Clemens Jargon, senior vice president of High Flex at Mycronic, shares his thoughts about the company’s performance in 2022 (it was a strong year), plans for the new year (turnkey solutions), and what visitors to the Mycronic booth at the show can expect to see in the company’s state-of-the-art Iris™ 3D AOI vision technology.
Nolan Johnson: Hi, Nolan Johnson here for Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO. I am talking currently with Clemens Jargon. He is the senior vice president of High Flex at Mycronic. Clemens, welcome.
Clemens Jargon: Hey Nolan, welcome.
Johnson: Tell me about 2022 at Mycronic. How was the year?
Jargon: Yeah, that's a good question. So, that was a harsh year. Honestly, I'm happy it's over, despite the fact that we really had a quite good performance. For us it was important that we really show our dedication to customers even in that harsh time. And that's what we are proud about. And in sales and service we remain strong, reliable. We had a really decent good quality. Operationally, we grew in central Europe as well as in the U.S. and in Eastern Europe, also the Americas. That helped us to compensate for a little bit slower market which we experienced in the Asian area. Given the global current situation, I think maintaining our performance was important because that was not a simple task in this year. Going forward in 2023, we expect it to be even better than last year.
Johnson: What do you think is one of the appeals for customers with regard to Mycronic’s solutions?
Jargon: Yeah, that's something that is quite interesting because you know that we started very early to be a complete turnkey solution provider with our process steps from jet printing, SPI, AOI, pick-and-place, material handling, and being this turnkey solutions provider this is really something that turns out very well. We offer in fact almost all PCB assembly process steps—accurate placement, applying solder paste, zero defect inspection systems—and we feel that customers understand the benefits of using this equipment in their factory floor. We have dedicated all of Mycronic’s R&D and technology skills in the development of various equipment and we are committed to serve customers along this entire value chain. This brings for them consistency between process steps in terms of usability, flexibility, interconnectivity, and in fact, this translates into operational benefits for them, and that's what they appreciate.
Johnson: I can see how that is absolutely the case. I also understand that there is some news from Mycronic coming out of Mexico.
Jargon: Yes, exactly, good question. That's important. It’s also forward-looking to APEX. What we have done now is we have established in Q4 our own Mycronic sales and service organization. This is in response to reshoring—you know there's a lot of reshoring going on for Western customers from Asia into the Western world. A lot of American customers get served, not of Mexican market, but there's also strong domestic market demand. For us it was important that we established and settled Mycronic in Mexico to work even closer with the wide range of innovative players which we see in this extremely high dynamic region. It’s interesting that, in this region right now, we see a lot of different customer segments—automotive, medical industry—they all settled there and we are now able to offer locally with local sales and service people, especially our entire MYSmart portfolio in the Mexican market. You know that we are now finally the world’s leading supplier in the spending solutions, and this is also due to that we really give credit customers and also that we are close to them with local sales and service organizations.
Johnson: Clemens, how do you see the sales and service center in Mexico and your value proposition as a turnkey solution provider? How do they mesh together?
Jargon: We are close to these customers. We are able to give onsite support we have experienced and qualified people for service, for sales, and for application engineering, and especially when you look into our MYSmart portfolio for the spending on conformal coating, you need to have qualified people onsite at any time when customers have a certain demand. This is how we how we serve customers and that's what they appreciate.
Johnson: With APEX just a couple of weeks away, what's coming up in the Mycronic product portfolio that you might be showing?
Jargon: I'm happy to be asked this question, Nolan. So, one of the most important which we will launch and show to our customers at APEX, next to all the other equipment, is our new further improved AOI solution. We have introduced now the state-of-the-art Iris 3D vision technology. This enabled significantly faster tech time than before, there with high security and highest coverage of components. This helps our customers to accelerate their production. And yeah, in fact they could hardly be better prepared for the future when they invest now into our MYPro 51.
There's another feature which we've introduced here, which we call the Escape Tracker, and we will be able to demo this Escape Tracker at APEX 2023. In fact, what it is, it's a real time assistant who tells a programmer of the AOI solution where and what to correct to make new inspection programs robust against escapes. And this is a very unique feature and this is a real big advantage for programmers and also that in fact for better usability of an AOI at your factory. It's a great feature and I'm sure that our customers will appreciate that.
Johnson: Well, thanks for taking the time this Wednesday to talk with us about the upcoming APEX show.