Eagle Electronics: Success through 'Building Everything'


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Goldman: Speed counts.

McCoy: Capacity isn't measured in panels for us as much as it's measured in terms of batch time. How quickly we can get product in and out of a particular area is much more important than the number of panels we can produce overall because our business is predicated on these small batch orders. Even for production quantities, customers are still looking for product quickly, and our systems gives us the consistent cycle flow to meet these needs. This is a significant advantage over offshore solutions. We, of course, also have the advantage in being in close proximity to our customer base. Even if our customers are outside the Midwest, which many are, we're all within a one- or two-hour time difference, which speeds up the communication on these quick turn requirements.

Shaughnessy: I understand you’re via-fill department became kind of a profit center of its own.

McCoy: When we invested in this technology our focus was to offer quicker turns to our customer base. One of the additional advantages that we got from having this equipment was that a lot of the printed circuit board shops in the Chicagoland area did not have that capability and so they began to use Eagle Electronics as an outsource for via-fill. During this initial time period this service helped to offset some of the cost of the equipment while the need for via-fill grew. Over the years our customers’ demands for this technology have grown considerably. Today nearly 30−40% of the parts we build have via-fill requirements and as such we've had to use more of our capacity. We seldom support local PCB manufacturers today as our capacity requirements have changed.

Goldman: Now that you have the copper via-fill set up will that free up a lot of capacity?

McCoy: It will reduce the cycle time more than anything and also improve reliability. This will open up capacity to take on more of these types of jobs while improving overall turn time offerings. The department will be focused on sequential laminations (blind and buried vias) as well as through-hole via-fill. This technology requirement continues to grow so we do not foresee any reduction in workflow.

Shaughnessy: We toured your wastewater treatment department, and it’s quite an operation. I understand that some local officials have also checked it out. 

McCoy: To our knowledge, we're the only printed circuit board shop in the Chicagoland area that treats 100% of our water. Several people from the EPA and Chicago Reclamation District came out and visited us a couple months ago,; they were interested in facilities that treat wastewater in the proper way. They received a big educational experience going through our shop, and that was exciting for us to share our challenges and accomplishments in assuring that we produce a product which maintains proper environmental requirements while being as efficient as possible.

Shaughnessy: It's good to be the good example, isn't it?

McCoy: Absolutely! The environment is important to all of us, and we certainly do our part.

Eagle1.jpgShaughnessy: I understand that this facility used to be a GM plant.

McCoy: Years ago, earth-moving equipment was maintained out of this facility before the owners of Eagle Electronics purchased it from them.  Actually, all the concrete in the floors here is 18 inches thick, which is good for a printed circuit board shop given the chemicals we use. It provides a safety net assuring nothing ever reaches groundwater even if a spill were to occur. Schaumburg is an environmentally sound city; we are thankful to be a part of that and provide exceptional product which is environmentally friendly too.

Goldman: Great. Anything else you would like to add?

McCoy: The only other thing I would like to add is that Eagle Electronics is able to produce a high degree of technology for a very broad spectrum of customers. We build military, medical, commercial, industrial, computer, and we fit that gambit of customers very well. We're focused on building to specification of our customers and we're focused on always constantly improving and being able to provide the most cost-effective product we can.

Goldman: There's no standing still.

McCoy: It’s true.

Shaughnessy: Okay. Thank you for the tour and spending time with us today.

McCoy: Thank you. We appreciate it.

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