Laser Manufacturer Improves PCB Contract Manufacturing Quality, Delivery Times
PRIDE Industries provides PCB contract manufacturing for Vortran Laser Technology, a company building ultra-reliable, high-performance laser solutions for the biomedical, medical, and industrial markets.
The company’s high-precision lasers perform cutting-edge scientific research such as flow cytometry, which analyzes cells by measuring their response to light; and optogenetics, where a laser activates light-sensitive proteins, called opsins, to control the activity of cells in living organisms.
The precision required to target invisible objects with an accurate beam requires equally precise printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing. Parts need to be close to perfect.
The Challenge: PCB Contract Manufacturing Quality, Delivery Times
In 2020, Vortran had many issues with its PCB contract manufacturing partner. “Delivery times and quality were slipping, and costs kept increasing,” said Managing Director Chris Kruger. Unpredictable delivery schedules compromised Vortran’s ability to meet deadlines, and since the PCBs control laser performance, substandard quality is unacceptable.
“Our lasers need to be ultra-stable and reliable for 20 to 30 hours at a time,” Kruger said. “They have to deliver an absolute reference point for researchers.”
The Solution: Customizable Boards Save Time and Money
Kruger and Vortran turned to PRIDE Industries to improve on all fronts.
“We immediately improved delivery times and quality by 50 percent,” Kruger said. “And we were able to cut costs by 10 to 15 percent.”
Kruger worked with the PRIDE Industries electronics manufacturing team to develop a flexible PCB platform that allowed Vortran to use similar boards it could customize for specific products in the assembly process. The solution streamlined purchase orders and enabled higher volume purchases of platform parts to reduce costs and inventory. And reducing the number of boards to order helped mitigate supply chain strains during and after the pandemic.
Results: A Robust Supply Chain
“A significant benefit PRIDE Industries has delivered is having a robust supply chain,” Kruger said. “We have access to the parts we need, and the team is very good about communicating and anticipating any issues that might impact delivery times.”
But the biggest success factor is quality. “Before working with PRIDE Industries, we had to build a 15 percent excess to account for poor yield,” Kruger said. “That’s gone now. The technology—inspection and manufacturing tools—that they use and the quality they deliver are state-of-the-art.”
“We’re a relatively low-volume PCB manufacturer and appreciate that the PRIDE Industries team works with us to manage our runs and inventories so that it works for them as well,” Kruger said. “It’s a real partnership that is hard to find, especially compared to offshore manufacturers.”
- PCB Contract manufacturing
improvement in delivery times