March Stay Connected Event...
Tour & Happy Hour
THE LEADING PROVIDER OF HIGH-DISCIPLINE PRODUCT DESIGN, MANUFACTURING AND SERVICE
Vergent Products delivered an excellent tour with several highlights! The company started in 1996 in Loveland with three employees, one of whom was Diana Precht, our tour leader and Chief Communications Officer. What started as a design firm is now a multi-dimensional supply chain company with 140 employees. Vergent Products was founded on two core principles: exceptional client experience and the engagement of a diverse team of experts focused on continually elevating their clients’ success.
Our group started by donning smocks to prevent electrostatic discharge along the tour. We then enjoyed cookies from the host while hearing a pre-tour overview from our guides.
Our first tour stop was a circuit board assembly station for Rachio water sprinkler systems. Multiple generations of the board were displayed, along with product improvements such as 14 screws in the 1st generation board, 0 in the second, and 2 in the current generation.
Vergent's in-house designed work order system is paperless to prevent static discharge, involves visual cues to ensure people have the proper training for each step of assembly, and includes RFID scanning for all consumables and expirable inputs. This ensures that any testing issues are traced back to the exact units of input. One of the simplest yet most effective cues we learned about was pass/fail tags in two different sizes: this prevents shipment of units with any concerns because the visual cue is clearly interpreted.
Speaking of which, nearly 100% of Vergent's circuit boards undergo an optical test to verify product functionality. At one station, we watched workers x-ray circuit board components to ensure solder points. Three quality control checkpoints ensure an extremely high rate of success in product testing.
Our guides described upcoming improvements, including flow racking and assembly station reconfiguration to reduce time and movement. The current time for a Rachio unit assembly is 4.62 minutes of labor per unit and 3.5 minutes is the target goal once changes are in place.
Toward the end, we passed the quality lab, an environmental test chamber, inventory storage (including vendor managed inventory) and talked about the various supply chain solutions Vergent has instituted over the years.
Today, Vergent functions as an Amazon fulfillment center, handles order fulfillment for several other big box customers, houses a warranty and service center, and continues to offer design services to customers.
They don't envision slowing down any time soon. Fifty percent of their business is PCBA assembly, and they continue to offer test engineering and strategies, as well as product development. Be sure to make it to the next tour if you missed this one!
After our tour, we continue to the Sports Station for our networking happy hour. It was a fantastic event!