Since 1971 Printed Circuit Broker Elmatica has supported industry leaders with technical consulting and procurement, securing their customers PCB supply chain. While celebrating their 50th anniversary this February, CEO Didrik Bech reveals some of the secrets behind the success story.
“It has been a privilege to support, develop and challenge the printed circuit industry over the last 10 years, after Arild Bakke and Ragnar Bakke lead the company for the first 40 years”, says CEO Didrik Bech.
Elmatica was established by Ragnar Bakke in 1971 doing PCB layout until the early 80ties. The company was then passed on to his son Arild Bakke in 1983, establishing offices in the Nordic countries and one of the first to start sourcing from China and further expanding the company. Didrik Bech joined Elmatica in 2011 as the third CEO, establishing several European and Chinese offices and moving the focus towards digitalization and automation.
The advantage in the market
“It has been a fantastic journey. Our advantage in the market is our experience, expertise and network. Procuring printed circuits is not comparable to procuring off the shelf components. One thing our customers appreciate about us is our transparency and honesty. If a design is not feasible, we will notify the customer and offer design alterations. We will never change a set design without consulting with the customer first”, says Bech.
Since 1971 Elmatica has developed from 3 employees situated in Norway, to 44 employees worldwide, delivering to over 43 countries on 5 continents. “It is fantastic to see how Elmatica has changed and adapted to new opportunities over the last 50 years. Maintaining the family spirit yet reaching new milestones and for the last periode pinning the company to the international scene of compliance and cyber security” says Arild Bakke.
Unprecedented times and record results
Elmatica has globally supported hundreds of customers and thousands of product owners in regard to technical assistance, orders processing, compliance, insurance, engineering queries, auditing and quality handling in regard to thousands of orders every year.
“Last year we delivered the best financial result in 50 years, a result that makes me particularly proud considering the unprecedented COVID circumstances, pushing the entire supply chain and people to its limits”, says Bech.
Securing the supply chain
As a broker of printed circuits, Elmatica supports the customers in the whole product development process, and ultimately securing their supply chain.
“We see that an ever increasing number of our customers are reaching out at an earlier stage in their development process, involving us in the beginning of the design process, where we advise in design solutions for improved design, panel utilization, cost improvement and material selection”, says Bech.
The advantage in the market
A PCB is a unique customer specific article and it needs to be treated accordingly, not least as it consists of a drawing, and consequently is classified as a Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), depending on the industry.
“One also needs to take into consideration what materials can be used, where it can be produced, design improvements and cost factors.”, says Bech.
From the North Sea to outer Space
An important partner for Elmatica in the first years was the oil and gas industry, delivering equipment to the North Sea.
“You can practically say that we kicked off with the golden age of oil in Norway. Then the Telecom industry with complicated demands and challenging products soon came thereafter”, says Bakke.
Elmatica was able and ready to assist and secure these industries development with a rigorous network of partners, routines, quality and process control, and consequently delivering PCBs to some of the first cell phones ever produced. The Defence industry practically developed alongside Telecommunication, as Elmatica soon recognised that their requirements were well suited for the Elmatica quality standard.
“This resulted in a need to learn Export/Compliance Control and also Cybersecurity, which again has paved the way for entering the Space industry with perhaps the most rigorous demands in the world”, says Bech.
Developing alongside the megatrends
With the Automotive industry as a new demanding partner in the late nineties, we quickly learned the requirements for volume production.
“Our flexibility and willingness to adapt to new industries and specific industry compliance regulations and cooperate with the best manufacturing partners for different demands, can be one of the factors for our success story. This may also be the explanation for how we have developed alongside the industry megatrends since the 70ties. The trust bestowed upon us for 50 years is something we value deeply”, says Bakke.
“We could not have accomplished this without the incredible work of my colleagues. I am looking forward to following the adventure further on, from distance”, Bakke finishes.