Sunday, June 24, 2018
Publication Date: 09/1/2009
Archive >  September 2009 Issue >  Electronic Mfg. Services > 

EMI: A Multitude of EMS Solutions
EAL (EMI Asia Limited) production line standardizes on the same Fuji equipment as EMI in the US to maintain production continuity.

Today, Express Manufacturing, Inc. is ranked as the largest privately-held EMS provider in Southern California, but it all started in a humble garage setting, using ping-pong tables as assembly workstations. Founder, President and CEO, Mr. C.P. Chin, started the business hand-stuffing accessory PC boards for the brand-new IBM-type personal computers in the early 1980s.

When the IBM PC-compatible product rode a popularity surge nearly thirty (30) years ago, many companies started to build add-on cards. As business grew, demand exceeded existing manufacturing capabilities for OEMs, and companies reached out for help. That's when Mr. Chin and his family set up the garage production facility. In 1982, EMI was officially founded in Santa Ana, California, leaving the garage for a single factory building; it has since expanded to four buildings, and is now expanding to a fifth building to accommodate expected new growth.

Initially the company's production lines were 100 percent involved with building PC add-on cards. Later, as a result of word-of-mouth, business began to grow and the company became well-known as a high-quality EMS provider of printed circuit board assemblies. With the addition of new customers, EMI started to diversify from one specific type of industry to multiple industries.

The company's next wave of growth came with building computer memory products for multiple customers. Kingston Memory was a long-standing customer for EMI and before the customer built its own factory, EMI assembled 100 percent of Kingston's memory module product lines.

World-Class Provider
The company is now recognized as a World Class EMS provider, and has established a dual footprint, with both domestic and overseas production facilities. Its reputation for excellent service combined with nearly thirty (30) years at the same location in Southern California — along with a group of highly dedicated long-term employees — has earned the company an excellent reputation. This has provided the impetus for EMI to add EAL, a 120,000 sq. ft. factory in Dong Guan City, China. EAL's manufacturing facility was designed to duplicate the same production processes that are currently utilized at EMI, a factor that promotes more cost savings for customers.

Ideally, a customer will start production at EMI's plant in the US to allow the product to become stable. Should the product become a candidate for off-shore manufacturing, when the time is right, the product transfer from the US to China can be made seamlessly. By giving customers both a domestic and an off-shore manufacturing solution with the same company ownership and supported by a local Program Manager. The customer gets the benefit of always knowing who he is doing business with and can be assured that its intellectual property (IP) is protected. EMI adheres to a "Copy Exact" policy to further support its commitment to protecting IP.

State-of-the-Art Solutions
One of the key strategies for EMI has been to provide state-of-the-art solutions to customers by staying on the leading edge of technology. The company prefers to get involved with customers during the product's design phase if possible, as this allows virtual prototyping. This virtual analysis (DFX — Design for eXcellence) provides feedback to the design engineers which:
  • Strengthens the design.
  • Reduces time-to-market.
  • Reduces front-end costs.
  • Improves the product's manufacturability.
  • Provides long-term quality.

Express Manufacturing, Inc. has a dedicated staff that understands how to support the New Product Introduction (NPI) phases and to meet critical milestones. This process has proven to help many of its customers. DFX results in time and cost savings for the customers. Having the right kind of capital equipment to meet customer requirements is important to helping customers to grow. Soon after meeting the specification for placing "0201" requirements was met, EMI started to research and then invest in new capital equipment that would support the new "01005" specification. The company X-rays BGAs and is recognized as an expert in this arena. The company has invested in the latest AOI, both off-line and in-line models which support both the leaded as well as RoHS processes.

Medical Device Builds
EMI has been building medical products for several years, holding an FDA Registration. A key strategy has been to further penetrate the medical devices sector which demands a higher standard of process control. The company therefore invested in and obtained the ISO 13485-2003 certification to ensure the consistency of quality and process control that is required by such products. To augment this process, EMI has also implemented the Aegis Shop Floor Tracking system.

Today, EMI serves a wide range of industrial market segments including but not limited to medical, telecom, aerospace, semiconductor, instrumentation, test equipment, irrigation, commercial gaming, process control and oilfield products. The customer base continues to diversify. In the beginning, the company's customers were all located in Southern California, but as the company's name gained increased visibility, it gained new customers outside the state, followed by increased visibility in the global marketplace. EMI and EAL combined, serve a growing list of customers throughout the U.S., North America, South America, Europe, Israel, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand — virtually all over the world.

The Best Solution
Customers want the best EMS solution at an acceptable price and to know that their risks are being minimized by having the EMS provider manage their assembly requirements. Customers want to be assured with confidence that they will benefit from EMI's increased level of service and greater cost model that can directly affect their bottom-line while maintaining the integrity of their products and being able to deliver on-time.

EMI offers special capabilities, providing a one-stop solution from NPI all of the way through to volume production both domestically and off-shore. This allows customers to reach overall goals of reducing costs and lead-times, while increasing quality. This is very attractive to customers because their costs are kept to a minimum, allowing them to focus more on building their business.

Strategic Alliances
EMI has found that customers are looking for one-stop solutions and have come to rely on EMI to provide a total turnkey solution. Because the company has forged strong relationships with supply chain suppliers as well as design firms, one of the company's goals is to provide the electronics community with referrals to these strategic alliance partners, thereby promoting even greater synergy. Starting this year, EMI will kick off a Strategic Alliance Program. Customers will have access to the company's established relationships that will help them to get the job done. "We are very selective in identifying such partners and forming an alliance," said CEO Mr. C.P. Chin. "First, they need to provide synergy and then they have to deliver high quality services like EMI." These strategic partners are very carefully selected, and include LiquidMetal Technologies, Inc.

"We are delighted and honored to be partnering with an experienced company like EMI," said John Kang, Chairman, LiquidMetal Technologies, Inc. "Our mutual capabilities complement each other very well from R&D through mass production; our alliance further expands the full life-cycle of services we both can offer to our customers."

EMI's plans call for the Strategic Alliance Partners list to grow continually as partners are identified.

Express Manufacturing, Inc. has adapted a world class value proposition which is rewarding to all parties involved both locally and internationally. EMI offers a viable solution which has customers listening and relieved to find an alternate route to bringing new products to market faster and with less risk. Having managed multiple processes for a vast range of markets and satisfying the needs of advancing technology requirements, EMI today has the ability to offer attractive cost-saving solutions while minimizing risks for the OEM in both the U.S. and China with worldwide distribution anywhere into any market.

Contact: Express Manufacturing, Inc., 3519 West Warner Avenue Santa Ana, CA 92704 714-979-2228 Ext. 277 fax: 714-556-0575 E-mail: Web:

 1) test from Leslie

Add your comment:

Full Name:

search login