Electronics Production | July 05, 2007

Jabil expands Tempe (US) Plant

US based EMS-provider Jabil Circuit Inc. has mined a lucrative niche that has enabled it to expand in the United States.
Jabil's Tempe plant has added about 250 employees in the past two years and continues to expand. The plant specializes in producing printed-circuit boards for about 40 customers in the medical, aeronautics and defence industries. According to Gene Sparks, Jabil's director of U.S. sales, the industries are heavily regulated by the U.S. government, it's not practical to move production overseas. And because those industries are increasingly outsourcing manufacturing, the plant's business is booming, according to azcentral.

Jabil acquired the plant from Varian Inc. in 2002. Varian established the facility in 1984 with only five employees. Today there are about 1000 employees at the plant. The company is looking to expand its aeronautics, defence and industrial business and views the Tempe plant as a key component.

Jabil ranks third in the world with a projected $12 billion in 2007 revenue and 74,000 workers. Al Velosa a Garthner analyst told azcentral that Jabil perhaps was the best-managed of the top three EMS-companies (the other two are Foxconn and Flextronics/Solectron) and has consistently made money, even through downturn in the early 2000s. "Operationally they are very good," he said, adding that the plants are well run and all operate on the same computer network. That allows Jabil to seamlessly shift production of a component to a lower-cost plant or one that is near a specific client", he told azcentral.


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