EMSNOW Executive Interview: Carlos Ponce, ViTrox Mexico Business Development Director

EMSNOW Executive Interview: Carlos Ponce, ViTrox Mexico Business Development Director

ViTrox designs and manufactures innovative, leading-edge and cost-effective automated vision inspection equipment and system-on-chip embedded electronics devices for the semiconductor and electronics packaging industries. ViTrox’s core products are its Machine Vision System (MVS), Automated Board Inspection (ABI) and Electronics Communication System (ECS). This Malaysia-based company recently announced the appointment of Carlos Ponce to Mexico Business Development Director. We caught up with Carlos to learn about ViTrox’s strategy for this critical geography.

EMSNOW: Tell us about your personal background. What is your new role at ViTrox?

I started my career journey in 1998 at Solectron de Mexico, while still pursuing my studies. I graduated as an Industrial Electromechanical Engineer from Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara (UAG) in 2001. I am pleased to highlight the opportunities I have had to collaborate with globally renowned EMS companies. These experiences have allowed me to acquire extensive knowledge within the SMT industry and amass invaluable professional expertise.

Building upon this foundation, I transitioned to working with equipment suppliers, embracing my role with unwavering passion and determination. I am currently the Business Development Director at ViTrox Mexico, where I lead sales channel partners in Mexico. My focus is on expanding the ViTrox SMT Inspection Solution Business and further establishing ViTrox’s market presence in Mexico.

EMSNOW: Please tell us about ViTrox’s operations in Mexico. ViTrox is a Malaysia-based company, with an impressive global presence. Tell us about the history (of ViTrox) in Mexico.

Since 2011, ViTrox has been highly active in Mexico and has also succeeded the AOI and AXI Equipments that ViTrox previously acquired from a multinational company (MNC) that was exiting the Printed Circuit Assembly (PCA) inspection market, integrating significant technological advancements. Throughout the years, ViTrox has expanded its territory to cover all of Mexico,  with support from Sales Channel Partners who provide exceptional sales and support services to top EMS and OEM companies in the region.

I am proud to be a part of ViTrox’s Mexico team and to contribute to our global expansion strategy. My local presence allows me to better understand the needs of our customers and to provide them with the support they need to succeed. I am committed to helping ViTrox become the leading supplier of SMT inspection solutions in Mexico and beyond. 

EMSNOW: ViTrox supplies machine vision inspection equipment for the semiconductor and SMT industry. Can you tell us who your customers are?

ViTrox primarily focuses on Tier 1 and Tier 2 electronics contract manufacturers (EMS) or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) across various sectors like automotive, telecommunications, consumer appliances, and industrial manufacturing. We have gained substantial recognition from the world’s Top 10 EMS customers who utilize our platform for inspecting PCB boards during the SMT process.

Additionally, ViTrox has made strides in the SEMICON sector, aligning well with the emerging semiconductor opportunities in Mexico. Our primary focus lies in the backend semiconductor packaging industry, which is anticipated to rise significantly in the region.

EMSNOW: Are you seeing accelerating growth in Mexico for Nearshoring activities? How is ViTrox positioned to leverage these shifts in the global manufacturing landscape?

Certainly. The increasing demand for diversified and resilient supply chains has driven numerous companies to engage in nearshoring practices in Mexico. American manufacturing companies are strategically relocating their production closer to their home bases and U.S. consumers, thereby reducing their reliance on Asian markets. Mexico’s distinct geographical advantages –  such as its proximity to the United States – come into play here, complemented by a substantial, cost-effective labor force and the benefits of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Furthermore, Chinese electronic manufacturers are also diversifying their production presence in Mexico. This strategic move helps them mitigate the risks associated with shipping challenges and geopolitical uncertainties. 

ViTrox is poised to seize these opportunities, bolstered by our global business support framework.  Our Global Sales team has been in close contact with corporate to work closely with all the opportunities.

EMSNOW: What new products or services have you introduced recently? 

Regarding new products, I’m excited to introduce the latest V9i Advanced Robotic Vision (ARV) solution. The V9i is a flexible, robotic inspection system that can be used for conformal coating and final assembly inspection. It features an integrated robotic arm that allows users to conduct inspections at angles of up to 90 degrees, making it ideal for inspecting large or complex PCBs. The V9i is also powered by our cutting-edge smart learning algorithm, which enhances its defect detection capabilities during production.

For those who are interested in this game-changing solution, we invite you to visit our partner demo room located in Jalisco, Guadalajara. We have a demo machine available for your viewing, and we are ready to help you transform your production processes.

EMSNOW: What do you consider your company’s differentiator/competitive advantage in Mexico?

I am pleased to highlight that we hold a prominent position as the market leader in artificial intelligence (A.I.) technology for our V510i Advanced 3D Optical Inspection (AOI) and V810i Advanced 3D X-Ray Inspection (AXI) solutions in the SMT inspection equipment market. 

Our V510i 3D AOI is equipped with A.I. Smart Programming, a powerful A.I. technology that simplifies the programming process and ensures program quality. It also has a wide coverage of SMT components of up to 90%. Another significant A.I. technology is the A.I. Assisted Defect Review (A.I. VVTS), designed to automate buy-off processes in repair stations. This is one of the features that our solution specially designed to reduce the need for manual labor and eliminate human judgment errors.

Besides that,  our V810i 3D AXI also provides A.I. inspection solutions to address the challenges associated in the manufacturing process. Our AXI’s A.I. VVTS provides highly accurate A.I. inspection with up to 80% A.I. coverage. Our AXI also provides other A.I. technologies such as effortless A.I. programming, and A.I. Classification (designed to provide intelligent defect identification & classification). Similar to our AOI A.I. Solution, the A.I. VVTS for our AXI system can automate X-Ray inspection buy-off processes to achieve low false call and low escapee rate. 

All these A.I. technologies represent the forefront of ViTrox’s advanced innovations, serving as our distinct competitive advantage within the industry.

EMSNOW: What else would you like to tell EMSNOW readers about ViTrox in Mexico?

ViTrox has experienced consistent growth in Mexico over several years, and we have established ourselves as a major player in the electronics industry. As more companies place their trust in us and seek to forge partnerships, ViTrox aspires to earn its reputation as a reliable brand through top-notch support and cutting-edge technology. This aligns with our vision to be the world’s most trusted vision inspection solutions provider. We remain unwaveringly focused on delivering genuine global solutions that truly meet our customers’ project needs.

I would also like to take this opportunity to cordially invite those who are interested in our SMT inspection solutions to join us for ViTrox’s Mexico Technology Day 2023. As a collaboration with our Sales Channel Partners, there will be technical sharings, product demonstrations, as well as opportunities to network with us and other attendees. The event will take place in Monterrey, Mexico – on October 6, 2023. Do stay tuned for more information!

ViTrox has ambitious plans for Mexico, and I take pride in being a part of this journey. I am committed to conveying our company’s vision and fostering confidence in our role as their inspection partner. I extend my gratitude to EMSNOW for this interview opportunity and look forward to potential collaborations in the future.

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