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Publication Date: 05/1/2008
Archive >  May 2008 Issue >  Electronic Mfg. Services > 

Fast-Track Growth at RAD Electronics
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Electronics manufacturing is alive and well in the U.S., and an excellent example of this is RAD Electronics and RPM Technology — two contract manufacturers that are now part of the same organization. RAD Electronics, headquartered in Sun Valley, CA has expanded its EMS business by acquiring RPM Technologies, an EMS company in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

As a wholly owned subsidiary of RAD Electronics, the new company will be renamed RPM Electronics. It becomes an integral part of RAD Electronics, a well-capitalized full service contract manufacturing company, specializing in complex assembly of printed circuit boards, custom and molded cable assemblies and over molded embedded electronics. The company is committed to expanding its products and services to the medical, military-aerospace, and industrial electronics industry. RAD's location, just north of Los Angeles, has three manufacturing locations, including a large cable assembly facility in Mexico.

RPM Technology is also a full service contract manufacturing company that provides complex assembly of printed circuit boards for companies in the semiconductor, medical, industrial controls, and instrumentation industries. RPM has been located in Ft. Collins since 2003. The company currently employs over 120 people, and plans are for have RPM to continue operating at its current location with Rob Malcom remaining as the president.

We have been searching for a solid EMS company in the Rocky Mountain region to serve that growing market area. We were fortunate to find that company in RPM Technologies. RPM has the capacity and capabilities, and when added to RAD's capabilities will make us the leader in that region. Our plan is to continue to expand in the rocky mountain area as well as other emerging growth regions in North America through organic and internal growth. Outsourcing in North America in our target industries is expected to continue at an accelerated rate over the next several years and we intend to be a major part of this exciting opportunity.

Adding Capacity
RPM adds capacity and additional capabilities such as environmental test chambers, fully automatic and semi-automatic thru-hole placement machines and a well organized conveyer system for building completed box builds. The company fits perfectly with RAD as both companies address the lower volume-higher mix customers in the medical and high tech industrial markets. We are seeing more outsourcing in the medical and mil-aero markets and these customers are not likely to have their products built off-shore for several reasons. These companies require a shortened supply chain, and do not want to risk the loss of intellectual property in what is perceived as a "leaky" conduit between the U.S. and the Far East. RPM has a "Prime Access Portal" which provides efficient and effective information exchange to all of the company's customers. Built on ERP intelligence and Microsoft.Net, the Prime Access Portal provides access to critical business information, digital content, and executable business processes using a secure and customizable internet environment. RPM's real-time Prime Access customer portal functionality provides customers leverage by being directly linked to its ERP for direct access to information from any place at any time. Using Internet browser capability and a secure login with given permissions are the only requirements to be able to use the tools.

According to Rob Malcom. RPM's president, "Prime Access is a comprehensive solution that puts the customer in the core of RPM's business by enabling our customers to retrieve, analyze and employ data directly. Prime Access's solutions help partners gain total visibility, real-time data of all areas of our extended CRM and ERP through cutting-edge technology and real-time collaboration." Applications will include inventory status, order status, quality data, planning, communication profile, call-back capability, FTP access, design for manufacturability, design for test access with easy search capability, RPM company news, press releases, and RPM performance feedback.

Once the Colorado company is integrated into RAD's ERP system, all of RAD's current customers will be able to enjoy this valuable feature. When both companies are fully integrated, we will have a company that can allow customers to decrease its supply base because RAD offers custom cable assemblies, molded cable assemblies and over-molding of printed circuit boards, as well as full turnkey printed circuit board assemblies (PCBA) and box builds.

Cable assemblies and molding are done in our 36,000 sq. foot Tijuana, Mexico plant. This facility has a complete engineering department that can assist our customers in solving cable design problems. PCBAs and box builds are supplied from both our southern California facility and our Ft. Collins, CO facility. In addition, we have a design support center in Wilmington, MA that also has customer service personnel and is a stocking location for East coast Kan Ban customers.

All facilities have the ability to provide rapid quote response and quick-turn prototype to help our customers meet changing market demands. A dedicated unit running 24/7 with highly skilled technicians can produce prototype products with minimal documentation. This team collaborates with the process engineering from all effective facilities to assist the customer in lowering manufacturing cost and reduce lead times once the product goes into production.

One of the most important breakthroughs at RAD was the development of temperature profiling of high density multiple lead-free BGAs to insure solderability of the BGAs without damaging other board-level components that are heat-sensitive. We are producing complex lead and lead-free printed circuit board assemblies with multiple BGAs that are approaching 100 percent first-pass yields.

With the addition of this fourth North American location, the company has positioned itself to meet the increasingly difficult challenges of manufacturing in the 21st Century — whether for it is for the military, aerospace, medical or other close-to-home applications. No matter what the product, the company's presence may be right next door or only a few hours away.

Contact: RAD Electronics, 10875 La Tuna Canyon Road, Sun Valley, CA 91352 818-381-8500 fax: 818-381-8630  

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