Christina Fuges, Editorial Director, at MoldMaking Technology interviewed Kevin Hartsoe of Neu Dynamics earlier this month. Kevin is President at Neu Dynamics and was thrilled to talk with Christina about the company’s success in the electric vehicle market, as well as current challenges.
This interview is part of the “MMT Chats” series sponsored by ISCAR with New Ideas for Machining Intelligently.
- About Neu Dynamics: Neu Dynamics’ specialty is in electronic encapsulation. The company has encapsulated devices from LED’s to computer chips that have several thousand wire bonds inside the chip. The company is known for first-off projects. One example: In the early 2000’s Neu Dynamics started working with an automotive company in the Midwest. They initially developing a very simple 6-cavity prototype mold. That relationship has blossomed into 8 molding systems and 3 full-blown trim and form systems (molding press & 364 cavity mold).
- Sister Company NDC International: In 2002 Hartsoe and then partner, Dave Campbell, started sister company NDC International. They now represent twelve companies and distribute two in the US for back-end electronic assembly. “Back-end” primarily refers to the processes after the wafer process in semiconductor manufacturing – putting plastic around the chip. NDC International represents companies that have peripheral equipment around that process. They have an install base of equipment in the US of over $60 million.
- Electric Vehicle Market: EV manufacturers represent a big customer base for Neu Dynamics. The EV market is an exciting area of growth with GM announcing they will go to all electronic vehicles by 2035. Ford is on the same path. There are several start-ups that Neu Dynamics is working with that will be very big players in the industry. Huge investors like Amazon and Ford are backing smaller start-ups. There is a lot of money going into this industry. Neu Dynamics is well positioned to ride this wave. EV’s require all types of electronic devices from LEDs to high-power devices. Neu Dynamics represents Boschman a company in the Netherlands that makes molding presses and sintering systems for that industry.
- Neu Dynamics’ Differentiator in the EV Market: Hartsoe notes that the key to Neu Dynamics’ success in the EV market has been their experience in electronic encapsulation. The electrification of vehicles involves a lot of high-voltage components. This calls for high-temperature chips and applications, plus sophisticated electronics that were not required in vehicle manufacturing previously. Neu Dynamics is a perfectly positioned niche player due to their deep level of experience with encapsulation.
- Projects in the Pipeline: There are several new projects in the pipeline for Neu Dynamics including automotive and also military customers. The company is supplying turnkey systems (molds and presses) for 5 projects currently and is expecting orders for 3 more systems for automotive applications in the next days. Working in this hot market is really exciting and is bringing enthusiasm, especially to new young hires.
- Impacts of Covid?: Overall for Neu Dynamics the pandemic has not had a negative impact on business. Though they have not gotten Covid-related mold build projects, they are seeing more companies coming back to the US for systems they might normally acquire in Asia. The biggest negative impacts are on shipping. There are shipping delays like never before, including one mold press that was so delayed the customer decided to fly it to the US! Quite an expense.
- Biggest Challenge?: Supply chain issues. And people. It all comes back to people. Neu Dynamics is always interested in meeting qualified machinists, tool builders and CNC people. The company has a robust apprenticeship program and works closely with the local community college which offers a training course for machine operators and machining.
- Future Mold Making Professionals?: Hartsoe shared that future mold makers will need to not only have hands-on mold making skills, but be part technician and also very knowledgeable about computers.
Watch the full interview here.
Interested in learning more? Contact Kevin Hartsoe.