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Scientific Industries Inc  (ESIO)
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Scientific Industries Inc

Business Description

Electro Scientific Industries, Inc. and its subsidiaries (ESI) is a leading supplier of innovative laser-based manufacturing solutions for the microtechnology industry. ESI's integrated solutions allow industrial designers and process engineers to control the power of laser light to transform materials in ways that differentiate their consumer electronics, wearable devices, semiconductor circuits and high-precision components for market advantage. Founded in 1944, ESI is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, with global operations and subsidiaries in Asia, Europe and North America.

Laser microfabrication is comprised of a set of precise micron-level processes, including drilling, scribing, dicing, singulation, cutting, ablating, trimming, and precision marking on multiple types of materials. These processes require application-specific laser systems that are able to meet our customers’ exacting performance and productivity requirements. Our laser-based systems are utilized in the production of consumer electronics, flexible and rigid printed circuit boards, semiconductor devices, advanced semiconductor packaging, electronic sensors, touch-panel glass, flat panel liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and other high value components and devices to enable functionality, increase performance and improve production yields.
Additionally, we produce high-capacity test and inspection equipment that is critical to the quality control process during the production of multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs). Our equipment ensures that each component meets the electrical and physical tolerances required to perform properly.

The microelectronics, printed circuit board (PCB) and semiconductor industries continue to be driven by demand for advanced features and improved functionality in increasingly smaller and smarter consumer devices. The technologies for consumer electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets, personal computers, mobile computing devices, video game systems and high-definition televisions have developed rapidly as increasingly affordable products have been introduced that offer more functionality in smaller packages. In addition, semiconductor and other advanced technologies are being used in a broadening set of markets and applications, including automotive, aerospace, medical, security and general lighting.
These dynamics in turn are driving the need for faster, smaller, more complex, less expensive and higher-quality electronic devices and components. To achieve these improvements, component and other device manufacturers are increasing the circuit and feature densities in these devices and investing in new technologies.
For example, smaller and lighter semiconductor devices are driving the need to shrink the physical dimensions of the semiconductor packaging and the high density interconnect (HDI) circuit board on which they are mounted. In addition, integrated circuit (IC) designers are moving high level interconnect from silicon to the package (ICP) to reduce overall cost in consumer devices. Higher operating speeds of computers and communication products require more input and output channels within packages and between the packages and the HDI circuit board. These trends require smaller, more accurate, and precisely tapered or shaped holes, known as vias, to create connections between layers and interconnecting devices. The continual trend toward smaller and smarter devices also requires the use of an increasing amount of flexible interconnect material between PCBs and other components. These flexible circuits require the smallest and most accurate vias to create the connections between these devices.

In addition, the ability to shrink the actual dimensions of a device is becoming increasingly more difficult, and producers are investing in new technologies, such as stacking thin silicon wafers to create advanced three dimensional (3D) chip packages. We believe this trend may drive additional applications for laser processing, including scribing and dicing of ultra-thin wafers, drilling of through silicon vias (TSV) and scribing of next generation thin films.

Smaller and more complex devices also require more capacitance to be designed into circuits. This has resulted in an increase in the use of smaller, higher-capacitance passive components such as MLCCs. In calendar year 2014, estimated production of MLCCs was approximately 3 trillion units. These MLCCs must be tested electrically and optically to characterize performance and ensure reliability. Automated equipment to test these MLCCs in the manufacturing environment, like our high capacitance tester, can test and sort up to one million parts per hour on parts with dimensions as small as 0.4 by 0.2 millimeters.

Our business is also comprised of specialized microfabrication applications. Any material that can be cut, drilled, marked or joined using a mechanical process can be microfabricated with greater precision and accuracy using a laser-based solution. As consumer electronics and other products or devices become more compact, mechanical processes will not be able to meet the stringent specifications demanded by producers. We believe the capabilities of laser-based solutions for microfabrication will enable our customers to continue to move beyond the limitations of mechanical processes and generate growth for us in the future.

We believe our products address the needs of microelectronics, PCB and semiconductor manufacturers by providing them with a high return on their investment due to measurable production benefits such as lower cost of ownership, higher performance, continued miniaturization, greater reliability, and improved production yield.

Our core competencies enable us to design, manufacture, and market a variety of integrated laser-based solutions for microfabrication applications in high-volume manufacturing environments. These core competencies include a deep understanding of laser-material interaction, laser beam positioning, optics and illumination including image processing and optical character recognition, high-speed motion control, small parts handling, proprietary laser technology including laser power control and systems engineering. We combine this technology expertise with a thorough understanding of our customers’ processes, and our manufacturing agility to respond rapidly to customer demand to develop and deliver integrated solutions and products that address multiple markets and applications.

Our customers manufacture components, interconnect/packaging devices, semiconductors, displays, casings or other parts and devices that serve a wide range of electronic applications. Our systems enable the manufacturing of these components and devices. The primary end-market applications for our customers are in consumer electronics, including smart mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, computers and semiconductors. These devices and applications are also utilized in a variety of other industries including automotive, aerospace, medical, security and general lighting.

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