The strength of the Polish electronics industry are small and medium enterprises created by people with knowledge and passion. This is largely due to the specificity of this business, which is not easy and requires the ability to plan and solve problems. It attracts people who are resourceful, enterprising, focused on creating and implementing ideas.
An excellent example of such a company is INVITECH from Pabianice. It was founded by three professionals with many years of practical experience in the electronics industry. We asked Mr Przemysław Zalewski – President of the Board and co-founder of INVITECH about his experience in the industry:
How would you summarize the characteristics of the Polish electronics industry?
The industry is very diverse – on the one hand, large global corporations, and on the other hand, a whole range of medium and small companies that often produce very unique products that stand out in their fields.
I notice that a characteristic feature of the activities undertaken by small and medium Polish companies is investing huge amounts of money in the purchase of complete assembly lines for the production of even small quantities of electronic devices. Although it would be reasonable and undoubtedly more economical to outsource production to specialized companies like ours. Such an approach of the companies has another huge disadvantage – the purchased equipment ages quickly and usually, after just a few years, despite slight wear and tear, does not allow to keep up with the technical progress in the industry. Awareness of this situation was one of the arguments when defining the market place for INVITECH’s services.
Please tell us what prompted you to set up the company and how it has developed over the years?
I am a specialist with over ten years of experience in the industry. The idea to create a company operating within the scope of my competences has been in my mind for several years, whereas the very moment of INVITECH’s
establishment was a favourable coincidence of several circumstances, which allowed me to start this undertaking. The most important for the creation of the company are the people who undertake it, and in the case of INVITECH I managed to invite to cooperation two more people with similar and complementary qualifications and together we took up this challenge.
We started to organize the company in early 2015. As usual, the beginnings in such projects are crazy – 100 ideas and lack of sufficient funds for a spectacular start from day to day. However, the combination of determination, knowledge and hard work and the investment of our own savings allowed us to launch the first production line. It was a used line consisting of several YAMAHA machines acquired in Europe at a bargain price. The machines were not the latest, but with a lot of experience and determination we launched a fully operational production line. We entered the electronic assembly services market full of enthusiasm. We started with the realization of orders for relatively simple devices, which was possible thanks to our equipment, which worked perfectly well in such realizations.
From the very beginning we knew that the goal is much farther away, and the requirements of customers are large and will grow. We worked systematically and patiently to achieve our goal. Most of the money we earned was used to invest in the next equipment. After 2 years we exchanged P&P machines for the next generation of YAMAHA equipment.
At that time we were already sure that this path should be followed. The newer machines significantly increased our production and technological capabilities. We assembled more and more complicated orders. After the next 2 years, a question arose about increasing the security of supply for our customers.
We decided to secure key stages of the technological process by implementing solutions allowing for uninterrupted production in moments of equipment failure by launching a second production line. As far as P&P is concerned, it was a decision to purchase further but already new YAMAHA machines from an authorized distributor with full warranty and fast service, which would ensure production safety. In Poland, this is made easier by the fact that the machinery is distributed by RENEX Group with over 30 years of experience on the market, ensuring competent customer service. What we have seen for ourselves.
They are also manufacturers of recognized robots for the production of electronics (author’s note: REECO Soldering Robots), so they definitely know how to provide technical support. Our today’s offer of electronics assembly services is addressed to a wide range of companies producing advanced small and medium volume electronics for professional use. Thanks to our vast experience and world-class equipment, we are able to meet most of our customers‘ needs both in technical terms and in terms of flexible order handling.
Are there any special features of the equipment you pay attention to when planning further investments?
When planning investments, apart from the purely economic aspect, we pay attention to the possibility of effective use of the purchased equipment. It can be very helpful here to find the right supplier who will help you make a sensible choice, and it is invaluable to be able to test the equipment on your own order. For us, cooperation with the RENEX Technology Centre was helpful, where we could see the equipment in operation. The centre also offers the possibility of simulating production processes by creating test batches and checking everything using X-ray inspection.
Did you encounter any particular technological problem that required an innovative solution?
We encounter a whole range of technological challenges every day and that makes us very happy, because the work is interesting. Meeting newer and bigger technical and technological requirements is the aim of INVITECH’s existence and development. We often cooperate with customers in solving such problems. This is also our advantage and distinguishes us on the market.
Are there any investments of which you are particularly proud? Which you see as milestones of your company?
We are most happy to purchase the new P&P YAMAHA machines because, in addition to increasing productivity, it provides us with a high level of production safety. Smoothly running machines and a service that is available practically on the spot allows us to fully concentrate on fulfilling our customers‘ orders.
What do you see as business relations in the industry? Does business partnership matter much?
Business relations in this industry can be divided into two groups – between companies competing with their offer – as in any industry – it is a struggle, while in the client-supplier relationship, our observation shows that the model of building permanent cooperation based on mutual trust, communication, understanding of mutual needs and real possibilities is the best.
Are you currently planning further investments?
Operating in this industry means constantly thinking about the future. Observing the changing needs of the market requires constant investment both to develop the company and to keep up with technology development. Our goal is to continuously expand our electronics manufacturing capabilities to a level that allows us to realize every idea of our customers.
How do you see the future of the industry and your company?
The future of the industry, in my opinion, seems to be quite good. Apart from the biggest players producing equipment for the most popular brands, whose location depends on the economic situation on a global level, the average players on this market, which I think includes INVITECH, can rest assured. In the case of these companies, however, everything depends on internal decisions, good relations with customers and constant following of market needs. Personnel training is also very important here, especially in terms of proper operation of machines and IPC technologies and standards. Without this, neither the company nor our industry will be able to develop and keep up with the foreign competition. We also cooperate closely with the RENEX EEC Training Centre, supporting the development of our specialists, and this undoubtedly translates into the quality of our production.