Michigan job growth: Tax abatement boosts advanced manufacturing capacity at Saline Lectronics
Nathan Bomey | AnnArbor.com
The firm now plans to add an additional 15 jobs after winning approval Monday for a tax abatement tied to an $806,000 expansion plan.
“We’re glad that they continue to choose to grow in Saline,” Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell said. “They’re buying equipment to be competitive in the industry and they’re adding jobs.”
The Saline-based electronics contract manufacturer currently has 120 employees, up from about 82 employees a year ago. The firm now occupies 60,000 square feet of a 110,000-square-foot facility on Maple Road.
Last year Saline Lectronics officially purchased the facility, which was once filled with the operations of local manufacturer Xycom, now part of Pro-face America. Pro-face maintains a sales office at the Saline Lectronics building.
“We’ve been growing and taking a heck of lot more space than we had,” Saline Lectronics CEO Mario Sciberras said.
Photo courtesy of Saline Lectronics
The 6-year tax abatement approved Monday by the Saline City Council reduces Saline Lectronics’ taxes on a machinery investment of $726,666 and building improvements totaling $78,867. A circuit board assembly machine Saline Lectronics purchased as part of the expansion is five times faster than equipment the company was using before.
“We needed additional equipment in order to accommodate our growth and frankly to also stay competitive,” Sciberras said. “This equipment continues to speed up our process, and as a result we can count on being able to compete for these larger jobs. That’s why we’re buying more equipment.”
Sciberras said interest in the firm’s ability to produce customized circuit boards and other products quickly and precisely is fueling growth. He declined to provide revenue figures but said the medical sector, military market and energy field are driving a sales increase.
Saline Lectronics has broadened its manufacturing capabilities beyond circuit board components to include "full turn-key" production, which involves assembling entire products for customers.
The company, founded eight years ago, is also benefiting from domestic product manufacturers that are bringing business back from Asia.
“We’ve had the opportunity to bring back work because of quality and logistics issues,” Sciberras said. “We’re fast. We’re very agile, and that’s one of our customer service capabilities.”
Sciberras pointed to a recent deal Saline Lectronics acquired to produce parts for measurement technology firm Peceptron.
“We beat Asia out of a 20,000-piece order that stayed here at home only because of the fact that the quality and logistics and pricing is now competitive to be able to manufacture for them,” he said.