Ventec International Group (Ventec) understands its part in this chain. The company has been identified by key PCB manufacturers around the world as a critical supplier of materials and services to support these activities, and is responding to the increased demand. Ventec – which is separate to the company Ventec Life Systems, currently working with General Motors to produce medical ventilators – is producing and supplying the industry with polyimide & high reliability epoxy laminates and prepregs, and also provides thermal management and IMS solutions. All critical to companies and consortia currently making various types of equipment to help handle the global COVID-19 crisis. As pointed out by Ventec in a press release, today’s medical devices – such as ventilators and equipment for many other roles – contain one or more electronic subsystems for functions such as sensing, system control, and power conversion. And in the fight against COVID-19, initiatives are under way worldwide to increase production of equipment to existing designs or accelerate introduction of new and more effective products. While this is by all means positive news it does not come consequence free. Due to this there is currently an increased demand for certain materials, particularly VT-481 & VT-47 laminate and prepreg for 4, 6 & 8 layer PCBs, which require urgent air drops to support customers in UK, Europe & USA to supplement the local inventories. Air-freight costs are rising considerably, and available freight capacity is being restricted by the airlines. The Ventec team says it is working hard to secure the necessary immediate air-freight capacity, whilst minimising where possible the added costs that need to be passed on. At the same time the company says it has already started shipping extra volumes of these critical materials by sea container, in order to further build up regional inventories. “Technology companies around the world are responding vigorously to this crisis, delivering equipment for various roles such as administering treatment, protecting caregivers, and assisting research. Ventec is proud to be a part of the unprecedented global response, as we continue to strive for the upper hand over this threat,” says Ventec COO EMEA & USA Mark Goodwin, in the press release.