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Advantech US Builds Success Selling to Global Markets

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Whit Little leads up Advantech US as its CEO.

Advantech US, Inc. has become a recognized leader in technology for the manufacture of microelectronic devices—and its success is hinged on accessing worldwide markets.

Advantech US pioneered and introduced a printed electronics technology for the microelectronic industry to additively manufacture electronic sensors, devices, and circuits with fine features down to 5 µm in size (one micrometer or µm is one-thousandth of a millimeter, a standard sheet of paper is about 25 µm thick). Like building blocks, this additive process deposits bulk materials, like metals, layer-by-layer to build components such as capacitors, resistors, and transistors.

Features and devices below 5 µm are typically the realm of Chips/VLSI. Features above 30 µm are the realm of traditional printed circuit and device technologies. The manufacturing processes of these two worlds have rarely intersected. Advantech US has developed an electronics printing process that now allows these worlds to merge.

This process has shown significant application potential for the fabrication of backplanes for ePaper and OLED displays, chip packaging, microelectronic devices and electronic circuitry, according to Whit Little, Advantech US CEO. He said accessing global markets has been crucial to Advantech US’s success to date.

“We’ve developed innovative technologies resulting in over 30 patents worldwide,” said Little. “And, we are finding new product applications for this technology all of the time, ranging from military to medical.”

This technology is generating commercial interest around the world, and Advantech US uses the TechExport Program as a key resource to make its international business efforts more informed, efficient and cost-effective.

The TechExport Program is a joint effort of Pennsylvania’s Center for Trade Development (CTD), the Pittsburgh Technology Council and the Team Pennsylvania Foundation, with the primary objective of raising awareness of international business opportunities among technology business and assisting them in launching or increasing their export sales.

For example, Advantech US used the TechExport Program to obtain grants to offset the cost of attending international tradeshows, as well as using the program’s overseas reps to assist in setting up meetings with potential customers in Asian and European markets.

Also, Advantech US established new business interests with the likes of LG and Samsung as a result of working with TechExport. “I would not want to do this without the TechExport Program,” said Little. “Resources from experts like TechExport are crucial to our success. R and D companies like us, entering commercialization, have focused resources on product development. TechExport brings a new and necessary set of skills and resources to our table.”

Based in Pittsburgh with nearly 20 employees, the company’s history goes back more than 40 years through its founder Dr. Peter Brody, who developed the Active Matrix backplane in 1970. Advantech US was formally launched in 2004 to take this technology and develop displays for HP/Compaq PDAs. Little took on the role of CEO in 2009, with a sharp focus on growing the Advantech US marketplace worldwide.

Read the entire issue of TEQ online.


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