While Flex and Jabil have facilities in multiple Eastern European countries, Benchmark Electronics, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., has one factory in Brasov, Romania that has operated for the last 10 years. The factory, which employs between 600 to 700 workers, builds boards, subsystems and complete systems for medical equipment, industrial, and aerospace OEMs.
“For industrial, we do intelligence flow control, smart measurement systems,” said Mike Buseman, executive vice -president global operations at Benchmark.” We are doing more and more complex integrated assembly work in that facility in the industrial sector.”
He added that Benchmark also builds patient monitoring equipment and other medical products at its Brasov facility. Medical will be a greater focus for Benchmark over the next several years. “Benchmark’s engineers around the globe have a strong pedigree in medical products and we do the design work on a lot of the products” which are then built at Benchmark’s manufacturing facilities. “We do everything from printed circuit board work to control circuitry to subassemblies that go into much larger systems,” for medical OEMs, said Buseman.
He said that Benchmark will expand operations in Romania. “Our current view is focused on our footprint in Brasov. It is a very good location for us.” Buseman said he was “a big advocate of scaling” its existing facility rather than “having a number of smaller sites scattered all over.”
He added while Benchmark will expand its efforts in medical, industrial and aerospace, it has no plans to focus on telecom or computing sectors. “What we’ve seen so far is those customers are still designing in one global location and candidly still biased towards the Asian-Pacific region,” said Buseman.
Benchmark is also looking at building equipment for customers with “higher power applications.” Such applications could include alternative energy systems and industrial applications that are battery powered.
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