The Indian electronics market is one of the fastest growing in the world, having crossed US$ 140 billion in 2016 and is anticipated to reach the magical figure of US$ 400 billion in 2022, with domestic electronics manufacturing climbing to over US$ 100 billion. This will create tremendous opportunities for PCB manufacturers. Considering this booming market as well as the recent government policies like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Smart Cities’, the PCB market in India is expected to reach new heights. Further the global PCB market was valued at US$ 63.1 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach US$ 76.9 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 3.1 per cent as per a report published by Energias Market Research. Sierra Circuits is an ISO 9001:2015, certified, Silicon Valley-based, high- technology manufacturer and assembler specialized in quick turn PCBs and medium production. “Building Sierra Circuits was no walk in the park. In fact, building a multi-million dollar company almost never is. But the journey that took us to where we are today was essential. It taught us commitment, discipline, and integrity – three metrics we like to measure ourselves by. Sierra Circuits was built upon the idea to end the PCB industry inefficiencies. Inefficiency to work with the designers hand in hand sequentially to make quality rhyme with time and to step out of the box,” says Ken Bahl, CEO, Sierra Circuits.
Sierra Circuits offers various services such as High-Density Interconnect printed circuit board manufacturing services to customers in the High-End automotive industry, semiconductor test equipment industry, medical electronic device industry, mobile, computing, aerospace and Defence industry. The PCB components, including all types of BGAs, QFNs, CSPs, 0201, 01005, POP, and Press fit components in small quantities. Sierra Circuits is proud to offer high-quality, high-reliability quick turn flexible printed circuit boards in two days or less. In 2005, the firm opened a new Microelectronics Division to serve the fastest growing need for really small, complex PCBs for the Microelectronics market. The company’s engineering support and the stack-up team provide valuable suggestions with their knowledge of controlled impedance for high-speed designs. “Our latest offerings include Flex PCBs, Rigid-flex PCBs, and Microelectronics PCBs down to 1 mil trace/space,” Ken Bahl adds.
The potential leaders
The CEO, Ken Bahl is the dreamer and the consummate optimist with a passion for the solution driven technology and impeccable standards. With dozens of patents bearing his name, he has been revolutionizing the tech industry for decades. He is currently working on a new adventure that encompasses 1-mil traces and spaces, as well as better signal integrity, in a circuit board as thin as a business card. Bala, wife of Ken Bahl is the Vice President of the company and also the backbone of the firm. Her unrelenting determination to get things done makes her a perfect counterbalance to her husband’s visionary ideals. Their love for family and strong company culture is reflected in the integrity of Sierra Circuits’ products. Additionally, Ken Bahl has also received a few times the ACQ5 Gamechanger of the Year Award for his achievements and innovations in the industry
In the quest of serving the clients better
Sierra Circuits has collected many awards over the years. “We are really proud of being recognized as part of the Top Minority and Women-Owned Businesses in Silicon Valley. The company is also honoured to have won many environmental awards, such as the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Award. Unlike some PCB companies that are simply brokers/middlemen, we are the actual manufacturer and assembler of our PCBs. As Sierra Circuits own their own manufacturing house, therefore it controls every aspect of the production schedule and quality. And this is why the firm can provide the customers unprecedented quality, reliability and a single point of support,” explains Ken.
The major factor that differentiates the firm from that of its counterpart is the reliability. “Our customers can explain that we are all about quality. Our consistency is no secret. Designers always come back for they know our DFM department will catch design issues and make their boards manufacturable the first time. A feedback survey conducted by the company this year found out that customers also described Sierra Circuits as ‘‘a technology leader’’ that ‘‘will do what others won’t even try.”
Long term relations are created by commitment to excellence on every order we work on for our customers, sincerity in every communication we have with our customers and integrity in all dealings with every entity Sierra deals with. Long term relations are created being true to our motto,” Ken Bahl says.
Sierra Circuits continuously update their capabilities and equipment, like sophisticated direct imaging machines and laser drills, enabling the firm to do reliable and repeatable 3-mil trace/space with an aspect ratio of more than 10. “Sierra’s high technology boards have features like HDI, Blind vias, Buried vias, Filled vias (via-in-pads), Controlled Impedance (with +/-5% tolerance), high aspect ratios and micro-BGAs. We regularly make specialty products with special materials. Other more complex boards include Burn-in Boards, Metal Core PCBs, boards with Carbon Print features, Backer boards, and rigid boards with Coverlay. Further we can do boards with multi-stage milling, step milling, laser milling and plated cavities,” Bala elaborates.
Our high technology boards have features like HDI, Blind vias, Buried vias, Filled vias (via-in-pads), Controlled Impedance (with +/-5% tolerance), high aspect ratios and micro-BGAs. We regularly make specialty products with special materials. Other more complex boards we make include Burn-in Boards, Metal Core PCBs, boards with Carbon Print features, Backer boards, and rigid boards with Coverlay. We can do boards with multi-stage milling, step milling, laser milling and plated cavities. Our latest offerings include Flex PCBs, Rigid-flex PCBs, and Microelectronics PCBs down to 1 mil trace/space (some restrictions apply).
The factor that has led to the success of the firm is the values which guide everybody to make the right decisions to service and nurture the primary customers, the designers, everybody in the company. “We are designers’ best friend, in every thought and every action. We never knowingly ship a non-compliant product to our customers, which has given us our reputation of high quality shop. Continuous investment in capital equipment and software technologies has enabled us to produce the highest technology PCBs in the industry. Our continuous innovations to invent new process evidenced by our multiple patents, to reach the levels of technology never thought possible in the PCB industry and lastly dedication to take care of all people working at Sierra and create a family environment which helps us ship a little love for our customers with every job we ship,” Bala continues.
The future ahead
The firm with a confident outlook aspires to increase its revenue in the year to come. “We are very successful as a company doing about $75MM year revenue but, the present way of doing business will not get us to the level of opportunity that is provided to us by electronic industry. We have products that are satisfying the highest technology levels expected from PCB companies. We believe we have an unprecedented way of communicating with designers. And, because communication is always the key to success, this is what sets us apart in the industry. Watch our tip videos on YouTube, read our blog posts and design guides, talk to our engineering team… We don’t just sell PCBs, we help designers understand how we do things so they can get their boards manufactured the first time,” Ken concludes.