REDCOM EMS installs new high-speed production line at Victor, NY facility

REDCOM EMS, a business unit of REDCOM Laboratories, Inc., is proud to announce the successful installation of a new high-speed production line at its manufacturing facility in Victor, N.Y. The expanded manufacturing capacity is necessary to keep up with REDCOM EMS’s sustained double-digit growth over the past few years. With the added equipment and capabilities, REDCOM EMS will be better positioned to meet the demands of both current and new customers.

REDCOM began offering electronics manufacturing services out of the company’s headquarters in 2012 under the REDCOM EMS name. Before starting the contract manufacturing business, REDCOM used its factory solely for the production of its telephony hardware. REDCOM EMS continues to manufacture circuit boards, cable assemblies, and system assemblies for REDCOM’s telecommunications systems, but the vast majority of its business now comes from contract manufacturing for other OEMs.

The REDCOM EMS factory previously had three SMT lines – two low volume and one high volume – inserting around 50,000 components per hour. With the addition of the new high-speed line and their commitment to workforce development, REDCOM EMS will triple these numbers, while also enabling redundancy in the manufacturing line.

“With the growth that we’ve seen in the last couple of years, we knew it was time to invest in our manufacturing facility. This new equipment will allow us to meet our customer’s demands today while preparing us for future opportunities,” remarked Steve Husband, Vice President of Manufacturing, REDCOM and General Manager, REDCOM EMS. “We believe our new equipment will allow us to boost our production volumes by as much as 3x, which is critical as we expand into new markets such as aerospace and medical.”

Other new additions to the REDCOM EMS manufacturing facility include a high-precision conformal coating machine, an aqueous board wash system, new ESD flooring, a humidification system, and all necessary peripheral equipment for an advanced technology SMT line. The company also invested in a high-end 3D printer, allowing REDCOM EMS to quickly build prototypes, fixtures, and small quantity parts. REDCOM EMS was able to make this investment in equipment with the help of Empire State Development, which facilitated the company’s modernization effort with funding of up to $300,000.

“After more than 41 years in business, REDCOM is stronger than ever,” said REDCOM CEO Dinah Weisberg. “We are excited about the projected growth we see for our contract manufacturing business, and we look forward to contributing to the upstate NY economy as we continue to expand our electronics manufacturing capabilities.”

About REDCOM Laboratories, Inc

REDCOM Laboratories, Inc. is a woman-owned small business that specializes in the design and manufacture of advanced communications solutions with a focus on security, reliability, and interoperability. REDCOM’s customers include telecom service providers, all branches of the military, government agencies, emergency responders, integrators, and enterprises. For additional information, please visit the REDCOM website at


REDCOM EMS (Electronics Manufacturing Services), a business unit of REDCOM Laboratories, Inc. is a U.S.-based contract manufacturer with a global customer base. REDCOM EMS has more than 40 years of experience manufacturing Printed Circuit Board Assemblies (PCBAs), wiring harnesses, power supplies, and system level assemblies for a diverse set of industries including Defense, Aerospace, Telecom, Industrial, Consumer Electronics, Medical, and Transportation. With a NIST-compliant secure manufacturing facility, customers can trust REDCOM EMS to protect their intellectual property and manufacturing identity. REDCOM EMS’ Quality Management System is certified to the latest ISO 9001:2015 standard, has been recommended for AS9100D certification, and actively pursuing  ISO13485 certification. For additional information, please visit the REDCOM EMS website at

Secure Manufacturing

Protect your intellectual property by partnering with the right U.S.-based manufacturer

Selecting the right contract manufacturing partner can make or break your business, especially if there’s the potential for your intellectual property to fall into the wrong hands. Stolen IP costs the U.S. economy billions in revenue and there is little that American companies can do to find justice.

According to the United States Trade Representative, “Chinese theft of American IP currently costs between $225 billion and $600 billion annually.” Forced technology transfer is also a growing concern for US companies, especially companies in the technology and medical space.

One of the most recent high profile examples of theft of US intellectual property happened this past January, when a Chinese-based wind turbine company was found guilty in the US of stealing trade secrets, using secretly downloaded source code stolen from a U.S. company. This nearly bankrupt the company.

“China has sought to acquire US technology by any means, licit or illicit,” said James Andrew Lewis, the Senior Vice President at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “Espionage and theft were part of this, but so were forced technology transfers or mandatory joint ventures as a condition for doing business in China.”

REDCOM EMS can mitigate these problems with our secure, NIST-compliant manufacturing facility located in western New York state. Not only do we manufacture domestically, but we also keep all of our sales, service, engineering, and project managers on-site as well. Whenever possible, we use local, regional, and U.S. suppliers for all raw materials, components, expendables, and services necessary to the operation of our business.

Protect your intellectual property and trade secrets by partnering with a trusted CM such as REDCOM EMS.

IIoT Gateway

Gateways to Delivering the Value of IIoT

Yesterday afternoon I happened to look at the top bar of my computer screen and noticed I had twelve search tabs open. It is easy to get lost in an information labyrinth when you are researching the IIoT—the Industrial Internet of Things. And I wasn’t just researching everything about it—this was not a one-hundred-thousand-foot survey. I was focused on a particular functional area of the IIoT: the Gateway.

Motivating this research was my belief that IIoT gateways, metal or plastic boxes with circuit boards (PCBAs) inside them, represent a very large revenue opportunity for electronics manufacturing services (EMS) providers. The hypothesis: if the value of the IIoT is even half of what the business research community believes it will be, and given that the gateway is an essential link in the IIoT value delivery chain, then a whole lot of gateways will be needed as IIoT implementations begin to proliferate.

Gateways convert the data emitted by sensors in the factory or the processing plant (data sent in dozens of different protocols) to standard IP-formatted data, then send this data over the network for processing. The sexy part of the IIoT is analyzing these terabytes of sensor readings—“Big Data”—for patterns, correlations, anomalies, and other types of actionable information. But the plumbing needs to be there too, and gateways are just that—infrastructure without which there would be no digits to analyze.

So why was I getting literally amazed by the IIoT, with one web page leading me to another until I forgot what I was trying to do in the first place? If gateways are plumbing, and everybody needs plumbing, isn’t that enough to know?

My thinking was: it is not. I was trying to validate a secondary hypothesis: that the IIoT gateway will evolve from being mostly a translator to being an integral part of the IIoT’s computational fabric: not just a translator, but an author. This is important to know, because if true it means that there will be a continuous stream of new gateway designs needing to be built; new designs mean new PCBAs, which mean new business for EMS providers.

I never found the path out of the labyrinth, but I went far enough through it to be confident to state that gateways will inevitably become more powerful, and the number of functions they perform will increase. Innovation in gateway technology will drive many new design projects. Consider the following:

  • The filtering of sensor data will become more important. It is expensive to transmit and store data, so why send useless data to the cloud, the data center, or a “data lake” for analysis? Gateways will need to perform increasingly sophisticated filtering operations on sensor data, enabled by faster processors and more memory.
  • Gateways will be designed for multi-device data aggregation and real time analytics, and used in process control applications where the results of the analyses are needed quickly and used locally. An example of such an application is if the temperature of a holding tank in an in-line pharmaceutical manufacturing process needs to be changed based on an optimization algorithm running on the gateway. This is the Edge Computing model, or as some call it, Fog computing.(How about “Little Data”?)
  • Gateways will be expected to service an increasing number of sensors and smart devices (per gateway).
  • Functions associated with device discovery and provisioning will be delegated to the gateway. Device management will be shared with the IIoT management platform running in the cloud.
  • Gateways will be designed to network with each other and share resources. Driving this design improvement will be the benefits of increasing the reliability of the network via some degree of redundancy, and achieving the required amount of computing power from a distributed architecture.
  • The demand for increased security via more powerful encryption technology will cause use of larger and faster processors.
  • Gateways will become servers for applications that extend the value of real time analytics.For example, consider an incident management application that initiates a “blast” voice conference call connecting a pre-determined DL of subject matter experts best qualified to quickly respond to and manage the incident. (REDCOM offers such an application.)

The IIoT is a complex adaptive system, which means that gateways will both influence and be influenced by developments in other parts of the system.Advances in protocol standardization, smart sensors, software applications, and network technologies will affect gateway design.As a distinct computing device category, IIoT gateways are still in the early stages of their evolution, but even today, it is clear that they are destined to bear an increasing amount of the burden associated with realizing the value of IIoT.

IIoT Fog

Implementing IoT: Are You on Edge, or in the Fog?

Just when I started to think I had a basic understanding of the Cloud, a new type of weather has come rolling in: the Fog. I was dismayed when I first encountered it—another computing paradigm to learn about, sigh. But as it turns out, if you know what the Cloud is, it’s a lot easier to “demistify” this new term in the Computing lexicon. And if you are an Electronics Manufacturing Services provider like REDCOM EMS, you may even get excited about it—explanation below.

I didn’t go looking for the Fog—it found me. I wanted to know more about the Internet of Things, because everybody is talking about IoT, and I hate it when I can’t chime in to a conversation with a clever comment. As most readers know, you can’t have IoT without the Cloud, because the Cloud is where the data that comes from all the “Things” is analyzed and converted to useful information. This is especially true for Industrial IoT (IIoT) where there may be thousands of sensors and actuators networked to hundreds of machines in a large factory. These sensors can generate terabytes of data per hour.

So you can see that a big problem arises in IIoT: there is too much data. Sending all this “big data” straight to the Cloud is expensive and even with todays’ high-bandwidth networks, too slow to enable fast-enough communication back to the factory, (for example, to shut down an overheated motor). The reliability of the connection to the Cloud is also a concern.

The obvious solution is to pre-process this data, then upload just a sampled-down or otherwise permuted subset of it to the Cloud. This pre-processing occurs on the factory floor, and is accomplished by IoT gateways, sensor hubs, and “intelligent endpoints” designed and programmed for specific tasks. While a gateway is so named because it translates machine communication protocols to internet-related protocols, gateways can also perform other functions, such as analyses of smaller data sets for immediate, locally-useful interpretation and action.

All this seems pretty clear, so you might wonder how Fog gets into it. These gateways, located near or at the edge of the network, are the “fog” layer between the sky (the Cloud) and the ground (the sensors and nodes hooked up to the machines and other processing equipment). “Fog” is just an extension of the cloud metaphor, the term being closely connected to implementing IoT. “Edge computing” is a synonymous term, and some prefer it for its clarity compared to “Fog”. That said, I think “Fog” will beat out “Edge” computing, if for no other reason than “Fog” having its’ own consortium.

The Fog is where the hardware is in the IoT. And there will be a lot of hardware. The opportunity for designers to innovate in Fog hardware is gigantic, and this innovation will manifest itself in many new Printed Circuit Board Assemblies (PCBAs) mounted in gateway chassis. Common to these new designs will be multiple I/O connectors, MCUs (microcontrollers) and full processors, and devices that do not lend themselves to highly automated assembly techniques. As more processing power comes onboard, thermal management will be of increasing importance.

And this is why I’m excited about the Fog: REDCOM EMS, having a history as an OEM of high-interoperability telecommunications hardware products, is on very familiar terms with the techniques and challenges related to manufacturing these kinds of PCBAs and chassis. Real estate is usually in short supply, and that’s why two-sided SMT is so important; we have Selective Soldering equipment, enabling us to efficiently produce these mixed-technology (SMT + through-hole) boards. We’ve designed and built boxes with extended operating temperature ranges, learning much about how to “keep cool”, be it with careful heat sink selection or simply making sure that connecting cables do not interfere with convection flows.

REDCOM EMS is very well-positioned to service the needs of customers who, like us, are pretty stoked about IoT/IIoT, and believe that the Fog is clearly a huge opportunity. Together we can deliver on the promise of IoT/IIoT.


What Do Bruce Springsteen and IoT Have in Common?

I’m old enough to remember when the term “hype” started to work its way into the vernacular. It was 1973, and a guy named Bruce Springsteen cut an album called Greetings from Asbury Park. I ignored it–I was “into” Pink Floyd, The Who, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, and Yes. What I could not ignore was how much interest there was in Bruce Springsteen: in print; on the radio, everywhere and often. Was the music that good? Wasn’t this just his record label (Columbia) salting the media mine, blowing the marketing budget on a risky bet? I wasn’t the only one who noticed this inordinate amount of promotion, and before long not-so-complementary things were being said about Springsteen and Columbia: “It’s pure hype”; “They’re just hyping him up”; “It’s just a hype job”. I completely agreed.

Jump to August, 1975. Springsteen releases Born to Run. I listened to it, and it wasn’t just good. It was great—Triple Platinum grade great. Yes, the artist was hyped, but there was no doubt that the hype was justified. And if a few die-hard skeptics were left, Bruce came out with Darkness on the Edge of Town and The River to settle the matter.

“Hype” still connotes negatives to me. I tend to think that real things shouldn’t need hype to be successful, or that there must be an element of sham, a lack of genuineness somewhere in the ecosystem of hype. That’s why when I first noticed all the buzz about “IoT” a few years ago, I was skeptical: who profits from this? Who’s pushing the concept? Amazon? Cisco? Qualcomm? This skepticism persisted until Wednesday 9/21/16. On this day, representing REDCOM EMS at the AmCon Design & Manufacturing Expo, I experienced the IoT equivalent of Born to Run.

Shortly after the exhibit hall opened, I had the opportunity to talk with the Director of Operations at an LED lighting solutions company. He was at the show to identify companies that could help him get his controller “online”, so that smartphones and other network endpoints could control the lighting. His customers were asking for it because they know it can be done, and they want the economy, convenience and the enhanced functionality of a networked solution. All communications will be via Internet Protocol (IP). “Wow”, I said. ”I think we are talking about IoT here, right”? “Absolutely” he replied.

Not long after this exchange, an enthusiastic young man approached our display table holding what I thought was the fob for his car’s remote keyless system. I asked what he was looking for, and he held up the fob and said “Somebody that can make the circuit board that goes inside this.”

He opened the fob to expose a small but very complex Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA). He told me that the board contained sensors that detected the concentrations of potentially-harmful things encountered on construction sites: particulates, gases, high noise levels. The Use Case is simple: the construction company issues a fob to all workers on the site. The fob transmits the worker’s GPS and other data from the sensors to a local computer via a wireless connection. Also, each worker’s smartphone (issued by the employer or BYOD) is also connected to the network. Now imagine that one worker’s fob detects a too-high concentration of dust. Not only will his smartphone vibrate, but the network monitor will see this—which could be an early indicator of a dangerous cloud of dust starting to waft through the site. The path of the dust cloud may be inferred by the sensor/GPS data, and an alert can be sent to those workers in the path of the cloud.

This is, most definitely, IoT.

IoT has been hyped. But as was the case with Bruce Springsteen, just because it’s been hyped, doesn’t mean that it isn’t real, exciting, and profoundly important. I am now a believer, and fairly sure that IoT will go on to produce a long series of hits.

REDCOM Electronics Manufacturing Services Completes Integration of New High Speed SMT Assembly Line

Signaling a long-term commitment to its Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) and Custom Manufacturing businesses, REDCOM Laboratories Inc. today announces the availability of a new high-speed Surface Mount Technology (SMT) assembly line. Located at company headquarters in Victor, NY, the new line comprises state-of-the-art assembly and inspection equipment along with the latest-generation of on-line New Product Introduction (NPI) and performance monitoring tools, all tied together on a dedicated network. The line will deliver substantial efficiency gains not only in the actual assembly process (assembling and inspecting Printed Circuit Board Assemblies—PCBAs), but also in component placement programming and line set-up.

Linked by the latest in conveyor and loading technology, the elements of the new production system are:

  • Universal Fuzion SMT Component Placement System (48K placements/hour)
  • MPM® Momentum® Stencil Printer
  • Vitronics Soltec XPM3i 820 Reflow Soldering System
  • KISS-104 Automated Selective Solder machine
  • Vi Technology 5K SPECTRO Automated Optical Inspection
  • Air-Vac Engineering ONYX 29 Advanced SMT Production Rework & Assembly

“We’re excited by this investment in new automated technology and additional capability,” said REDCOM VP of Manufacturing Steve Husband. “It’s not just about raising first-pass yields and increased capacity—we’re expecting a huge overall gain in productivity and quality, making us a preferred solution for initial prototype and production-level volumes in the contract manufacturing marketplace. We are eager to quote new and repeat business and confirm both our, and our customer’s, expectations.”

REDCOM EMS launched in April of 2011, chartered to provide contract electronics manufacturing services to OEMs. Today the business is solidly established and in growth mode, adding capabilities and expanding its reach beyond Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. Customers in industrial automation, smart grid, virtual reality, instrumentation, and other vertical markets look to REDCOM EMS to deliver their PCBAs and other electronic assemblies.

For more information about REDCOM EMS, contact us at: 585-924-6650 or email us at