Camtek (CAMT) Demonstrating new “Gryphon” Inkjet 3D Printer for PCB Industry

Key product launch by Camtek has analysts seeing 120% EPS growth in 2015.

Camtek Ltd., (Nasdaq ticker: CAMT), is launching a 3D printer using inkjet technology for enhanced solder mask deposition on printed circuit boards (PCBs) and has opened a center for PCB manufacturers to demo the printer in Orange County, California.

The Camtek printer, named “Gryphon”, recently passed high volume beta testing and exceeded stringent technical requirements.

Camtek believes the Gryphon printer will save PCB manufacturers time, labor, space, and cost, by applying solder mask to increasingly complex circuit boards using direct deposition. Direct deposition applies the solder mask only where it is needed vs. the “spray on, then chemically wash off” technologies presently used.

With the Gryphon, Camtek asserts that PCB manufacturers can produce circuit boards that have significantly more precise solder mask depth and alignment. The modern PCB is comprised of hundreds of individual components, multiple layers of copper conductors, fire retardant insulators, multiple plated thru-holes and connectors. Improper deposition of solder mask is a major cause for new circuit board manufacture failure, with no room for error as boards continue to shrink in size while becoming more complex.

According to Camtek, production costs for PCB manufacturers adopting the Gryphon will be lower as the current labor intensive, multi-step process is digitized by the Gryphon and run by a single operator. The new printer also has a small footprint, taking up a fraction of the floor space that’s required with current technologies of Direct Imaging (DI) and Laser Direct Imaging (LDI). This would allow PCB manufacturers to increase production without the need to expand facilities or add employees. Camtek estimates that the Gryphon printer will cost PCB manufacturers less initially, while providing ongoing savings in utility costs compared to present DI/LDI technologies.


Source: Camtek Ltd. December 2014 investor presentation.

In addition to the new Gryphon system sales, Camtek expects to generate new revenue from consumable inks. 

Camtek has just 30 million shares outstanding, so even very small penetration into the $70 billion PCB industry could have a major impact on future earnings growth.

Only two analysts currently follow Camtek, and both seem confident that the Gryphon will be well received by PCB manufacturers.  In this extremely competitive industry, the ability to lower costs while increasing the production and quality of PCBs with superior solder mask deposition could spur strong sales going forward. As a result, the average analyst estimate is for .33/share in earnings for 2015.  If realized, this would be a stunning 120% growth in earnings and gives Camtek a forward PE of 9 at the current share price.

Camtek has a strong balance sheet with $24 million in cash, positive cash flow from current operations, no long term debt, and a current ratio of 3.1. This should facilitate commercialization of the Gryphon which was developed in-house by Camtek without dilution to shares that would potentially lower future earnings.

Disclosure: I am long shares and call options in CAMT.