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Vote for John Vaughan (Zentech) for SMTA Board

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Tue, Jul 16, 2019 @ 01:25 PM

Zentech is proud to announce that our very own John Vaughan is a nominee for the SMTA Board of Directors!

Four SMTA director positions will be filled for the term 2019 – 2022. We would like to encourage you to review the candidates now!

SMTA Members Vote Here!

Voting ends soon and your participation will help shape the future of the SMTA and the electronics industry.

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Topics: SMT Assembly, Maryland PCB assembly, electronics manufacturer, electronics supply chain

PCB Chat Interviews Zentech CEO Steve Pudles

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Thu, Jun 27, 2019 @ 10:15 AM

Mike Buetow of PCB Chat talks to Steve Pudles about the recent acquisition of Zentech Manufacturing Inc. by BlackBern Partners LLC. Steve, also an investor in Zentech, is the CEO of the new organization and discusses both the transaction and the company's forward plans.

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Topics: Maryland PCB assembly, electronics manufacturer, electronics supply chain

Incoming CEO Steve Pudles on the Acquisition of Zentech

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Wed, May 15, 2019 @ 12:03 PM

Nolan Johnson of iConnect007 talks to Steve Pudles about the recent acquisition of Zentech Manufacturing Inc. by BlackBern Partners LLC and Zentech management. Steve, also an investor in Zentech, steps in as the incoming CEO of the new organization and discusses the deal, his new role, changes to management, and the company's plans post-sale.

Nolan Johnson: Congratulations on the acquisition of Zentech and your new role. What is your plan moving forward as CEO?

Steve Pudles: The company will continue to be flexible, responsive, and all the things that we learned in diligence that impressed us and confirmed that we were acquiring a first-class company. Nothing is anticipated to change in that respect. The only changes long term will be to take all of the things the company does well, look at some of the systems and tools that we deploy, and attempt to improve the automation levels of data transfers, scheduling, manufacturing executions, software, better usage of some of the ERP tools. We want to give customers a marked improvement on what they already like.     

Johnson: Overall, you’re working on creating a tighter, more optimized manufacturing flow to give more options to your customers.

Pudles: The thing that’s important is that during diligence, we discovered that the customers had nothing but positive things to say regarding the performance of the company in the view of the customers. When you talk about optimizing, we’re going to improve and put things in place that are going to allow us to be more productive, but all it’s going to be is accelerating and advancing the things that are already being done well; I’m just going to make them be done well better (laughs).

Also, this is not a turnaround or a fire sale. This was a solid transaction that allowed BlackBern Partners and me to get involved in a company that is an outstanding base to both organically grow and geographically expand within the mil/aero and medical markets. We anticipate keeping the company focused on the markets that they’ve done well in, including high-reliability mil/aero and medical. We would like to put in more of that here in Baltimore and Virginia and expand with other key, strategic acquisitions as we identify them.

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Topics: Maryland PCB assembly, electronics manufacturer, electronics supply chain

Zentech's Mission Critical Tips for Program Success

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Fri, May 03, 2019 @ 09:28 AM

Zentech's John Vaughan is interviewed in this month's issue of SMT007 in an article Zentech's Mission Critical Tips for Program Success.

Vaughan outlines how to make customer programs successful through early communication, complete design packages, and more.

Johnson: What’s the one thing you would want every customer to understand about delivering a data package to your quote team?
Vaughan: Well, I’m old-school, so planning and communication still matter more than anything to me. Often, if customers are running late against their deadlines, they will feel pressure internally to simply toss a data package over the fence, thinking that it’s complete enough and sufficient to both quote and build. If it’s a highly complex product, there’s a lot of dialogue that’s required. And the earlier the customer can engage us and communicate with us, outline their intentions, and be available for dialogue, the better results the program will have. 
They also need to understand that the lead time is primarily a byproduct of the component supply chain.After we have a complete kit of all of the components, our actual build schedule is only anywhere from 2–4 weeks, which is fast when you think about the complexity of the product. The challenge is that the component supply chain lead times have crept up dramatically across all device types, and it’s not unusual for us to run across components that have a year lead-time in today’s environment.
So, if the customer is proactively communicating from the beginning, and the design cycle might take them six months, we can get in front of a lot of issues by working together. If we’re in lockstep with them from the beginning, then we can negate some of those supply issues by pre-buying components, etc. If communication and data packages are incomplete, untimely and sporadic, then we cannot turn back the clock or accelerate the component supply chain appreciably. We can’t control the lead time on the components; that’s a primary challenge that everyone needs to consider. Zentech is one of the few EMS companies that will work with customers to mitigate risks, which is a significant, long-term benefit for everyone involved.

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Topics: Maryland PCB assembly, electronics manufacturer, electronics supply chain

Q2 2019 Market Conditions Report

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Thu, May 02, 2019 @ 11:33 AM

Future Electronics recently released the Q2 2019 Market Conditions Report for the electronics industry.

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Topics: Maryland PCB assembly, electronics manufacturer, electronics supply chain