We interviewed Kerri Ross, Dorigo’s manufacturing manager, to see the future of manufacturing through her eyes. This is the first in a series of three articles conveying her vision as she sees it today.

Is Your EMS Partner Curious Enough?

Curious lighter

The search for a contract electronics manufacturer (CEM) can be an angst-filled process for start ups, OEMs and new product developers. Asking key questions to determine which company you should outsource your next project to can be filled with pitfalls.

How CEMs work with their customers has changed significantly. It’s not enough to provide speed, flexibility and dependability to customer builds. Progressive CEMs embrace a process-based structure that focuses on integrating, aligning and linking processes and organizational functions effectively to achieve your goals.

“We get the privilege of seeing so many new product innovations before investors or the market,” says Kerri Ross. “Bringing these products successfully to market requires a shared vision and a lot of up front collaboration.”

How do you measure collaboration in 2020 and beyond?
It’s not as easy as it used to be. Today’s engineers, designers and innovators have a blended education. Consider all the new specialties that have emerged in recent years in engineering alone. For example, Biological engineering, a blend of biology and engineering, brings the best critical thinking of those two niche areas to find solutions to problems. It makes collaborating even more challenging as many viewpoints are being brought to product design that are broader in knowledge according to Ms. Ross.

The same holds true with CEMs today, it’s important that departments overlap in the electronics manufacturing process so everyone can speak the same language and understand the shared vision. It’s the core principle for delivering Dorigo’s Seamless Customer Experience.

“Dorigo Systems’ continued success in electronics manufacturing relies on bringing the best products to market working with our customers and asking the right questions,” comments Kerri Ross. Dorigo’s customer service team, which consists of a Customer Experience Manager, Product Engineer and Customer Experience Specialist, gives constructive feedback to customers on the reliability and reproducibility of product designs from many viewpoints. “We are always engaged and encouraged to be curious at every stage of the manufacturing process.”

So is there a curiosity meter for measuring your EMS provider?
In fact, there is. Being able to show how ‘we’re in it together’ is key. For an EMS provider, it goes beyond showing their facility and capabilities it leans into the processes that ensure the highest quality finished products are manufactured in a timely manner. The questions that every member of the team ask during the production process determine whether a product is good or great and if it can be efficiently reproduced.

“Today’s designers, engineers and idea creators journey isn’t easy,” says Ross. “It’s our job to effectively work through the innovation process together starting with discovery and then refining a prototype so it can be pushed across the finish line. We encourage every member in our customer service team to ask questions that reach beyond our meeting rooms to the manufacturing floor.” Dorigo Systems customer-centric approach to electronics manufacturing focuses on bringing together teams that have diverse skills and mindsets to meet customers’ changing needs as markets evolve.

A true EMS partner does far more than simply solder components to circuit boards. They bring the highest quality of products to market under some of the most demanding timelines. From consigned products that require assembly to turnkey manufacturing, where the EMS provider handles everything from start to finish, requires curiosity about the design, manufacture and use of the products.

If you are seeking to find an EMS partner or transition from your current provider, ensure you’re asking the right questions beyond the usual. “Don’t just ask who they have worked with,” states Ms. Ross, “Ask how their teams work together. Be certain that your CEM hears you and is clearly presenting the changes they are going to make to support your growth.”

Kerri Ross

Ms. Kerri Ross, Manufacturing Manager
Dorigo Systems 

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Offering the most innovative electronics manufacturing services to OEMs throughout North America 

Burnaby, BC, Canada – Aug 11, 2020 – Dorigo Systems is embarking on the next chapter of the company’s planned expansion with the opening of its new facility in South Burnaby’s prestigious Glenlyon Business Park. The new custom-built corporate campus with over 105,000 square feet of manufacturing space is capable of handling any project required by OEMs and industry innovators who are bringing new products to market.    

“Our vision is to operate a world-class facility for years to come,” says Mark Pillon, P.Eng. and President of Dorigo Systems. “We can now provide the most flexible, innovative electronics manufacturing services to our growing OEM customer base using the best people, technology and processes all in one location.” 

The new building has been designed by renowned Vancouver architect, Christopher Bozyk, and was built by the highly respected Beedie Development Group. “The layout of the space is designed to optimize speed of production while maintaining the highest quality standards,” says Alex Chassels, Dorigo’s VP Operations.  “We are now delivering Dorigo’s Seamless Customer Experience from design to final delivery for our customers throughout North America.”  

Interwoven into every aspect of the new facility are advanced digital technologies supported by Industry 4.0 communications. Dorigo’s Seamless Customer Experience leans into the use of these technologies to share more detailed, reliable and up-to-the-minute information with customers than ever before. Industry 4.0 significantly boosts productivity, reduces costs and improves overall transparency. “This technology lets us check on production at every step of the process, improving on-time delivery and quality,” states Mr. Chassels. 

The new facility uses the latest smart building technologies to heat, cool and light the facility for optimal use and enjoyment by Dorigo’s employees while deploying green technologies. Electrochromic glass from View, Inc., is installed throughout the building to precisely control the quality of natural light during the day ensuring the team is comfortable and productive. Other features integrated into the facility include enhanced security, back-up power, and fiber optic connectivity for advanced video and data communications.  According to the Beedie Development Group, this is one of the most advanced industrial buildings they have ever built.  

Dorigo's highly skilled team, industry-leading equipment and connected facility supports the needs of the most innovative OEMs. The company has the expertise and resources to seamlessly handle the entire production process from PCBA to full box build. 


Dorigo's new facility in the Glenlyon Business Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada


Mark Pillon, P.Eng. and President, Dorigo Systems

Dorigo’s employee-centric facility uses smart building technology
to heat, cool and light the structure 

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Canadian Ingenuity Perfects Residential Air Quality Using IoT Monitoring   

Burnaby, BC, Canada – July 9, 2020 – British Columbia’s high tech sector is fueling a growing industrial base for innovative solutions and opportunities within Canada. Supported by strong and diverse electronics manufacturing, BC is now known for more than its natural resources. Vancouver’s TZOA and Burnaby-based Dorigo Systems are examples of forward thinking companies collaborating together to bring innovative products to market and fuelling BC’s growth within the high tech sector. TZOA is redefining how residential indoor air quality is monitored and managed, vastly improving daily life.

“We spend on average 90% of our time indoors in spaces that are heated or cooled for our comfort,” says Kevin Hart, President of TZOA. “These indoor spaces often consume a lot of energy and contain potentially harmful pollution levels that directly impact our health and well-being.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a more intense use of a typical home and most installed residential air control systems are not designed to keep up with this sort of use. “Peace of mind in breathing the cleanest air in your home is now at the forefront for most property owners. The better the air we breathe, the better off all of us will be.”

TZOA focuses on controlling indoor air quality throughout the entire home by adding a layer of intelligence to residential HVAC systems. Their solution is HAVEN, an Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring system that uses artificial intelligence to empower residential users with the ability to control their own indoor environment. The HAVEN whole home central air monitoring solution was launched in 2018 and is designed to leverage the efficiencies of cloud computing and IoT to properly monitor and control indoor air quality where it needs to be – in the air duct. HAVEN monitors air pollution levels to understand what activities need to be taken for more ventilation and filtration in our homes.

Partnering with the right electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider was critical to TZOA’s growth. Working locally with Dorigo Systems turned out to be the best option for TZOA’s design team, as time between iterations was vastly improved. The team didn’t need to wait weeks to receive prototypes from overseas to see if they “got it right”. Instead, establishing a ‘belly to belly’ relationship with a local EMS provider was preferred.  

“Bringing HAVEN to market required the creation of prototypes to validate design with professional production runs,” states Hart, “and we also needed the ability to ramp up manufacturing of our monitors as our solution was embraced by the market.” 

Dorigo facilitated onsite tours from potential investors and HVAC suppliers to view how HAVEN’s central air monitor was being prototyped to the highest standards and capabilities. “Dorigo Systems in Burnaby was the best fit for providing us with the strong manufacturing capabilities we were seeking along with a willingness to partner with us to bring HAVEN to market,” says Vlad Lavrovsky, CTO at TZOA. “When you are in start up mode it is difficult for a small company to build PCBAs when you are focusing on designing the technology platform,” states Lavrovsky. “Dorigo Systems’ ability to iterate on the circuit board and dial-in all of the settings upfront gave us a critical advantage.”

The HAVEN whole home air monitoring system uses a PCBA with a unique shape and length which presented a number of design challenges for TZOA. “The bow and twist of the PCB impacted yield and strain on solder joints,” states Lavrovsky. “We also had to refactor the design by moving parts inward to reduce strain and displacement.”

The HAVEN PCBA’s were inspected using Dorigo Systems’ Koh Young KY8030-3 Solder Paste Inspection System (SPI) and 3D AOI system providing true automated optical inspection. This system detects all kinds of potential assembly defects using patented shadow-free 3D vision technology.

“When it comes to building high-precision electronics, there is no margin for error, states Paul Vasvary, Business Development Manager, Dorigo Systems. “We continue to adapt our electronics manufacturing processes and technologies to achieve close to zero defects while ensuring a seamless customer experience.”

Dorigo’s automated SMT assembly equipment includes high-speed Panasonic multi-functional pick and place machines that can place chips as small as 01005 and can handle a broad range of components with lead pitch as small as 0.3mm, including micro BGA, BGA, CSP, LGA, FN, QFP and other odd-form packages such as connectors as large as 150mm in length. “Dorigo has provided us with flawless execution in manufacturing our boards,” states TZOA’s Lavrovsky.

As demand continues to rise, TZOA leans towards Dorigo Systems’ local supply chain and new world-class industry 4.0 manufacturing facility located in Burnaby’s Glenlyon Business Park to ensure strong and stable growth.

“Using Dorigo’s turnkey capabilities will enable us to scale more gracefully over time,” says Hart. “It’s the best combination of the right team and the right manufacturing.” Dorigo’s turnkey agreements are flexible and enable companies to benefit from the company’s purchasing power and the ability to quickly optimize all steps of the process.


TZOA's HAVEN Home Monitoring System 

EP&T features how Dorigo Systems is setting new standards in Contract Manufacturing with its world-class facility and Seamless Customer Experience. Learn more about our journey on p. 10 of the magazine’s digital edition. See photos of our new employee-centric campus which features the latest smart building technologies, boosting productivity. 

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Vancouver OEM finds success in partnering with local CEM

British Columbia’s high tech sector is fueling a growing industrial base for innovative solutions and opportunities within Canada. Supported by strong and diverse electronics manufacturing, BC is now known for more than its natural resources but also a vibrant mix of aerospace, shipbuilding, clean-tech and life sciences companies. The lower mainland of Vancouver is attracting and supporting some of the most successful and innovative companies in the world.  

Vancouver’s TZOA and Burnaby-based Dorigo Systems are examples of forward thinking companies collaborating together to bring innovative products to market and fueling BC’s growth within the high tech sector. TZOA is redefining how residential indoor air quality is monitored and managed, vastly improving daily life. 

Read the entire story here

TZOA article