Interview with: Paul Cooke, Director of Operations, ITL Circuits
Aerospace and defense manufacturers need to get printed circuit board makers involved in the design phase much earlier, according to Paul Cooke, Director of Operations, ITL Circuits. “As the pressure to get to market sooner increases, we need to be more involved to understand their requirements and be able to spin designs in a very short period of time,” he adds.
A printed circuit board manufacturer, ITL Circuits is a solution provider at the marcus evans Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing Summit 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 20-21.
What difficulties are aerospace and defense manufacturers faced with today?
It is a very tightly knit community that is gradually becoming more open and competitive. For a tier three or four supplier of our size, it is difficult to get real visibility. It takes a considerable amount of time to see the actual decision-makers and get the opportunity to develop a relationship with them.
As the US government moves towards cost saving and exploitation of efficiencies that we normally see in the commercial markets, it is important for us to keep ahead of what customer requirements are going to be. There is investment required from our end, so we need to know what technologies will be required in two years to five years, so that we can invest in people and equipment to keep up with industry requirements. We also have to keep up with changes in technology.
How would this improve the product development cycle?
Previously we had three to six month lead times for planning and building a product. Today, we may be asked to build the same product in five to ten days. As the pressure to get to market sooner increases, we are being asked to spin designs must faster. We need to be involved early on in their design and component selection phase to understand their requirements, and do our best to meet them.
Is there a lack of communication here that needs to be addressed?
Not necessarily. A lot of the times we receive a design with specifications and are asked to build to print. However, if the customer is moving into newer technologies and designs, we feel that developing a relationship, and keeping it pretty buoyant, is critical. When we are requested to build a new product in a week, if we have visibility we can be prepared to handle the job.
Any final comments?
There were around 1,500-2,000 circuit board shops in North America 25 years ago. Today there are fewer than 300, as a lot of it is now being procured offshore.
My concern is that this erosion of our business is resulting in a lot of capability and technological knowledge migrating out of North America. Aerospace and defense companies should help bolster the circuit board industry, which in the long-term will also help them as well.
Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division
About the Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing Summit 2013
This unique forum will take place at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 20-21, 2013. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event.
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About ITL Circuits
ITL Circuits is one of North America’s leading providers of printed circuit board fabrication services. Established in 1971, ITL Circuits is the oldest and largest privately-held PCB manufacturer in Canada. We serve both original equipment manufacturers and electronic manufacturing service companies, with prototype and production-volume requirements, around the world. Located just outside Toronto, in Markham, Ontario, Canada, ITL has over 65,000 square feet of factory space and approximately 130 employees.
ITL utilizes leading-edge fabrication technology to produce the highest quality PCBs on a quick-turn basis; in order to support our customers’ accelerating product development cycles. Our rigorous process controls and high standards of workmanship result in a finished product of superior reliability. Due to our sustained investment in the latest equipment and processes, ITL continues to develop new capabilities and lower production costs. We turn our customers’ complex electronic designs into competitively-priced printed circuit boards, manufactured in accordance with ITL’s industry-leading Performance Excellence.
Our Commitment to servicing our customers’ ever-changing needs is embodied in our continuing investment in people and equipment. This investment within the company will allow us to continue to grow along with our expanding customer base – made up from the leaders in their industries – including military, aerospace, industrial automation, medical, communications and computer systems.
About marcus evans Summits
marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, case studies, roundtables and one-on-one business meetings. For more information, please visit www.marcusevans.com