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Worldwide Electronics Demand Drives Growth and Innovation at Matric

By Hank Walshak

Leading up to 1993, Rick Turner had developed a strong desire to have his own business. Yes, he was President of his family’s company, Falconer Glass Industries. But more than anything, he wanted to run his own company. It was as simple as that. As a lifelong doer, he raised the money and purchased Matric Limited, based in Seneca, Pa.

For Turner, this was a dream fulfilled. As President and Primary Owner of Matric, he would now guide a company that provided world-class-electronic manufacturing services in the commercial, industrial, medical-equipment and aerospace markets to companies looking for low- to medium-volume production.

MatricToday, Matric Limited is one of three entities that make up Turner’s The Matric Group, alongside Dynamic Manufacturing of Freeport, Pa., and Windurance of Pittsburgh. Matric and Dynamic Manufacturing specialize in printed circuit board (PCB) and other electronic design and assembly services, whereas Windurance specializes in wind-turbine, blade-pitch technologies.

“Our fast-growth momentum today,” says Turner, “stems from the surge in electronics-based products and services in the United States and around the world. There was once a time when nobody could imagine a cell phone and home-monitoring devices. It’s now getting increasingly difficult to conceive of living without these and thousands of other electronic devices.”

In the 25 years after Turner grasped the reins, Matric has diversified and expanded its customer base and continues to provide world-class engineering and manufacturing expertise with personalized customer support. Matric works with customers to meet their respective requirements, including turnkey and board-level assembly, electromechanical assembly complete with cable and harness capabilities and in-house engineering.

After a customer’s product goes to market, Matric continues to support its products with aftermarket services from upgrades and calibrations to repairs.

The Matric Group purchased Dynamic Manufacturing in 2005 to complement the manufacturing prowess of Matric and provide world-class, electronic-contract manufacturing to customers in the United States. Dynamic Manufacturing manufactures low-to-medium-volume, high-mix board assemblies for customers from concept and design to completed assembly. This sister company’s commitment to customer satisfaction continues past delivery by handling product upgrades, calibration and repair services for the entire life of the products it produces.

The third sister company of the Matric Group, Windurance, manufactures highly adaptable solutions to manufacturers of multi-megawatt and sub-megawatt land and offshore wind turbines. Each solution is engineered to high standards and configured to each customer’s conditions.

“Our fast-growth momentum today,” says Turner, “stems from the surge in electronics-based products and services in the United States and around the world.”

Using servo electric pitch control, the leading technology in the wind industry, enables the pitch systems of Windurance to integrate with maintenance, condition monitoring, control and operations strategies. Compared to more conventional actuators, electric pitch systems require low maintenance and operate with high reliability. And the mission-critical systems of Windurance are integrated into the designs of wind turbines to reduce design and installation costs and to keep safe operation in the forefront.

Windurance is recognized for its ability to deliver highly adaptable, customized solutions to manufacturers of multi-megawatt and sub-megawatt land and offshore turbines engineered to high standards and configured to customers’ conditions.

Windurance Pitch Systems are based on a platform of proven and reliable core technologies that are optimally designed and manufactured specifically for full-span blade pitch control applications, not simply integrated from components for other applications. Mission-critical systems are integrated into the design of wind turbines, thereby reducing design and installation costs and keeping safe operation an uppermost consideration.

Matric ProductTo keep up with the fast-changing pace of today’s electronics industry, Turner has committed to continually reinvesting in his company, including the installation of a 13-machine, $1.4 million surface-mount technology (SMT) line last December.

“A turning point came, when I realized that Matric Group had grown exponentially, that’s when I looked for ways that would simultaneously minimize my personal investment and that would enable us to continually fast-grow our business. I determined that business-friendly Pennsylvania made available Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority loans that are just the thing for businesses like ours,” said Turner.

In addition to the technical expertise resident in its operations, the Matric Group has succeeded because of its enlightened approach to employee relations. Those who work at the Matric Group aren’t referred to as employees. Rather, they are referred to as associates, reflecting their stature and knowledge of what they do, whatever positions they fill and whatever jobs they’re responsible for.

Plus, the company offers an exceptional tuition-assistance program open to all associates. This program has enabled associates to earn their bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, even Ph.D.-level degrees.

“Having employees raise their levels of knowledge ranks high in my mind. And it’s satisfying to me that we help our associates out in this regard. And we can do this, because we operate at a high profitability level,” said Turner.