By Dave Fidlin | Sep 11, 2022
CNC machining, metal finishing, and 3D printing
Zamora, who has a deep background in manufacturing and engineering, has been in the profession for more than 40 years. He established Ztech Manufacturing 15 years ago after selling his prior business -- Ztech Performance -- that had specialized in motorcycles, handrails, and similar products.
In this latest foray, Zamora's 5,000-square-foot facility serves as a hub for advanced technology 3D scanning, solid modeling, 3D printing, and multi-axis CNC machining. Through these systems and processes, Ztech develops a proof of concept or full production model for its clients.
Speaking to how he believes Ztech Manufacturing stands out from its competition, Zamora says, "Where we're different mostly is I can work directly from a concept with the inventor or person with the idea. We have full prototyping and 3D printing capability, and we develop a full proof of concept before we go into a prototype. Our biggest advantage is being able to take it from concept all the way to pre-production"
Since its inception, Ztech Manufacturing has worked with disparate clientele. A sampling of some of the industries that have knocked on the company's door includes military, the defense firearms industry, antonymous vehicles, and motorcycles.
"We have such a range," Zamora explains. "We're such a specialized operation. We get the parts that most people don't want to do."
Ztech Manufacturing also has played a role in the development of two products: a full-size drone -- as part of an Air Force contract -- and a startup company's state-of-the-art prosthetic foot.
"It was new materials and minimized the number of fasteners," Zamora says of the latter example. "It kept the entire foot very light and bonded together with natural rubber. That was a development piece that went from a start-up to a major company that was sold to a major distributor of prosthetic devices."
Challenges: Procuring the necessary technology to carry out Ztech Manufacturing's mission has been one of the greatest challenges. "My focus as of late is on turnkey," Zamora says. "We've got a couple of turnkeys in process right now where a company says, 'Hey, I need to make this product, but I do not know how to do it. I know I need this kind of machine.'"
From the get-go, Zamora says he has consistently invested in new technology to stay abreast of ongoing changes. The company's equipment list is extensive.
"I don't employ any technology that's more than five years old," he explains. "With my computers, if they're even three years old, I'm falling behind in terms of capabilities. It's painful, but the payoff is rewarding in terms of capability."
Opportunities: Robotics and continued advancements in automation are areas where Ztech Manufacturing can grow as a business, Zamora says. He points to examples of other businesses that have taken to automation and have been able to run machines on a 24-hour schedule to increase efficiency.
"That's where I see our future," Zamora says. "We need to deploy machines that have more capability as a single machine."
Needs: Zamora says Ztech Manufacturing's greatest need is skilled operators. To that end, he is hoping to invest in the future of the workforce by continuing a 30-year tradition as an instructor of machine tools and design technology.
"We need people who are skilled operators -- people that understand the new technology and can not only master it, but multiply it and scale it," Zamora proclaims. "We can do it."