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Based in the Laguna Technopark in the Philippines, Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc. (IMI) today operates in multiple manufacturing sites spread out in the Philippines, China, Mexico, the United States, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic, providing solutions to original electronics makers catering for both regional and international markets. IMI is a leading EMS provider in Asia, and ranks 7th in the list of top automotive EMS providers by New Venture Research based on 2014 EMS-related revenues. The company serves diversified markets that include those in the automotive, industrial, medical, telecommunications infrastructure, storage device, and consumer electronics industries.

Arthur Tan, president and CEO of IMI, spoke to I-Connect007’s Stephen Las Marias about the latest developments in his company, some of the trends happening in the automotive electronics space, the challenges he is seeing in this region, as well as the opportunities for growth. He also touches on some of the latest technologies that will help improve the assembly processes.

Stephen Las Marias: Please tell us a bit more about IMI as well as your different groups.

Arthur Tan: IMI is a 35-year old company originally started in the Philippines. The change happened in 2005 when IMI decided to expand beyond the Philippines to become a regional and global player. In 2005, we completed an acquisition by delisting a publicly listed company in Singapore called Speedy Tech, which has operations both in Singapore and in China. In 2010, we then expanded our technology platform to include PSi Technologies, which is focused on semiconductor packaging as well as power modules. In 2011, we proceeded with our global expansion, and took over assets from EPIQ, which gave us the facilities in Bulgaria, in Czech Republic, and in Mexico. Through those acquisitions, IMI transitioned from purely a domestic player into a global player—beyond just Asia. We are now able to serve all the developing markets and developed markets in the world: Europe through Bulgaria and Czech Republic; North America through the United States and Mexico plants; and the rest of the world, through our China and Philippine facilities.

Las Marias: Please describe IMI’s operations in Asia. How important is this market for the company?

Tan: Asia is important for us because on a global basis, the world economy is actually dependent on the forward growth of Asia itself. And to us, that’s a very important segment. All the tier 1 customers that we deal with are actually focused on Asia themselves, because their current markets in the developed countries that they operate in originally are actually getting flat or slowing down. The growth is actually coming out from ASEAN and Asia.

Growth drivers are primarily fueled by demographics, and then the GDP growth of the individual economies in Asia and that of China. As those numbers go up, consumption goes up, and then the need for products move from simple electronics products to more durable goods, and cars, for mobility.

China and the Philippines still comprise two-thirds of our total revenue. That’s been the hallmark of our businesses. We have the most number of facilities in the Philippines and China. On a combined basis, we have about eight manufacturing sites in these two countries alone, aside from our hub in Singapore. Asia plays a very significant role so we will continue to be focused on it.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of SMT Magazine.

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