By Margaret Jackson | Jul 11, 2022
Engineering and design services as well as contract manufacturing of electronics
For Greg, the fun part of contract manufacturing is solving challenging problems. "Fun to me is difficult," he explains. "I like taking on a project few people can manufacture. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the reward when we do succeed."
While the company may be the one that figures out how to make a product for a particular client, it's not always the one that manufactures it.
Take the two-wheeled Segway personal transporter as an example. The now-defunct company had a huge opportunity to sell the transporters to the U.S. Postal Service but needed batteries with more range. Segway was working with another company that had the battery technology and approached Cypress Technologies about packaging a system for the personal transporters.
"We knew we weren't going to build them in the end because we had a hard time competing with China on our labor," Greg says.
Cypress Technologies, an ISO 9001-certified manufacturer, takes on projects in the alternative energy, diversified industrial, heavy equipment, military, mining, and oil and gas industries.
"We can build anything that doesn't leave the ground," says Susan. "We work with flight simulator companies and in the automotive industry. We've dabbled a little bit in defense, but not much -- you have to have a whole division dedicated to that."
The company has mastered everything from software to circuits and prototyping to box builds. Its engineering team provides electrical and mechanical design services, costing estimates, and materials evaluation. It handles everything except sheet metal and coatings in house.
Cypress Technologies helps entrepreneurs and startups take their ideas from napkins to the market by providing project management and support, design for manufacturing, component sourcing, and more.
"We work with a lot of startups who want to do a small run of a couple hundred or a couple thousand," Susan says. "We know the end game is that they're going to pick that up and take it to China, which used to mean cost savings."
Challenges: The competitive labor market makes it difficult to find reliable employees -- a problem Susan says the company didn't have before the pandemic. "We have multiple open positions at the moment," she adds.
Supply chain disruptions also have proven challenging, with sheet metal being a particularly difficult material to get. "We have opportunities, but we can't get the material -- lead times are 30 to 50 weeks on some parts," says Susan.
These supply chain issues have forced Cypress Technologies to get creative. Despite the often extensive lead times, the company cannot substitute one part for another because its clients already have specified how the product needs to be completed.
"We don't deviate from a print unless we get approval from the customer," explains Susan.
"We're being forced to find solutions," Greg adds. "If you can't get parts and components, you get creative and make them yourselves or spec in new products."
Opportunities: The automotive, robotics, and alternative energy industries are opportunities for Cypress Technologies, but the company needs to have a consistent level of work so it can have its manufacturing lines running congruently.
"We're not growing out of oil and gas, but we're going toward the alternative energy side," says Susan.
Needs: Like many companies, Cypress Technologies' needs are similar to its challenges. The company needs more employees to keep up with its volume of work. "Some mechanical aptitude is needed, but we're really focused on attitude. We'll train you," Greg says.