A lot has been going on behind the scenes at Royal Circuit Solutions, including some new additions to the main lot and some breakthrough work using fibers thinner than the average human hair.
The company invited several guests on Oct. 22 to celebrate its 13th anniversary and to show off the newly completed 5,000-square-foot factory floor expansion on Hamilton Court in Hollister.
Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez was given the honors to cut the ceremonial ribbon with Milan Shah, CEO of Royal Circuit Solutions, standing right beside him.
“This is what we’re all about,” Velazquez said. “We want to get our local companies expanding, getting them the employees, the support they need. This is exactly what we want in our community.”
The expansion will house automatic drilling, fabrication, scoring and plating equipment that’s coming in soon. Shah said they’re also going to have state of the art direct imaging equipment that will allow them to go down to what they call “25 microns light.”
The hair on the human head is about 70 microns and they want to go down to one third of a human hair.
“Those are the challenges we’re going to have—handling challenges, imaging, plating, drilling,” he said. “How do we build with fiber lines that are that thin? That’s the next frontier.”
Royal Circuits, which manufactures printed circuit boards, was founded in 1998. The company began with 13 employees and they continue to grow in what has been the hiring of 103 Hollister-based employees.
Shah took over the company 13 years ago during the height of the recession in 2008. They recently went on a “hiring spree” after merging with a southern California company in an ongoing effort to expand the local manufacturer’s PCB fabrication services.
Shah said the thing that differentiates them from any other company is the staff that works there.
“They were committed to work through thick and thin, and to support us and the company’s cause, and more importantly our customers,” Shah said.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2019 but they were regarded as an essential manufacturer and were asked to continue working despite the dangerous conditions at the time.
“We were very concerned because we were all confused like the rest of the world,” Shah said. “Believe me, there were a lot of questions but we all got it together, we worked out a plan.”
Velazquez said the Royal Circuit staff is a group of visionaries and that’s what he loves. He wants to make sure they’re helping the company as much as possible to make their dreams come true.
“Especially having our own residents getting to work at a company like this,” he said. “This is very high tech in Hollister and we want people to know that. A lot of good things are happening here.”
Shah said the past 13 years have been an amazing journey and the city of Hollister has been instrumental in supporting them to expand.
He added they are now going into microelectronics, which is the future of this industry.
“We’re getting ready to be able to address and service that market,” Shah said.
Supporting the future
Shah added more to the Oct. 22 celebration by donating a $5,000 check to the San Benito High School robotics team. He believes that science and technology are the future of the U.S.
“If we can continue to support kids that are going into science and technology, that is the future,” he said. “People who are going to design the medical devices of tomorrow, people that are going to design the computers of tomorrow… Those are our boys and girls that are in high school today.”
John Frusetta, director of technology at San Benito High, said it’s always great to have a donation come in to try to support the school’s programs.
He said that their robotics team is still relatively new and they won their first competition but then Covid-19 put the season on hold. However, the team should be back again in the spring.
Frusetta said the funds will help with purchasing new equipment and various needs such as 3D printers.
“But even better is to have a connection with this organization,” he said.
Frusetta said receiving the donation and being able to visit the manufacturing site was a great honor. He wants to bring students on site because it gives him context for what they can do, and being able to connect them to an organization such as Royal Circuit is a much more valuable asset to them than the money.
Frusetta said that Royal Circuit also helps connect students to the real world of work and employment opportunities.
“So to be able to connect this and give them that context, it gives them something to strive for after their classes,” he said.
Shah said they manufacture boards for companies throughout the world, whether it’s in aerospace, consumer electronics and electronic vehicles.
He added that’s why it’s important to encourage the youths who are planning out their careers and future to take a look at this line of work.
“If you embrace it, it’s going to help the community and it’s going to help our country as a whole,” Shah said.
Shah challenged San Benito High by telling them he wants to double and triple the amount donated. He said it’s not just the STEM programs but he also wants to invest in arts and crafts.
“I think all the other areas deserve the same level of respect and generosity from companies like us, from the local corporations,” he said.