a “seasoned” builder approximately 45-60 minutes to build. Then, this frame needs to sit overnight and then be re-stretched to optimal tension the following day which uses up even more of this operator’s time.

Now, with the Shurloc EZ Frame and its one step process, a frame can be buillt in just 10 minutes and yes, anyone can do it! The frame is at optimal tension across the mesh panel, exactly at a 22.5 degree angle for LPI inks and ready to go into the machine if needed.
Call your local account manager for a system quote to see how quickly your return on investment will be!
After a brush change, a bad brush footprint on a test panel is usually not the brush itself!
When pumice brushes are assembled, there is a certain sequence that needs to be followed when installing the brush coil to the shaft. If this is not followed, then your initial footprint will be off no matter how new or old your machine is! This will also make all the difference in the life of the brush and most crucial…. the topography left to the surface of the panel and how consistent it is.

IBC brush bristles have been cut to the longest length possible for various machines to get the most out of each brush.

In some cases, I’ve been told that the IBC brushes have to be pushed past the lower trough opening in their flex capable pumice scrubber….this is ok, it was made that way! Once its in place and installed, it will spin freely. This is not just for added life to the brush but also to carry as much pumice as possible to the surface of the panel.

If you’re having scrubbing issues with your machine, reach out and let us know so we can see how to help!

Equipment service and preventative maintenance is growing for us as customers understand all the ways we can assist them with their equipment. Give us a call to discuss ways we can help support you and your maintenance team!


Remember that we can assist in your equipment needs through the following:
  • Equipment Reviews and Audits
  • Service and support
  • Preventative Maintenance Programs


Also, do you have a used piece of equipment you’re looking to get installed? We may be able to assist here as well!

Ruben Zambrano
Field Application Engineer
Cell: 847-345-3759
Please reach out should you like to discuss any of these topics further.

Thank you.
Kevin Barrett,
Product Manager & TAM| 847-489-1356
Today's Copper Foils
for Tomorrow’s Applications!
Tailored to meet market trends such as compartment miniaturization, vehicle electrification and increased connectivity demands require improved characteristics of both wrought and ED foils.
Focus on wrought solutions such as:
  • Low profile height (Rz) for signal integrity, as low as 0.4µm
  • Consistent profile height across the web which does not change when ordering thicker foils
  • Alloy foil with Increased tensile strengths which can exceed 700Mpa
  • Grain structure in terms of large crystals and uniform orientation improves fatigue resistance and provides excellent vibration resistance.
  • Thermal resistance to withstand hostile environments for automotive applications.
Wrought foils released to IPC 4562A in grade 5, grade 7 and grade 8.
Call us to find out more – we love to talk about this stuff!
Give us a call to discuss how CAC can help you
make better circuits faster.
Mark Satchwell
Product Manager, Copper Foils | 203-219-7989
Hard to Process Metals?
Our Beck's Light Gauge Process Is What You're Looking For
We enjoy processing metals that most shy away from. 

Our specialties include:

  • 0 temper aluminum for deep drawing
  • One Side Bright aluminum for the auto or name plate industry
  • Clad Heat Treated Aluminum for the aerospace industry
  • Litho Sheet for the printing industry
  • Bright Annealed and Polished Stainless for the appliance industry
  • Soft Copper
  • Coated Products (aluminum or steel)
  • Titanium

In other words “Jewelry”. We are a white glove, hand stacking operation giving us the ability to inspect each sheet or piece.

We have been qualified by many top Stainless and Aluminum producing mills as well as a long list of metal distributors. Many of our customers have their own cut to length equipment. Generally for a wide range of gauges. 

Because our leveler was built for light gauge, we can correct flatness issues other larger roll levelers cannot. Quite often we get used to free up our customer’s line time by running the lighter gauges or more difficult time consuming jobs.
Call Matt to find out more about our Beck's process and all that CAC® has to offer.
Matt Swanson
General Manager, Toll Processing
CAC®, Inc.| 847-331-7644
Everyday Materials You Need, On Our Shelves Every Day
Insulectro recognizes the importance of maintaining adequate inventory to begin work. Designers know when you need it, you need it. Using the link, you can see what PumaFast™ and standard materials we stock to get you up and running.

Covid-19 has not stopped our ACT! initiatives!

We have successfully collaborated on many ACT! opportunities.

We are delivering on Technology, Design and Education while you can bank on the sales results!

We are virtually taking our ACT!
to another level!

Insulectro and our partners are moving the chains to help our customers exceed performance goals. Our team of professional and technical resources are now offering our customers access to design and education services.
This is a Game Changer!
Our ACT! Initiatives combined with our design and education services provide our customers a total solutions package with a one-stop-shop option.
Our customers now have total access to not only our Insulectro foot print, best in class products, materials on the shelf when you need them; but also the expertise to deliver solutions from design to delivery…FAST!
Call me and to set up a VIRTUAL ACT! with your customer.

There's a reason I'm smiling.

Ron Murdock
ACT! Manager & Technical Account Manager
To be the easiest company to do business with. . .

Insulectro has a program for continual improvement, all designed to make ourselves as user-friendly as possible to our customers, their customers, and our suppliers. Speed Matters, so we focus a lot of attention on getting you the materials you need as quickly as possible.

Our PumaFast™ Program lists current inventory of everyday materials you need every day.
Best-in-Class Materials
from our Premier Suppliers