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I-Connect007’s Barry Matties speaks with Pratish Patel of Electronic Interconnect about the new strategies and capabilities the company is building. The conversation also covers Electronic Interconnect’s move into the automotive industry and how strategies for buyers could help to lower cost and improve quality.
Barry Matties: Why don’t you begin by telling me a little bit about your company, and what you do?
Pratish Patel: We are a U.S.-based domestic PCB manufacturer—that’s our core business. The majority of the business comes from thermal management within the circuit board fabrication with materials and things like that. We have been in business for the last 30 years—established in 1985. In 1995, we took separate relocations, and this year, we are planning to move to another location. So we have been expanding for 30 years.
Matties: Is the expansion based on the need for a larger manufacturing area?
Patel: No, the purpose of the expansion is primarily for capabilities, not capacity; on the capacity part of it, Asia has already taken care of everything. What we need in the U.S. right now is high-mix, low-volume in the high end of the technology, where we can meet the automotive and avionic needs, as well as a lot of the defense needs. It is going to require a little bit more technology work here and then that’s all going to be in the U.S. We see that. So we’re expanding just for the capabilities right now.
Matties: What kind of capabilities are you adding? Direct imaging and that sort of thing, or other processes?
Patel: The capabilities mainly are twofold: The first is to enhance more into thermal management. The second is RF material, mainly for avionic needs. Those things are important for us.
Matties: In our last conversation, you were mentioning that Electronic Interconnect has become certified for the automotive industry as well, recently.
Patel: Yes. To expand your capabilities, you also need a certification to go along with that. That certification assurance allows the customers to know that we have the ability to further expand our capabilities going forward. That’s the reason we are looking at certification right now, mainly the AS9100 and TS16949 certifications.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of SMT Magazine.