PCB | July 07, 2006
Rohm & Haas aligns new PCB strategy
Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials, Circuit Board Technologies (CBT), has announced several changes to its European and North American business to further strengthen focus on its technology portfolio and service capability.
“Following the integration of our North American and European regions and divestiture of 'non-core' products, we have vastly improved the efficiency of our business model, allowing us to focus key resources on the development of leading-edge products,” said Tom Wilson, general manager for Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials' CBT business in North America and Europe. “In an industry driven by innovation, performance and cost of ownership, it's crucial that we focus on things that matter most to customers—a pipeline of new products, a world class technical service organization and a strong global presence,” Wilson said. Rohm and Haas completed the sale of its liquid soldermask, legend ink and “screen printable” etch resist business to Electra Polymers Ltd in June 2006. “These product lines are no longer a strategic fit with Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials, and customers will be best served by a specialty supplier such as Electra Polymers,” Wilson said. “However, Rohm and Haas will retain the dry film soldermask (DFSM) product lines.” Financial terms of the agreement with Electra Polymers Ltd. were not disclosed. The sale of Rohm and Haas's liquid soldermask, legend ink, and etch resist product lines is an important step in the business's portfolio realignment. It frees up resources that are being deployed to core metallization and imaging platforms. It also helps strengthen R&D focus on new, leading-edge products and leverages the strengths of Rohm and Haas's European and North American technical service capability. The PCB landscape has changed dramatically in the last several years, with much of the industry migrating to China and the surrounding region. The challenge for many PCB material suppliers is supporting a growing list of Asian-based customers as well as the crucial and innovative customer base in North America and Europe. Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials is addressing this challenge by finding the right balance. “We view this as a time of exceptional opportunity for our global business,” said Sam Shoemaker, president of Circuit Board Technologies and director of Rohm and Haas Asia Pacific Region. “Each region is a vital part of our overall strategy, and each brings unique strengths to our business. The steps we have taken will bring tighter focus on our power platforms of metallization and imaging, technology areas where we have historically been leading innovators. PCB fabricators look to us to lead the way in electroless and electrolytic copper, final finishes and innerlayer bonding new product development,” Shoemaker said. “Our business's legacy of innovation and strong global footprint gives us a strong edge to meet that demand.”