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34 The PCB Magazine • October 2015 by Bryan Bernas i-connEcT007 Integrated Process Systems, Inc. (IPS) is a manufacturer of automated wet process equip- ment and material handling systems in Cedar City, Utah. IPS was formed in June of 1996 with a philosophy of being a multi-product, multi- industry company. In 1996, IPS purchased the assets of VCM for its vertical process equipment, and in 2000, purchased the assets of Western Technology Associates Inc. (WTA) for its hori- zontal process equipment and VRP technology. The result is the establishment of IPS as a state- of-the-art product line that offers a turnkey so- lution to all wet process and material handling requirements. Of the 39 suppliers Whelen chose to use, none were as integral to the automation and overall design and layout of the line as IPS, with its team led by President Mike Brask. In Febru- ary 2014, IPS approached Whelen at a very early stage, to put the required infrastructure in place before any of the equipment could be installed. This involved the design and installation of all the overhead utilities: the blower on the roof for exhaust, the process piping, as well as all the Unistrut framing (yellow and green for Mike's favorite Green Bay team—a playful jibe for a factory located in the heart of New England Pa- triot territory). IPS also hired local mechanical contractors to run the plumbing, which would later be connected to pump stations (also in- stalled by IPS) scattered throughout the factory. From start to finish, the Whelen project took the IPS team approximately 18 months. Speaking about taking on such a large proj- ect, Brask said, "From an engineering point of view, the challenge was thinking through all the process flows and automation details that need- ed to happen; Alex Stepinski had his flow charts and his logic worked out, but what does that tool have to look like? That's where we came in. He did a very good job spec'ing the process, which made it a lot easier, but then configuring the tools to do each one of those functions— that took some time. Another big challenge for us was that normally, equipment manufacturers in the U.S. don't get huge orders like this every day. We had to ramp up to keep up with the WhElEN & IPS: A Strategic Partnership—A Winning Combination FeATure

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