- NatSteel Electronics - Singapore
138 Joo Seng Rd. #07-00, Singapore 368361
- Chester C. Lin, NatSteel Chief Executive Officer
C. Y. Shaw, NatSteel Chief Operating Officer
Ng Hock Ching, Marketing Director
Tio Wee Seeng, NatSteel Senior Marketing Executive
Andy Yeo, Engineering Manager
Mission and Strategy
- Established in 1963, NatSteel, Ltd., includes the NatSteel
Technologies group with NatSteel Electronics; Broadway Industrial for
plastic injection molding and metal stamping in China; B.J. Industries
for precision machine parts in Singapore and Batam; Engineering
Computer Services for software and system integration in Singapore; and
Multiwave Innovation, a multimedia company in Singapore.
- NatSteel Electronics was started in 1981. Its revenue grew from $80
million in 1992 to $500 million in 1995, with $600 million projected in
- NatSteel's customer base for computer and peripheral cards includes
BMI, Chicony, Compaq, Diamond Multimedia, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, JTS,
Multiwave, Video Logic, and Western Digital. Its customer base for
telecommunications include Nortel, Hewlett-Packard, Supra, and
Yupiteru. It is providing consumer electronics for Delta, Giken, Hipro,
Hewlett-Packard, Litton, Sumitomo, and TEAC. It also manufactures RF
electronics for General Instrument and Wireless Access. Complete
products that it currently manufactures include 2-way pagers, set-top
products, and calculators.
- NatSteel representatives stated that contract manufacturers make
their money by effective utilization of capital. They operate their
Singapore facility 3 shifts per day, 5 days per week, at 85%
- NatSteel is a contract manufacturer for both low-volume/high-mix
and high-volume/low -mix products.
Key Elements of Presentation
NatSteel Electronics has several facilities:
Location Sq. Ft. Employees SMT Auto ISO
Lines Insertion 9002
Singapore 80,000 750 12 1993
Penang 160,000 800 18 7 1995
Bantam 70,000 750 7 1996
Shenzhen 75,000 100 2 2 1996
Bangkok 15,000 200 0 8 Open
- Each facility is operated as a profit center with its own manpower
- The Singapore facility has separate floors for the different
volumes of businesses.
- Low-volume lines use a screener, MV2C chip placer, MPA3 module
placer, IR, inspection, HP3070 ICT, and function test. A complete line
changeover of products can be achieved in 2 hours, with another 2 hours
to run sample parts before beginning volume production. Each operation
uses statistical process control.
- High-volume lines are set up for double reflow products and have a
screener, manual connector insertion, MV2C chip placement, MPA module
placement, IR oven, screener, manual place PTH in paste, MV2C chip
placement, MPA module placement, IR oven, cleaner, ICT, burn-in,
functional test, visual inspection, then ship. NatSteel achieves 96%
yield at ICT, 98% at functional. It has a 3-day average cycle time
using batch build.
- The company is considering an acquisition to enter North America or
Key Elements of Tour
- NatSteel Electronics provides infrastructure support from Singapore
to all its facilities for process technology, materials, and finance.
NatSteel has agreements with both Panasert and Hewlett-Packard to
obtain additional equipment in a two-week timeframe.
- All component pricing is negotiated by the Singapore facility.
- Its MRP system is run once a week. Each facility approves the MRP
volume input, takes responsibility for inventory, and either places
outside purchase orders or buys from Singapore. They stock all
components under customer part numbers and can run a partial MRP by
customer at any time.
- It achieves 11-12 inventory turns. Its materials stockroom has
limited access; expensive parts are locked inside an inner stockroom
within the stockroom. The stockroom is run like a "supermarket."
Material handlers get a shopping list from the batch floor release and
collect parts from the shopping list. When they leave the stockroom the
parts are charged out to each line. Any overages (full reels, etc.)
must be accounted for within 48 hours after removal from the
- The process engineering department works with GINTIC for joint
development of technology processes. NatSteel also works heavily with
Panasert in Japan.
- NastSteel is qualifying TCP attachment using a Panasert OLB machine
and has qualified flip-chip-on-glass using stud-bumping-bonding (SBB)
and anisotropic conductive film (ACF). It has qualified and is building
volume products using organic coating, 15 mil QFP, and TAB.
- Its officials are watching the evolution of packaging technology
and work with Panasert for placement equipment and GINTIC for process
development. The next focus is test development by working with HP,
Teradyne, and GENRAD.
NatSteel Electronics has a strategy to fill its factories and to win
business by providing higher value-added services including system
build and ODM products. It had just won a major product build contract
for a major manufacturer at the time of the WTEC team's visit.
Published: May 1997; WTEC