The following article about Etratech’s SMT line was published in The Chemical Daily in Japan. (Original article clipping below!)
Etratech of Canada: Japanese-made automation equipment introduced to its SMT line at the company’s head office plant
Etratech offers detail services to customers
Trying to develop new business in medical/healthcare areas
The medium-sized Canadian electronic manufacturing service (EMS) company, Etratech, based in Burlington, Ontario, has been successfully increasing productivity and added values, using Japanese-made factory automation (FA) equipment. The company (President and CEO: Michael Desnoyers) specializes mainly automotive and consumer electronics products, is going to focus also on medical/healthcare areas which have high growth potentiality.
Although a privately held corporation, Etratech has production hubs in and outside Canada, and serves as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for the U.S. Big Three automakers and Korean electronic appliance makers. The number of Chinese users is also increasing in supplies of refrigerator and air-conditioning components. In 2005, it obtained a production base with a 48,000-square-foot land space in Shenzhen, China, through A&M.
Production in China involves risks of intellectual property (IP) leaks, and to cope with this problem, the management function is concentrated in the head office in Ontario, Canada. With these precautionary measures, the Chinese plant is equipped with the same most advanced equipment as the head quarter plant to meet needs of Asian users.
Although the labor cost in China jumped almost 10 times over the past 10 years, President Desnoyers says that his company is not considering moving out of China, because of the big advantage of China as the export base.
Etratech regards supply capacity and maintaining the quality of products as the key as an EMS. Last September, the company introduced the latest model of Japanese-made chip mounters and lead-free reflow-soldering system to its SMT(surface-mount technology) lines at its plant in the head office to increase its productive efficiency. Arrangement of production lines and workflow are not much different from those of Japanese EMSs, but wide aisles, high ceilings and bright lighting stand out.
The plant is divided into two: The section for high-density board SMT lines, and the section for mass production assembly lines. The mass production lines comprise automotive traction control units, air conditioning components, LED lighting equipment, and others divided by users. It is one of the world’s largest producers of wireless version of elevator control devices, easy for retrofitting.
The company places great importance to trust and reliability. Quality inspection at the final production process is designed so that users can see in real time via Internet network.
As part of efforts to develop new business areas, it has begun producing devices surrounding the solar power generation systems. It also hopes to focus on products of medical-related areas. Products in the areas account only about 2% of the company’s total products, but it sees high growth potentiality in the areas.