Contract Electronics Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Blog

Zentech's Engineering Design Services Saves Time and Resources

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Thu, Jul 06, 2017 @ 02:00 PM

Zentech Engineering Services offers a core competency in Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Design and Mechanical Design, providing engineering solutions throughout the mil/aero, defense, telecom, medical, industrial and instrumentation industries.

The electronic design & mechanical engineering industry is a constant tide of project ebb & flows. In times of peak demand, it is common for a company to become overloaded and either source an in-house contractor or service bureau. Valuable time is spent interviewing contractors through contract agencies, and often you never seem to get the same person twice, and project management holds you to aggressive schedules based on your previous performance. You know… the project that you worked all that overtime on just to meet the schedule and now the bar is set to meet that same schedule on the next project! Zentech can help you get through those peaks without the unknowns associated with contractors and some service bureaus. 

Think of Zentech as an extension of your current workforce that can be called upon as needed, without the daunting task of getting requisitions approved for temporary software licensing, hardware, I/T support & facility space!   


  • OrCAD
  • Autocad
  • PADS
  • Altium
  • Cadence Allegro
  • Mentor Expedition
  • Pro Engineer
  • Solid Works
  • Rhinoceros
  • 3D SCan
  • Thermal Analysis
  • DfX Capabilities

Contact Zentech today to see how one of our experienced Design Engineers can assist you with your project needs.

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Today’s Mil/Aero Enemies: Counterfeits, Obsolescence and Failure

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Wed, Jul 05, 2017 @ 10:19 AM

Zentech's CEO and President, Matt Turpin and VP John Vaughan were recently featured in the July issue of
I-Connect007 SMT magazine.

EMS-Electronics2.jpgToday’s Mil/Aero Enemies: Counterfeits, Obsolescence and Failure

The military and aerospace markets require high-reliability electronics, components and assemblies that can perform in harsh operating conditions involving extreme temperatures, vibration, and moisture, to name a few. These issues continue to challenge electronics assembly providers. These are on top of current manufacturing issues such as the miniaturization of products, shrinking component sizes, higher density board assemblies, and the obsolescence of electronic components, as these systems, such as fighter jets and commercial planes, must function for up to 20 years.

In our recent survey on military and aerospace, a majority of the respondents point to obsolete parts and components—and also the dwindling number of sources for legacy parts—as among their biggest issues in military/aerospace electronics assembly. Another issue is the reliability data of commercial technology components and how they can be used in military and aerospace products.

Raw material and component lead times are also an issue, along with increasing requirements from customers such as inspection and documentation, and compliance to multiple regulatory standards, such as ITAR, DFARS, AS9100, and NADCAP.

One of the compliance issues highlighted in our survey, and also discussed during our interview with the team of mil/aero experts who helped us plan this issue, is cybersecurity. This group included Freedom CAD’s COO Scott Miller, Lenthor Engineering’s VP of Marketing Dave Moody and VP of Sales/Engineering John Rolle, and Zentech’s CEO and President Matt Turpin and VP John Vaughan. Our experts focused on cybersecurity, in particular, the NIST Special Publication 800-171, published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which describes the US government security controls for unclassified information in non-federal information systems and organizations.

To read the full version of this article, which appeared in the July 2017 issue of SMT Magazine, click here.

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Zentech Fredericksburg Hosts Naval Appreciation Day

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 @ 02:06 PM


To salute our warfighters and highlight our support of the Navy through advanced technology electronics manufacturing, Zentech Manufacturing hosted an Open House and Naval Appreciation Day on June 20, 2017 at its Fredericksburg, VA location (formerly Colonial Assembly and Design). Invited guests included representatives from Naval Surface Warfare Center-Dahlgren, Naval Air Station-PAX River, Naval Surface Warfare Center -Crane and the local Navy contractor business community. Zentech’s Fredericksburg location has a 35 year history of supporting the Navy's advanced technology electronics design and manufacturing.

Matt Turpin – President / CEO of Zentech (right) presents Congressman Wittman with a beautiful eagle wrapped in a flag statuette, recognizing his devotion to the U.S. Navy and small businesses.

U.S. Congressman Rob Wittman delivered the lunch keynote address. Congressman Wittman, a long-time advocate of both small businesses in Virginia and the Navy, currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee, as Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and as co-Chair of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus.

Congressman Wittman’s remarks included outlining his continued support of our nation's military and his work in Congress to provide legislation that supports small businesses efforts to build technology that provides safety and security for our warfighters. He concluded by thanking the Navy representatives and employees at Zentech – Fredericksburg for the work that they do to support our great nation. A delicious lunch was catered  by Mission BBQ, a military-focused small business.

As we approach the July 4 holiday, Zentech thanks all the military members and their families for their sacrifice and dedication to this nation in protecting our freedoms.


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Future Electronics Releases Q2 Market Conditions Report or the Electronics Industry.

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Fri, Jun 23, 2017 @ 10:45 AM

Future Electronics recently released the Q2 2017 Market Conditions Report for the electronics industry.


Future Electronics recently released the Q2 2017 Market Conditions Report for the electronics industry.

Zentech works closely with Future Electronics and our customers to identify and prepare in advance for potential lead times issues. As economic activity continues to expand across all markets, it is important for OEM’s to review their upcoming requirements and forecasts carefully. There is nothing worse than working hard to land business and then learn that component lead times are going to prevent you from making committed deliveries to your customers. Contact your Zentech sales team member to discuss today. We can perform a lead time analysis for your program and best position you for success in the future in the wake of lead times creeping out, in some cases dramatically, for many component types.

Click the button below to read the report.Q2 2017 Market Conditions Report 

Q3 Market Conditions

Zentech First to Recertify for IPC Qualified Manufacturers Listing

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

Certs.jpgBANNOCKBURN, Ill., USA, June 16, 2017 IPC's Validation Services Program is proud to announce that Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. has become the first company to be recertified to the IPC-J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML program. Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. achieved the QML certification three years ago and this year successfully demonstrated the Class 3 level work required for recertification. Not only did Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. become recertified, their wholly owned subsidiary, Colonial Assembly and Design LLC, added the QML certification for IPC/WHMA-A-620, Requirements and Acceptance for Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies, at the class 3 level.

"As the very first electronics contract manufacturer to earn Qualified Manufacturer List Certification to IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum, Zentech has been an early adopter of the IPC Validation Services QML program,” stated Matt Turpin, president and CEO of Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. “Subsequently, we have earned QML status for the IPC J-STD-001/610 Class 3 Mission Critical Trusted Source Certification at both Zentech, and at our wholly owned subsidiary, Colonial Assembly and Design LLC. Most recently, we added the IPC/WHMA-A-620 QML certification for cable assembly operations at our Colonial Assembly and Design, LLC,” he added. “Our advanced certifications have highly differentiated Zentech from others in the electronics contract manufacturing industry. Quality matters in mission-critical, high-technology and high-complexity markets. Zentech’s commitment to quality is underscored by the IPC Validation Services certifications and these have directly led to several new customer engagements”.

IPC's Validations Services QPL/QML Program was developed to promote supply chain verification. It also provides auditing and certification of electronics companies' products, and identifies processes which conform to IPC standards.

"Different from other audit programs, IPC's Validation Services Programs uniquely provides technical and in-depth assessments of products and processes in accordance with IPC standards," said Randy Cherry, IPC director of Validation Services. "We are pleased to recognize both Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. and Colonial Assembly and Design, LLC for becoming a member of IPC's network of trusted QML suppliers."

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For more information about IPC's Validation Services QPL/QML Program, visit or contact Randy Cherry at or +1 847-597-2806.   


About IPC

IPC ( is a global industry association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 4,200 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $2 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; Brussels, Belgium; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore and New Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand; and Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Beijing, China.

Colonial Assembly and Design Lends its Facility to Support an Advanced Manufacturing Film

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

Colonial Assembly and Design, a wholly owned subsidiary of Zentech Manufacturing, recently partnered with NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) to allow filming onsite for a promotional video on the significance of advanced manufacturing as an excellent civilian career choice for veterans. 

Given Colonial's work with the Navy in support of our nations warfighters, Colonial was proud its facility was selected for the filming of this very important project. 



The Significance of Design for Reliability

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Tue, Jun 13, 2017 @ 11:00 AM


A recent blog post from DfR Solutions outlines the significance of design for reliability in the electronics industry. Sherlock Automated Design Analysis, a software program mentioned in the article, is a program Zentech has had great success in utilizing.




Emerging technologies are making the electronics industry even more competitive, elevating the importance manufacturers place on product quality, reliability and speed to market.

However, addressing critical factors only when failures and delays arise is not efficient. Instead, implementing comprehensive design reviews during product development can help save your company time, effort and money. The method of choice? Design for Reliability.


Compared to traditional prototype testing, Design for Reliability is an efficient process. It can be used during the product design phase before physical prototyping occurs, meaning you can determine product reliability and quality at a point in the process when time and monetary investment is at a minimum. This expediency allows you to bring products to market faster than the competition — translating to larger sustained market share without eroding profitability.


Key to success in the Design for Reliability approach includes the application of Physics of Failure (PoF), a technique used to predict reliability and product performance. Instead of taking a traditional statistical approach to failure, PoF provides a more thorough understanding. Degradation algorithms are applied that describe how physical, chemical, mechanical, thermal or electrical mechanisms evolve over time and eventually induce failure. It’s a total learning approach rather than identifying a one-time problem.

Armed with this information, electronics manufacturers can effectively determine long-term product quality, reliability and speed to market without wasteful and time consuming physical re-testing.


Bolstering the insights gained through the PoF approach with software specifically created to analyze reliability gives companies within the electronics industry a powerful tool for streamlining new product development.

Sherlock Automated Design Analysis™ software makes the Design for Reliability process more robust by simulating and simplifying a number of tests including:

  • Temperature cycling
  • Plated Through Hole Fatigue
  • Vibration and shock
  • Conductive Anodic Filament (CAF)

But simulation alone is only part of the process. Sherlock identifies root causes of failure so corrective action can be taken immediately, and data can be compiled and easily accessed for future projects. Every recommendation is documented and broken down into actionable next steps, which is a boon for leveraging Design for Reliability practices.

Implementing Design for Reliability practices during product design is the best way to determine reliability, reduce costs associated with product quality, speed time to market, garner more sales and secure electronics industry leadership.


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Zentech Participates in IPC IMPACT 2017 on Capitol Hill

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Wed, May 17, 2017 @ 02:37 PM

On May 4, Zentech's Matt Turpin and other senior executives from leading electronics manufacturing companies, all members of IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries®, gathered in Washington, D.C. for IMPACT Washington, D.C. 2017 to advocate for a pro-growth, pro-advanced-manufacturing policy agenda.  

The gathering was especially timely considering President Trump’s recent moves to strengthen U.S. manufacturing, including establishing a new White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, and launching a wave of policy initiatives in the areas of taxes, trade, workforce skills, and regulations.

“Our industry is directly in the middle of so many major policy debates,” said John W. Mitchell, president and CEO of IPC, “and that’s why our visit to Washington is so important. The United States is still the world leader in advanced electronics, but it cannot take its leadership for granted. IPC’s Global Policy Framework is aimed at strengthening the foundations of U.S. and global prosperity.”                               

During the two-and a-half-day event, nearly thirty IPC member company executives met with members of Congress and leaders of the Trump Administration to share their views on issues including; tax reform; federal funding for manufacturing-related research and development programs; environmental policy and conflict minerals regulations.

Elijah and Matt.jpgZentech's Matt Turpin met with several leaders including Senator Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Elijah Cummings (pictured left). 

A member of the IPC Government Relations Steering Committee, Matt has been a key member of the annual IPC IMPACT contingent visiting Capitol Hill and comments, “IPC continues to deliver year-after-year with a very focused agenda and outstanding meetings with key legislators. It is truly a remarkable event and I highly encourage other executives in our industry to become involved. IPC can and does make a difference by informing legislators on issues and helping to shape policy that impacts the entire electronics industry.”








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Zentech's Matt Turpin Chosen as Board Member for RMI

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Mon, May 08, 2017 @ 10:06 AM

matt1.jpgRMI, Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland, is a non-profit association representing the interests of manufacturers statewide - providing programs, services and advocacy. More specifically RMI assists in meeting workforce needs, facilitates mentoring programs among manufacturers, and educates policy makers on the significance of manufacturing on Maryland's economy.  

RMI recently approved 16 new members to its Board of Directors, including Zentech’s President, Matt Turpin. The new board members will ensure that RMI is able to advocate broadly on behalf our manufacturing industry as well as the supporting manufacturing ecosystem to ensure our industry can compete and thrive in Maryland.  “We rely on the RMI Board to provide input to our goals to improve the prospects for Maryland manufacturing,” said Dr. Michael Galiazzo, President of RMI.  “This new group of manufacturing leaders brings extraordinary talent and energy to RMI and will be a key force in helping us address the priorities of the industry,” he said.  The new Board members represent a cross section of both small and medium-sized manufacturing companies from semiconductors, to consumer products, to injection molding.

"I am honored to be chosen to serve on RMI's Board of Directors and to help represent the interests of Maryland manufacturers," says Turpin.


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Zentech Narrows New Site Location Choices for Expansion in MD, VA

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Tue, May 02, 2017 @ 11:21 AM

Zentech Manufacturing, Inc., the Pentagon region’s premiere electronics contract manufacturing (CM) and contract engineering services provider, with locations in Baltimore, Md. and Fredericksburg, Va, is reviewing available sites in Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Howard county and Virginia with a final site selection imminent.

The expansion is in response to Zentech’s accelerated growth, increased long-term military program orders and new customer engagements in Zentech’s highly regulated core markets of high-complexity C5ISR military, defense, aerospace, cyber and medical electronics manufacturing. One such recent development includes Zentech’s selection by a Canadian defense contractor as their USA Eyes Only manufacturing location for U.S. military programs in support of our nations warfighters.

Zentech has a long legacy of high performance for many Maryland and Virginia based companies to include: Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Naval Surface Warfare Center- Dahlgren, Azure Summit, Safenet Assured Technologies, L-3 Chesapeake Sciences, Elta, Novasom, Becton Dickinson, RYFT, Triumph Thermal Systems, and direct with the DoD. Zentech was recently recognized by the Comptroller of Maryland, Mr. Peter Franchot, for continued capital investment in new technologies and outstanding success in support of other Maryland-based high-technology businesses.

As one of the most highly certified CM’s in the United States for Class 3 Trusted Source mission-critical military, medical and space products manufacturing, approximately 75% of Zentech’s customer base originates from outside of the State of Maryland. This serves to import manufacturing requirements and create both revenue and jobs in the States of Maryland and Virginia. Related to the expansion, Zentech anticipates doubling its facility footprint and adding an additional fifty (50) high-technology positions in the near term to their current staff of one hundred fifty (150) employees.

As an electronics contract manufacturer, Zentech serves as the manufacturing operations site for their partner customers and as an aggregator of technology manufacturing requirements in both Maryland and Virginia. By aggregating these requirements, Zentech provides cost advantages and enhanced processing capabilities to technology sectors in both states through their continued capital investments in advanced automated manufacturing, inspection and test capabilities.

In summary, Zentech’s President and CEO, Matt Turpin, concluded, “while there are many attractive potential sites in both Maryland and Virginia, our focus is squarely on supporting the high-technology, electronics driven business sectors – particularly mil-aero, defense, medical and cyber.”

Highly active in STEM initiatives, and in the broader manufacturing community in general, Mr. Turpin serves on the Board of Junior Achievement – Central Maryland, as Taskforce Chair for Advanced Manufacturing on the Governor’s Workforce Development Board, is a board member of the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland, and on the IPC Government Relations Steering Committee working closely with policy makers at both the local and national level to inform on issues relating to advanced electronics manufacturing and regulatory reform.


About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies. Operating in the DC-Baltimore Pentagon Region as a premiere provider of military C5ISR mission-critical electronic systems, Zentech is headquartered in its purpose-built facility located in Baltimore, MD and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified. Click on the green button below for drone video tour of Zentech Manufacturing.


Point of Contact:

John Vaughan, Vice-President
703-994-6788 (m)

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