|Pressac, Inc. :
Leaders in Automotives and Automation
name Pressac may not come as readily to the mind as Mercedes, Ford or
Chevrolet when one thinks of the automotive industry, but Pressac, Inc.
is one of the reasons that such companies remain at the top of their
Pressac, Inc. manufactures circuit boards and
flexible circuits for automobiles, and, as befitting a company that
deals in high technology, their Cullman County plant is a model of
automation and innovative design.
A recent Chamber of Commerce Existing Industry
tour of Pressac allowed many local business persons a close-up look at
one of the area's most successful companies.
A group of English companies, Pressac
established a plant in Cullman some 10 years ago in order to have an
operational base closer to their customers, who by and large include the
major American car manufacturers.
Paul Goodwin, manufacturing supervisor for Pressac,
shows one of the many circuit boards produced by the
the Chamber tour group.
| "What we do,
mainly, is a chemical process by which we etch away unwanted copper from
an imprinted circuit," said Phillip Clay, Vice-President of
Operations for Pressac. "Our products appear in all the major
vehicles made in the U.S. and some in Japan."
The company specializes in
instrument arrays for dashboards, but their main focus is a
pressure-sensitive horn switch for airbag equipped vehicles.
Pressac's Vice President of Operations,
Phillip Clay, provides the Chamber tour
group with background on the company.
| "We manufacture one million circuits per
year with our process and use some 12.5 million feet of copper per
year," Clay noted. "We're the second largest automotive
circuit plant in the world."
We have a sister plant in England that
produces more; both combined make Pressac the largest manufacturer of
flexible circuits in the world."
Aside from the automotive arm of Pressac, the
company also specializes in telecommunications equipment and components for
cellular phones, Clay noted.
"It's an excellent
a very impressive operation."
-- Alan Arnett
Chamber of Commerce
forte is really automation," Clay said. "A lot of the machines
you see here were designed and built by Pressac."
The Chamber tour group was led through the
facility by Paul Goodwin, manufacturing supervisor for Pressac, who
provided more information concerning Pressac's impressive production
"Our line produces 10,000 circuits in an hour," said Goodwin.
"We have a three-day turnaround for products, which explains why
there are so few products to be found in our shipping and receiving
the more interesting facets of the Pressac facility is an on-site
wastewater treatment operation made necessary by the company's chemical
"We pride ourselves in putting out water
that is actually cleaner than when it came in," Goodwin said,
exhibiting samples of water used in the company's etching. "All the
chemistry we generate is recycled."
Goodwin explained that the legal limits for
wastewater chemicals are currently at .75 parts per million gallons,
while Pressac's output runs at .03 parts per million.
"We're environmentally friendly," he
Goodwin shows some test samples of the water used in
the Pressac chemical process prior to treatment.
areas of the plant include the chemical process areas, silk screening,
component manufacture and assembly areas and shipping and receiving.
Throughout the plant, cleanliness and efficiency are evident.
(Click on thumbnails for larger pictures.)
Rolls of circuits prior to cutting.
The chemical process area of Pressac.
The Chamber group gets a close-up look at
the Pressac chemical process.
A Pressac employee fine-tunes the levels
in a chemical vat.
"We're proud of this factory and how clean it is," Clay said.
Currently, Pressac has a roster of 107
are divided into three shifts. Sixty-nine of those employees deal
directly with assembly,
while other positions include engineering, drafting, clerical and
Clay noted that Pressac has a "competitive
training program" that includes continuing education units and
other job-related vocational classes for
A display that outlines the layout of Pressac
circuit boards in an instrument array.
Clay said that he is pleased overall with the quality of Pressac's
workforce, who are by-and-large from Cullman County, but that Pressac
often has to go out of state to search for for employees due to the
highly specialized nature of certain aspects of the Pressac operation.
Chamber Executive Vice-President Alan Arnett,
Pressac's Paul Goodwin, Frankie Glynn of the Cullman Times, Mike Duke of
EvaBank, Chamber President Steve Singleton and Pete Nasetta
of the City of Cullman Public Works Department discuss
Pressac's Cullman operation.
"Wallace State College is a big help," Clay said. "We
work with them a lot. A four-year college would help us ... not only by
giving us a more qualified pool of applicants, but also by offering more
continuing education classes for our employees."
"We look for electrical engineers and
often have to go to Georgia or Tennessee."
Clay said that Cullman County has been a good
site for Pressac, however, due both to the community outlook and the
access to Interstate 65, which allows them to ship overland to both the
Mercedes plant in Vance, Ala., and other car manufacturers in Detroit,
"Cullman is a nice place to
be," Clay said.
Alan Arnett, Executive Vice-President of the Cullman Area Chamber of
Commerce, said Cullman County is likewise fortunate to have Pressac,
Inc. among its local industries.
"We certainly appreciated the tour of the
facility," Arnett said. "It's an excellent facility."
"It helped us to see what goes on [at
Pressac] and what kind of job opportunities are available. It also helps
us to brag on on you," he told Clay. "This is a very
For more information on Pressac, Inc., visit
them on the web at www.pressacusa.com.