Ventec USA Prepares for Growth
IPC APEX EXPO 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, gave me the opportunity to catch up with Ventec USA President Jack Pattie and to meet the recently-appointed General Manager of the Ventec Fullerton Southern California facility Ray Young. The pair also gave an update on current developments and future company plans.
Pete Starkey: Exciting times, Jack!
Jack Pattie: Yes, Pete, lots going on. We’ve had two years of strong business development, with a growing demand for our high-performance copper-clad laminates and prepregs, and we’ve already put a lot of energy and investment into our Elk Grove Village facility in Illinois. There’s a strong leadership and management team in place, with Denis McCarthy as operations manager and Brian Jubie as technical sales manager, and we’ve relocated to larger premises, double the size of our previous building.
We've made substantial investment in additional equipment for panel-cutting and packaging, including a Yow Shi diamond blade panel saw, increased capacity for prepreg tooling, and increased prepreg storage. And supporting the distribution operation, there’s new inventory software to streamline documentation and give us improved inventory tracking and forecasting ability. It’s all up and running!
Starkey: And now it seems your Fullerton, Southern California operation is a major focus of activity.
Pattie: The Ventec product range has an established worldwide reputation in the mil/aero sector for technology, quality, and reliability, and we want to further develop this is in Southern California. Our service and distribution model is specifically geared to address the substantial market opportunity that exists for us in the area.
We are committed to doubling the size of the business and the first major step we've taken is to put the right management in place. The West Coast market has got some pretty unique characteristics compared to other major PCB regions in North America. We have very strong market share in all major North American PCB regions; however, our greatest area for growth is Southern California. To take advantage of that opportunity, we sought out local talent and leadership. In addition to securing a strong leadership team, we have committed to a major expansion of our Southern California facility. This includes doubling the size of the current facility, a new Yow Shi panel saw, two new prepreg cutting areas, increased prepreg storage, increased lab capabilities, and new inventory software.
Pete, meet Ray Young, the recently-appointed general manager of the Fullerton operation.
Starkey: Hello, Ray. It’s great to meet you in person.
Ray Young: Thanks Pete. It’s good to be part of the Ventec team.
Starkey: Ray, I’m impressed by your CV. In my opinion, you have the ideal background for the job.
Young: What I can offer is 40 years’ experience in PCB fabrication. I started straight from high school and worked my way up the ladder from hands-on, shop-floor processing through plant management and general management to senior operations executive roles. And I have worked for some big-name companies supplying the high-technology, high-reliability electronics industry. I’ve got a lot of experience of AS9100C aerospace industry quality management systems, a lot of confidence in Ventec’s materials from a user viewpoint, and a clear appreciation of the high level of support that Southern Californian PCB fabricators demand of their suppliers.
Starkey: And what are your plans for the expansion of the Fullerton service centre?
Young: As well as doubling our panel-sawing capacity and installing clean-room cutting and packaging for pre-pregs, we plan to streamline our distribution channel to give the best possible value to customers in terms of quality, technology, service, and cost. We understand the high-mix, quick-turn nature of our market and can ship almost everything same-day.
Having a press facility, we can cater for the odd-ball requirement--whatever the diversity of material we hold in stock, someone will always want what we don’t have on the shelf. So we can manufacture small quantities of specialist and odd-form laminates, including VT-901 polyimide and a full range of IMS materials, on short lead times. And we’re not afraid of hard work!
Starkey: Thanks, Ray, Jack--a final word from you?
Pattie: It goes without saying that our absolute aim is to give the very best in customer satisfaction. Ventec USA’s outstanding reputation for responsive service and technical back-up continues to grow and we pride ourselves on quality and consistency across a very diverse range of laminate products.