Electronics Production Manager James Blundon Presents on Whelen’s Vertical Integration Efforts at Pan Pacific Microelectronics Symposium

Hawaii was the sunny location for The Pan Pacific Microelectronics Symposium in February.

The tropical island of Kauai, Hawaii hosted The Pan Pacific Microelectronics Symposium (PanPac) in early February. We were honored that one of our very own, James Blundon, Electronic Production Manager in our Charlestown, NH facility, was among the top experts from around the world in attendance. Some of those experts included speaker Eric R. Fossum, Ph.D. of the University of Dartmouth who invented the CMOS active pixel image sensor used in almost all cell-phone cameras, webcams, many digital-still cameras and in medical imaging, among other applications, and Shintaro Yamamichi, B.E., M.E., Ph.D. of IBM Corporation Japan who presented The Future of Computing – Bits/Neurons/Qubits. Blundon discussed Whelen’s innovation and vertical integration efforts while presenting his paper, Vertical Integration Strategy Stems Offshore Tide For American Manufacturer.

PanPac is a unique experience offering attendees education and networking opportunities with some of the top experts in the electronic space. Blundon was excited to discuss his paper and share his experience presenting to business owners and other professionals in the electronics industry.

“Presenting at the conference was exciting! In my half-hour presentation, I explained a brief history of Whelen and talked about the different processes we have chosen to vertically integrate,” said Blundon. Presenters and conference attendees were interested in how automation has been key for Whelen in competing with offshore labor. “One of the other presenters even said that the vertical integration at Whelen sounds like the ‘perfect factory,'” commented Blundon.

James Blundon, Whelen Electronic Production Manager presents on his paper Vertical Integration Strategy Stems Offshore Tide For American Manufacturer.

In addition to the conversation on vertical integration, the idea of educating the workforce resonated with many in attendance who said they saw the need for it but hadn’t seen extensive efforts like what we’re doing with the University of New Hampshire at the John Olson Advanced Manufacturing Center. “I shared how important it is for industry leaders to open their doors to students so they can experience the latest generation of machinery, instead of learning on outdated equipment in their school’s tech program,” Blundon added.

Blundon presenting to some of the top experts in microelectronics on the importance of vertical integration.

Whelen has proven its success at remaining competitive in an unpredictable market by keeping all aspects of manufacturing in-house. Blundon’s paper takes a deep dive into the importance and benefits of vertical integration and is now available to the public. The paper was originally published in the proceedings of the SMTA Pan Pacific Microelectronics Symposium, Hawaii, January 30-February 2, 2023, and is available for you to read HERE.