Aismalibar on Markets, Materials, and the Increase in Copper Prices


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As a European laminate provider specializing in insulated metal substrates and thermal management, Aismalibar is often put in the demanding position of catering to some of Europe’s toughest customers, including the automotive industry. Pete Starkey and Barry Matties caught up with Director General Eduardo Benmayor at the most recent Electronica trade show to learn more about the company and get his take on the current state of the IMS marketplace.

Barry Matties: Eduardo, can you begin by telling us a little bit about Aismalibar?

Eduardo Benmayor: Aismalibar is a copper-clad laminate company and we have been in this industry since the beginning of electronics. Aismalibar was one of the first laminate companies in Europe, launching the first laminates in the 1950s. Today we are following electronics and we are concentrated on a niche product in the laminate business, an insulated metal substrate dedicated to thermal management problems. As you know, electronics are getting smaller and smaller every day and heat dissipation is a key factor. We are really dedicated to this segment inside electronics.

Pete Starkey: Eduardo, when we walked into your booth you were forming a very intricate paper doll out of a profiled and etched material. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Benmayor: That's right. You have seen one of our most popular laminates today. It's called Flextherm. That's a thin aluminum in the range of 0.8 mm to 1.5 mm cladded into copper with a very thin, dielectric layer and it's capable to be formed to different shapes. The goal here is to make flat PCBs, populate them with the components, and then be able to bend and shape them into different forms. The goal of this laminate is to improve the old technology built with a conformed aluminium cladded with a flex PCB on top from one shot of element. Flextherm saves a lot of money on assembly and gives a lot of reliability to the electronic component itself, as technology and thermal performance is much better.

Aismalibar3.jpgStarkey: That particular circuit that you were forming, what would be the application for that?

Benmayor: That's a real light of a BMW 7. We developed this together with their team. We are doing a lot of lights development in the automotive industry.

Starkey: Is the automotive industry the main growth area for IMS materials?

Benmayor: No, it's not the main growth area but it's the most demanding area. The automotive industry is probably peaking with technology and quality and there is a big request for fast dissipation on PCBs in the automotive industry and that's why we are really focused in this area.

Starkey: We're familiar with application of this automotive lighting, but what about developments in the electric vehicles and power management? Do you have applications in that area?

Benmayor: Yes, it's based always on the same principle. The electrical vehicles have a lot of power inside the models and require a lot of electrical strength. That's also a niche area of Aismalibar, where the fast thermal dissipation and the electrical strength are very important in these elements, and we are seeing a nice increase, especially in the power models used in the electrical automotive industry.

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