Zentech’s John Vaughan on the Mil/Aero Sector: “It’s Headed Up”


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I-Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties and Zentech’s John Vaughan had a chance to discuss industry concerns within the mil/aero segment at IPC APEX EXPO 2015. The two also shared thoughts on the space industry, and Vaughan detailed Zentech’s involvement with National Manufacturing Day, a nationwide effort focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) that simultaneously brought high school students together with 1,600 manufacturing companies from around the U.S.

Barry Matties: John, let's start by having you tell me a little bit about Zentech.

John Vaughan: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is an electronics contract manufacturer and contract engineering services business based in Baltimore, Maryland. We’re privately held, and in addition to operating three SMT lines, we have box build capabilities, and we’re highly certified; in fact, we're the second facility in the United States that was certified to the IPC Trusted Source QML Class 3 program, and Zentech was the very first certified to IPC J Standard 001 for space processing. We also hold AS9100 certification for the aerospace sector, and medical ISO 13485.

Matties: What's your position at Zentech?

Vaughan: I’m vice president of sales and marketing. I transitioned to direct with Zentech back in October after five years representing their business interests in the military C4ISR sector. The primary goal in my going direct is to build-out the Zentech brand nationally and we have gotten excellent traction in that respect over the past two quarters.

Matties: And how long have you been in the industry?

Vaughan: Well, I’ve been in the industry for all of my life, literally. My father and some partners constructed a contract manufacturing operation, Airtronics, in 1964 in Northern Virginia, outside of Dulles Airport, supporting the U.S. Air Force and Navy radar manufacturing. As a young man, I grew up in the business and learned technology manufacturing from the ground up, processing sheet metal, building printed circuit boards and manufacturing cable and wire assemblies, the whole deal. Though it has changed ownership several times through the years (Automata, DDi), proudly, the facility still stands and is still operational today building advanced technology circuit boards as Viasystems - Sterling.

Matties: Now you're in Washington, DC, right?

Vaughan: Zentech itself is in Baltimore, Maryland, and I reside outside of Washington, DC, in Fairfax, Virginia. As you know, it’s a large and combined metropolitan area with a very target rich mil/aero environment – given that 20+ of the military primes have their headquarters in the region to ensure their proximity to the Pentagon.

Matties: So from your point of view, obviously you have a lot of insight into the military segment of this industry, how do you see the condition of the mil /aero industry, and where do you see it heading?

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