Pemtron, a renowned inspection equipment developer and supplier with a focus on innovative technology, has been making and impact in the electronics industry since its inception in 2002. Headquartered in Korea with branches in the US, Europe, China, Vietnam, and Mexico, the company has been steadily expanding its presence worldwide. Based on 3D precision measurement and vision source technology, Pemtron develops equipment used in various fields such as SMT, automotive, and semiconductor. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jaime Arreola, General Manager of Pemtron Technology Mexico, to gain insight into the company’s presence in Mexico and its commitment to local growth and customer partnerships.
Soldering Inspection equipment (3D SPI), 3D Mounting Inspection equipment (3D AOI, MOI), Wafer Bump 3D Inspection equipment, Wire Bonding 3D Inspection equipment, and Lead Tab Process/Inspection equipment. We recently met with Jaime Arreola, General Manager of Pemtron Technology Mexico, to find out more about the company’s presence in Mexico, including its commitment to growth and local customers in that region.
What actions and/or strategies led to Pemtron’s presence in Mexico?
Pemtron entered the Mexico market approximately 12 years ago. As a new brand, we knew we had to work hard to stand out from the established competition. We did this by highlighting the capabilities of our technology and proving that we are stronger and more innovative than any other companies. We also focused on partnering with customers to create strong relationships and provide them with tailored solutions to meet their specific needs. Since establishing operations in Mexico, our local staff, network of representatives, and service structure have focused on listening to customer needs and delivering customized solutions through integration, improvement, and, in some cases, the development of new solutions.
We have reached the point where companies in Mexico know the Pemtron brand and what we can offer them as a complete inspection solutions provider.
How long has Pemtron been involved in this region and how has it evolved over the years?
PEMTRON has been in Mexico since 2011 and has grown steadily over the years. We started with two Solder Paste Inspection (SPI) installations for Hanil in Tijuana and over time increased both our installed base and team to support them and other customers.
In 2018, we established Pemtron Mexico, a formal branch in Guadalajara that offers services, parts, and training throughout Mexico. Today, we have a direct presence in the key regions for electronics in the country, including Baja, Juarez/Chihuahua, Reynosa/Matamoros, Monterrey, Queretaro/Bajio, and Guadalajara, reinforcing our commitment to customer partnerships.
Many companies use distributors only in this region; however, Pemtron has a physical presence. What benefits does this provide to local customers as well as the company?
Creating a local presence with a structured team was the vision from the beginning. From previous experiences, we knew that to be successful and create strong customer relationships, we needed to physically be with them on the production floor.
Our sales representatives and service team engage in an average of 100 visits per month to customer sites in the regions where have local presence. This is important in fostering close communication and collaboration. The direct interaction helps us understand customer needs, quickly address weaknesses, and be a part of the solution.
Direct and local communication allows us to be actively involved and provide better outcomes at any step of the process. This is important for us as well as for our customers – current and future – for successful projects and long-term partnerships.
How does the Mexican market differ from other global markets?
The Mexican market has a long and important history within the electronics manufacturing industry. Being so close to North America, which is the largest and most profitable market worldwide, has set a high level of expected quality, response time, and value for Mexico. The manufacturing industry in Mexico is one of the first to implement new solutions, standards, and technologies to meet the requirements and expectations of the North American market.
Nearshoring has elevated this requirement and the speed needed to keep pace, but at the same time the expectation for pricing, availability and technical knowledge has become a key factor in customers’ decision making. Being the best option is no longer driven by price or stock availability alone, but also by offering customized solutions and a proactive approach to future requirements and implementations. Meeting these expectations is crucial for success in Mexico’s rapidly evolving market.
Mexico is a booming region that is capable of providing the best pricing, quickest response times, technical knowledge, and high-quality new product development. All other regions across the global are pushing for this; however, Mexico is already there.
Which products/technologies are succeeding currently in Mexico? Are these the same that are excelling in the other global markets?
Pemtron has a global presence in all markets, and our technology can be found in numerous industries including semiconductors, telecommunications, automotive, and consumer electronics. This gives us a view into what is happening in all regions, with Mexico having the highest mix of products and technologies.
For Pemtron Mexico, our biggest focus currently is on the high-volume complex products market. For example, in the northern part of Mexico, our dual lane/dual head (D2) solutions represent the best option on the market for high-volume requirements, while in western Mexico, our through-hole inspection solutions for top/bottom and setting up a standard for the inspection of telecommunications and EV Electronics are popular.
Our D2 technologies provide a range of options without sacrificing production rates, meaning that customers can work on a new model (locally or remotely) on one lane and run production on the other. There is a diversity of models that can be run, providing smooth operation and reducing model changes, making this technology ideal for SPI, AOI, through-hole and conformal inspection.
Additionally, our TWIN equipment (top & bottom) provides simultaneous and asynchronous inspection that can accommodate a mix of SMT and through-hole components on both sides of the PCB with the best cycle time on the market.
While these technologies are also successful in other regions, Mexico’s unique market demands make them particularly popular here.
What percentage of your business currently comes from Mexico? Do you believe this amount will increase in the future?
In terms of Pemtron’s corporate total business, Mexico represents approximately 15% of global sales. Throughout the past five years, this number has increased steadily, confirming the increasing recognition of our brand and the value we offer.
Looking ahead, we have a global growth target of 25% for Mexico. To achieve this, we are making our structure stronger than ever, increasing our local team, and expanding our line of solutions to support a wider range of needs while remaining committed to providing our customers with the same quality and innovation they’ve come to expect from us.
What are the key ingredients Pemtron relies upon to succeed in the Mexican market?
Our service team plays an important role in our growth. Today, customers expect more from their suppliers, and support members are not only expected to fix problems but also to provide better solutions, share expertise acquired at other locations, and improve long-term partnerships. By growing our service team by 20-25% over the next few years, we can continue meeting – and exceeding – customer demands promptly and effectively.
Another key area for us is constant communication with our customers. Their feedback helps us understand how their current equipment is being used, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. Customer feedback is just as important as our new solution designs and competitive pricing. What does Pemtron hope to accomplish in Mexico before the end of 2023?
By the end of 2023, our main goal is to ensure that we are continuing to meet our customers’ needs while increasing our brand awareness. We measure our results through numbers, tracking the steady growth and increased installed base we’ve achieved over the past five years. These numbers indicate what goals were achieved this year and what needs more attention, providing us with a reference for next year’s expectations.
Mexico has become a key indicator of Pemtron’s success as well as a test market for new product introduction. Many systems on our line card were developed for local needs and have been presented in other markets with great success.
For us, it is important to keep that pace, while introducing new solutions, such as software tools and solutions that are focused on connectivity, compatibility, and implementation. We expect to see a rapid deployment of AI tools, data analysis, and traceability, and we cannot wait to be part of it.