Interview with Gary Goldberg, President of PROMATION Inc.
PROMATION is a full-service provider of printed circuit board handling solutions that develops and markets products in four key areas: PCB handling and routing systems, robotic soldering systems, automatic label placement solutions, and work bench/work flow solutions. The company’s main focus serves the electronics manufacturing sectors, with cross over into other markets such as medical, computer assembly, laboratory and heavy production transporting/routing. Here we catch up with President Gary Goldberg to find out how the company is faring and what changes it has made to make it even more successful.
We understand that PROMATION has changed its product offerings to focus on its core competencies. What are these areas? Can you explain the reason for this thinking?
More than 13 years ago, PROMATION formed an alliance with EUNIL HA America to produce the company’s PCB handling systems under the company’s engineering guidelines. Since that time, PROMATION has become a private shareholder to strengthen this relationship and allow us to work more closely with the engineering group. This business structure resulted in many new designs currently not being produced for the Asian market. In 2009, PROMATION entered the low-cost interconnecting conveyor market in China to try to meet new low-cost demands. The company shut down China conveyor operations on December 31, 2012 due to ongoing supply chain issues that resulted in excessive delivery time to customers. Prior to this shutdown, additional efforts were put forth to reduce manufacturing costs at our South Korea factory, which resulted in the introduction of several new models for PCB handling but also added more features to these new systems vs. previous models.
Other strategic moves included the elimination of our Laser Marker and we now solely focused on our Automatic Label Placement systems, and the elimination of PCB depaneling systems and in-line UV cure systems.
What other strategic alliances does PROMATION have and how has your customer base benefitted from these relationships?
To complement our equipment lines, the company has aligned itself with several other key industry players that have allowed PROMATION to offer a full line of work stations and progressive assembly work flow solutions. Production Basics, OMTEC, Hytrol and Southworth all have been great business partners and PROMATION has 10 or more years’ experience integrating these products.
Solutions that we created as a result of these partnerships included: a work progress flow line for blade servers assembly, small motor assembly, custom computer builds, elevator control cabinet assembly and many more.
What benefits have PROMATION received from focusing on a leaner competency? How has your customer based benefitted?
I think our standard and signature series PCB handling systems are the best in the marketplace. We have customers with more than 6 million cycles run and no support calls. Focusing more on the quality manufacturing design and processes of these products benefits our customers from a reliability standpoint and it benefits the company from a reputation standpoint. This is a win-win in today’s operating environment.
Can you tell us about the company’s brand reintroduction? How will this position you better in the industry?
In mid-2012, the company adopted the slogan and modified our corporate logo from the brand has continued to build recognition over the years but with turnover within the industry, a constant marketing program is needed to stay in the forefront. To that end, we plan to continue getting our name out in the industry. After careful deliberation, we decided that a rebrand was a critical step to ensuring the success and future growth of the company. In addition to the rebrand, we know that our solid reputation for quality and service will further advance us to the top of our field.
PROMATION is known for its low cost of ownership, especially on its soldering robot series. In today’s economy, how is the company able to do this? In addition to cost, what benefits does this provide over your competition?
First, we needed to engineer a great product that met almost all of a customer’s base requirements for table top soldering. The specifications for our system had to be equal to or better than each of the competing models. Next, the system had to be life tested to ensure long-term production capability, and finally we needed to ensure that the cost of operating the system was reasonable. Once all of these objectives were met, the TT-400 soldering robot was introduced.
However, since this was a true table top robot, we felt that a modifiable version also was required, meaning, a Cartesian style robot, using the same components that also offered remote I/O to allow for in-line, rotary table or slide shuttle integration. Thus, 12 months later, the G Series was introduced.
The buying price of our systems and other comparable systems are all competitive. The true savings is realized in the cost of operation. This is where PROMATION truly shines.