Patty Goldman: Anaya, how has the SMTAI show been for American Standard?
Anaya Vardya: The show has actually been quite good for us. We’ve had the opportunity to meet with a lot of our customers, both existing and potential new customers. What I would say is, compared to other shows, the traffic isn’t very high but the quality of the traffic is excellent.
Goldman: Everybody is focused on SMT.
Vardya: Right, exactly. I think the IPC show is also bringing a lot of the people who are interested in buying circuit boards.
Goldman: The IPC Fall Standards Meeting is right here alongside the SMTAI conference and show, so it’s a two-fer for you guys.
Vardya: Correct, it is a two-fer.
Goldman: You told me you had something new to talk about, so what’s happening?
Vardya: We wanted to talk about all the changes that are going on at our company. In the last year, we’ve decided to take the company to a new level. As a result, we’ve made investments both in terms of people and equipment that are pretty intense. About six months ago, we hired Rob Coleman to be our VP of operations.
In addition, most recently, we’ve reorganized our existing staff and actually increased our management in the quality organization. Our new director of quality is Jim Zeman. Jim has about 25 years in the circuit board industry; he’s been an American Standard for about eight years, and he’s got about 20 years of quality management experience.
Part of what we’re doing as a company is not only are we adding capital and people, but we’re also adding quality certifications and upgrading our processes in general.
Goldman: What kind of quality certifications?
Vardya: Currently, we’re ISO 9001:2008 certified, and we’re also MIL-PRF-31032 certified. What we’re working on is getting our aerospace AS9100C certification. We expect to get it sometime early next year, and then we would ultimately follow that up with NADCAP certification. We are also working on adding product lines to our MIL-PRF-31032 certification.
Goldman: Okay, and so then you’re going after the Mil/Aero market, shall we say?
Vardya: Today, mil/aerospace is about 30% of our business, yes, but as we’re growing the company, we’re growing all the various market segments that we’re in today—and mil/aero is certainly one of those segments. I think a lot of companies are requiring people to be AS9100C certified to get into newer accounts.
Goldman: If you’re going after some other market, having that certification is pretty impressive.
Vardya: Right, exactly.
Goldman: You go for the hardest one and everything else follows. Do you get into the medical industry very much?
Vardya: Actually, that’s another interesting question, because that is a good growth segment for us right now. One of the product mixes and market segments that’s growing for us is rigid-flex, and we’re doing a lot of the rigid-flex for the medical industry.
The applications are very interesting. We make a flex circuit that actually goes into a pressure monitor for blowing up stents. During angioplasty, they put in a balloon and have to inflate it with a pump that has a digital calibration, and they actually use one of our flex circuits in there.
Another application that we were in is blood analyzers, so we’re actually in pieces of equipment that are going to end up being pretty high-volume, FDA-approved pieces of equipment for analyzing blood.