SMT007 Magazine

SMT007-Apr2020

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16 SMT007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2020 es and a lot of our conveyor systems. We build all of our own test equipment, and we're about to go on a little robotics binge because I have some ideas on how we can build some robotic test benches. You would be amused. This fa- cility is an engineer's toyshop. You can dream something up and have it in your hand in a very short period of time around here. We have the electrical hardware design capabilities and embedded software development, along with product design and the capability of 3D model- ing the captive circuit board. We also have the contract manufacturing assembly equipment, in addition to the machine shop for build- ing fixtures automation and benches, mold- ing equipment, surface-mount equipment, and test equipment that's all automated. Happy Holden: One of the sets of blueprints I have is a build-it-yourself hoist handling sys- tem for panels that maintenance men can build out of one-inch tubular steel welded. You put it behind the line and load up your batches and hit the run switch, and it runs along the back, dipping the panels—plus, you can still dip by hand from the front, and it uses electro- mechanical timers. Kadah: I have the welding facility right here in my tool shop, so if you share it, we'll take a look. As I said, we're crazy; we'll build any- thing. My dad started the electrical timer in- dustry in 1961 here in Syracuse, New York, with his first company. It was called Syracuse Electronics, and we still make timers today. I can make any kind of timer. Johnson: Can you walk us through what you have in your products, and what you've been building with your captive facility until now? Kadah: A lot of our embedded systems control- lers contain multiple timers and application- specific logic for the appliance that it is applied to; oftentimes, this means one control board monitors and controls all the appliances that are for heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and/or heat pumps equipment. A compres- sor will draw a lot of current if you attempt to start it against high head pressure, so we tend to sell hundreds of thousands—if not mil- lions—of what we call anti-short cycle timers that protect vapor compression systems. We make voltage monitors, so if the voltage is out- side of your operating range—like a hot day in New York City—three-phase and single-phase voltage monitors take your equipment offline so that it doesn't burn up the system if bad power is applied. We also manufacture surge suppressors for an additional level of system protection. We make all kinds of thermostats. We make head pressure controls that vary the speed of a fan for maintaining high head pressure in a vapor compression system under low ambi- ent conditions, where cooling is still required even though it's cold outside. We also make heat pump defrost controls, ignition systems for furnaces—including the controls for resi- dential and commercial boilers—oil burner controls, and pool and spa heater controls. We have 1,600 different part numbers we produce in this facility. The facility is 83,000 square feet. We employ 271 people, and we ship about three million controls a year presently. We hope to expand that number going forward, and we don't want to shrink because of the coronavirus. Johnson: You recently had a fire in your facility, but there was a silver lining because it allowed you to make some changes to some equipment and to automate. Kadah: Correct. We had a fire on May 30 of 2017 in our circuit board shop. It was on the preclean line that fed the film laminator. This was about a 60-foot-long piece of equipment in modular form, and it was a plastic fire. There were chem- icals in the machine, and it was a disaster. About 7,000 pounds of plastic burned, and when the plastic burned, the soot and the chemical vapor went throughout the facility. It cost us over $1 million to clean the soot out of the facility. As a result, we lost a lot of our wet process production equipment, so we bought all new equipment. We make safety controls for fuel- fired equipment; I was not going to produce

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