EMSNOW Executive Interview: Carlos Cajal, Novagard Solutions
Carlos Cajal is the Mexico & LatAm director of Novagard Solutions. This company, based out of Cleveland, Ohio manufactures silicone-based sealants, adhesives and lubrication products, plus PVC foam materials, for a wide range of applications. Over the last 7 years Carlos has helped grow the business in Mexico and in US companies near the Mexico-US border. With a degree in International Business and commercial development at ITESO University and 18 years of experience, Carlos has been successful generating revenue with B2B sales specifically with manufacturing companies including Automotive, Appliances, Electronics and Transportation industries. We asked Carlos to fill us in on his company’s work in Mexico with the electronics industry.
EMSNOW: Tell us about Novagard and what products you offer to the electronic manufacturing industry.
We are a company that offers innovative solutions using silicone RTV products, adhesives, potting materials and conformal coatings.
We can modify formulations scientifically to suit the unique needs of our customers. This ability to tailor formulations to solve problems at the process engineering level makes us a viable option for our electronics customers.
EMSNOW: What are the strengths of your company in Mexico at the present time?
We have a strong research and development team with very well-trained engineers, most with PhDs and deep experience with these materials.
EMSNOW: What challenges does your business face when working with technology companies?
We have found that the obstacles for our manufacturing customers in the electronics industry are, in a large part, that end customers decide which products to use. We have the ability to contact these end customers – many outside the country, mostly the United States – and specify our product at the engineering and development level.
EMSNOW: How has your business responded to the global pandemic?
2020 has been and will continue to be a year full of challenges. COVID-19 has changed radically the way things started out at the beginning of the year. Despite the difficulties, many companies that have their manufacture in China, now have turned their sight to México, willing to move their processes to our country.
Remember that it takes 2-4 weeks for a Chinese shipment to get to the United States and additionally another 5-6 days for customs processing before releasing the products. All this time must be added to the normal lead time of each item.
EMSNOW: Which industry sectors are going to be hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis?
As a result of the global supply chain disruption, the electronics, automotive, home appliances and general industry will take a heavy blow in 2020. Some analysts project that it will be only the first half of the year and then the recovery will be accelerated at the end of the year. Let’s hope that’s the case!
EMSNOW: What has Novagard been doing during the shutdown?
We have not been sitting around watching Netflix! This year, we have an innovative product that we will offer our customers that has great productivity benefits in coating PCB components.
This product, apart from curing with UV exposure, also cures with environmental moisture or RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanization). This gives you the advantage of almost immediate curing (in seconds) and in uneven places i.e. non-flat, where UV rays don’t reach. This material cures through moisture in minutes. This is a huge advance and we expect to see good demand for this product in the coming months when the recovery takes hold.