EMSNOW Executive Interview: Spartronics Việt Nam VP and GM Dung Tran
The first Spartronics Việt Nam factory was built in 2005 in Bình Dương Province. In Việt Nam, Spartronics produces electronic complex and electromechanical products for commercial aerospace, medical devices, instrumentation and control applications for high-cost-of-failure industrial environments. Last April, they broke ground on a 270,000 sq.m. facility which will expand the company’s capacity for state-of-the-art electronics manufacturing services in Việt Nam. Located in the Nam Tân Uyên Industrial Park of Bình Dương Province, the new facility is scheduled to open in March 2022.
We caught up with Spartronics’ Vice President & General Manager, Dung Tran, to learn more about building complex electronics in Việt Nam.
EMSNOW: I remember when Spartronics originally decided to build a facility in Việt Nam back in 2005 – In fact, I visited that facility soon after it opened. It was an unusual move at the time. Please tell us why you chose Việt Nam.
Dung: Our vision has always been to establish global EMS support, especially in low-cost countries, to complement our local presence in north America. Viet Nam was our choice as emerging country in Southeast Asia with geo-political advantages and educated workforce availability.
With our organizational growth in just the past several years, we have exciting news to share. We broke ground about year ago on a new 270,000 square foot facility replacing the current site and allowing us to accommodate future production growth for our commercial aerospace, medical and industrial customers. The site is currently set to open in summer of 2022.
EMSNOW: What has it been like as a U.S. company building complex electronics in terms of workforce, political climate and so on?
Dung: The Viet Nam government is very supportive of high technology electronics manufacturing with stable political climate, fast growing infrastructure development, young workforce with resilient work ethic, and better yet world-wide trade agreement for ease of business growth.
EMSNOW: Spartronics Việt Nam has always focused on LV/HM products in regulated industries for primarily U.S. based OEMs. Has that strategy evolved or changed?
Dung: We continue to focus on commercial Aerospace, Medical, and Industrial business segments with the most flexible services and quality products. Our aim is to provide customers with the lowest total cost of ownership as a trusted partner regardless of product volume and complexity.
EMSNOW: How has that business been impacted by the pandemic?
Dung: We continue to demonstrate our business resilience throughout the pandemic with minimum impact by complying with the local governance DCD guidance. Employees’ safety and health have always been our top priority and we have been lucky to not only protect but grow our workforce to scale with business growth.
In the summer of 2020, Viet Nam government ordered the city in lock down with set curfews due to the Covid-19. Our management team quicky reacted with a Covid response creating shelters-in-place to keep production running for our customers.
EMSNOW: How have the supply chain disruptions impacted that facility?
The global supply chain challenge is truly a 1oo year flood for all industries and we are no exception. We have been weathering the materials challenge by partnering closely with both our customers and suppliers on planning as well as designing alternatives to minimize cost and schedule impact.
EMSNOW: What do you see as the areas of growth for Việt Nam? Is that facility getting more business coming from companies wanting to mitigate the risks of building products in China?
Dung: We would anticipate continued and fast growth for Viet Nam as demand for electronics continues to rise at an even greater level than the dot com era. Requirements for IoT, electric vehicle, clean energy, AI, 5G will fuel our business tremendously, particularly in Viet Nam.
EMSNOW: Are you seeing more companies using that facility to build products for Asia or are the products mostly for export to other regions?
Dung: Demand is truly world-wide for all business segments, and we are well positioned for global support to both our local and international customers.
EMSNOW: What have you learned from your long tenure in Việt Nam? What would you advise companies considering that country for electronics manufacturing?
Dung: We are only at the start of the growth in Viet Nam and still have a long way to materialize more businesses as we go. Viet Nam is very strategic for EMS with cost competitive and quality products in Asia.
EMSNOW: Do you have anything else to add?
Dung: In the fall of 2021, Spartronics acquired another Electronic Manufacturing Services provider by the name of Inovar. With the acquisition, Spartronics gained two state-of-the-art facilities, one of which is an attractive presence in Tecate, Mexico. This new location complements our unique and growing offshore capability in Vietnam.