Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Publication Date: 03/1/2010
Archive >  March 2010 Issue >  Electronic Mfg. Services > 

At Aimtron, Lean Manufacturing Is Key
Up-to-date SMT production line.

Aimtron's focus is on personal responsibility — responsibility to and from in-house associates as well as to the customer. This is one of the essential elements that has made this EMS provider a rising star in today's changing market conditions. Today, the company is positioning itself to attract and retain clients in a global market that is constantly changing, challenging, and growing.

Focusing on key certifications such as ISO:13485:2003, 9001:2008 as well as ESDA S20.20:2007, Aimtron is prepared to work with demanding clients in medical and high technology markets.

CEO Mukesh Vasani explains his vision: "The key to success in today's market is flexibility. Clients want to work with a single manufacturer to carry a design from prototype to high-volume offshore production. We have positioned ourselves to provide this type of end-to-end continuity."

Today, more than ever, OEMs are looking to save costs by using contract manufacturing solutions. Design firms need quick turns on low-volume complex designs. Many entrepreneurs simply seek a partner to move their vision forward. Industrial power and automation firms require legacy and sustaining engineering support. Aimtron strives to serve all of these changing market needs.

Central Location
Positioned adjacent to Schaumburg, Illinois's unofficial technical epicenter, Aimtron's physical location provides close proximity to a wide base of customers, suppliers, representatives, and equipment support.

In addition to the headquarters and manufacturing facility in Streamwood, a sales office has been opened in Tempe, Arizona. From this office, Sales Manager Abel Castillo can better serve medical, gaming, and military markets in California, Nevada, and beyond.

Effective Lean Management
Aimtron prides itself on a management model of empowerment and communication. Company engineering support focuses on personal responsibility — to the customer and to other members of the engineering team. Managers work as much for shop associates as they do for the front office. After a job is complete, management asks for suggestions: How could we reduce time? Do you need additional tools or training? How was the documentation? Communication from the floor to the front office is important for maintaining a good, responsive team effort.

Most shop associates are accustomed to receiving orders only. At Aimtron, it is always heartening to see that Eureka! moment when staff realizes that management cares about their opinion, and they have the power to make a difference.

An overall theme is Lean Manufacturing, and inspiration is drawn from people such as Andrew Carnegie, W. Edwards Deming, and contemporaries such as Dr. Jeffery Liker. The company draws on engineering experience from both manufacturing and design teams, and managers successfully bridge the gap on common issues facing both designers and manufacturers.

Aimtron's engineering department works to combine best practices learned from multiple backgrounds, and has authored a product realization process, covering all phases and aspects, beginning with quoting, and ending with review of production metrics data, and ensuring that assemblies are built to specification.

Company-Wide Intranet
Key to Aimtron's Quality Management System is a company-wide Intranet. Documents are distributed through a secure internal web portal. Document control is achieved by creating web pages for each client assembly. The same system collects real-time data for time studies and quality issues.

Quality Engineer John Fagerson created a browser-based system for reporting issues on the shop floor. "Associates can report both issues and opportunities through a browser-based feedback system. Our goal was to make document creation and distribution as easy as a Wiki. Communication is easy and instant."

Utilizing a combination of home-grown databases, web editors, and a powerful MRP system, the engineering office is able to share an unprecedented amount of information with the shop floor. Error reporting, time logs, and part information moves seamlessly to every point requiring information.

DFM Partnership
"Sometimes, all it takes is process rails and fiducials." Manufacturing Manager Larry Whitis explains how he helps clients get the most value for their dollar.

Working hand-in hand with clients before production, Larry helps engineers avoid issues that may drive up production costs. With a strong background in automotive and military requirements, Larry takes care to be sure to understand all customer requirements during the quoting process.

"We take every part of the production process very seriously. You have to think about daily activities such as oven profiling, paste handling, and stencil apertures to prevent common problems. As a company, we can significantly reduce production time by maintaining strict handling procedures."

Perhaps unique to Aimtron, purchasing activities are considered a function of the Engineering department. The president and engineering department agreed from the beginning that everything possible must be done to serve the manufacturing process itself. All of the company's buyers have a solid foundation in electronics, and truly understand what they are buying, and how packaging and delivery affects the process as a whole.

Buyer's Market
Aimtron's decision to invest in new equipment for all critical processes meant that the company was able to take advantage of market prices, training, and the reliability and advanced capabilities. Today, it has both the equipment and expertise to satisfy the most demanding designs.

Understanding that today's economy has created a buyer's market — especially true of OEMs seeking assembly solutions — Aimtron competes by leveraging its low overhead, lean processes, and expertise against its competition.

Despite our nation's recent financial troubles, the overall market for contract assembly is bouncing back much faster than the supply of semiconductors. This means that Aimtron must assist clients in making the transition by completely understanding the three-way relationship between client, manufacturer, and vendor. Combining a powerful Tier 1 MRP/ERP software with planning and communications, Aimtron is doing its part to help projects complete on schedule and on budget.

Contact: Aimtron Corporation, 1448 Yorkshire Drive, Streamwood IL 60107 630-372-7500 (Arizona) 480-231-2882 E-mail: Web:

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