Brent Nolan CEO

An Exclusive Interview with Brent Nolan, President & CEO of StenTech

Solving SMT Stencil & Tooling Challenges with Customer-Centric Innovation: An Exclusive Interview with Brent Nolan, President & CEO of StenTech

DALLAS, TX. – January 2024 - StenTech® Inc., In the rapidly changing world of electronic manufacturing, where precision, quality, and innovation are paramount, StenTech stands as a beacon of excellence. With a global reputation for advanced technology and unwavering dedication to customer success, StenTech is at the forefront of designing and manufacturing quality stencil and tooling products. In this exclusive interview, we sit down with Brent Nolan, the President & CEO of StenTech, to delve into the core principles driving the company's success. With a history spanning over two decades and strategic acquisitions, StenTech has emerged as a top North American SMT Stencils, Tooling and Parts Manufacturer. We explore StenTech’s commitment to customers, recent acquisitions, technological innovations, and the future landscape of the electronic manufacturing industry, all set against the backdrop of the company's relentless pursuit of customer success. From step stencils to advanced nano stencils, laser-cut stencils, and beyond, StenTech's commitment to quality and service has propelled them to the forefront of the industry. In this interview, Brent Nolan provides invaluable insights into the journey, values, and vision of a company dedicated to solving the most intricate challenges in the world of electronic manufacturing.

Mr. Nolan. We are thrilled to have you for this interview. Let's dive right in. Could you please tell us a bit about your background?

Of course. I've been in the electronic manufacturing industry for 38 years, starting in 1985, where I began building printed circuit boards. Later, I co-founded a circuit board shop as the President and CEO. I then ventured into Stencils and Tooling due to our customer base's needs. This transition opened a new opportunity to serve the market at a different level. My background ranges from building PCBs, PCBAs, and extending to full box builds. Essentially, I have worked in the SMT/ semiconductor industry end-to-end.

Can you provide us with insights into StenTech and how it manages to meet customer demands?

Our strategy centers around establishing a local supply chain. With manufacturing spread across various states in the U.S., we have twenty facilities in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. The primary goal is to offer local, accessible service to ensure optimal turnaround times. We have over 300 talented professionals operating state-of-the-art equipment and solving customer problems. Around one-third of our team consists of CAD engineers who help our clients by manipulating data and aiding in solving issues. In summary, we aim to be local, employ highly skilled individuals, and offer world-class solutions.

It sounds like you have a remarkable local presence. Do you primarily cater to a global customer base, and how do you provide expertise on such a large scale?

While we do serve customers worldwide, our primary focus is in North America, particularly Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. We aim to bolster the electronic manufacturing sector in this region and deliver a heightened level of service. To handle this on a large scale, we invest heavily in our infrastructure, attracting talent and incorporating top-notch technology at each of our facilities.

Indeed, it seems like you have considerable local reach. Could you tell us more about StenTech's recent expansion efforts, especially the new equipment and facility in New Hampshire?

The move to Manchester was due to our acquisition of Photo Etch Technologies (PET). We merged two existing local facilities into a single, more extensive facility. This facility is well-equipped and currently stands as the largest stencil producer in North America in terms of volume and sheer numbers. This expansion became necessary as our previous facilities were bursting at the seams. In the post-pandemic world, there is an evident trend of electronic manufacturing staying within North America, particularly Mexico, and we want to support this transition efficiently. The PET acquisition also opened up our parts division that will provide a much broader range of customers for far reaching industries beyond SMT and semi-conductor arenas.

StenTech has grown over the years due to strategic acquisitions such as ATD (Advanced Tooling Design), and PET. Could you elaborate on how these acquisitions contribute to StenTech's long-term goals?

These acquisitions play crucial roles in our long-term goals. Some were strategic based on location, like Advanced Tooling Design, which provided us with a strong tooling and stencil presence in the Silicon Valley, a significant customer base. Others were valuable due to the technology and talent they brought. PET, for instance, also gave us a new facility in Florida, which we are excited about and will open shortly. Acquisitions give us the ability to enhance our technology and talent footprint, helping us fortify our problem-solving abilities for our customers.

And what of Photo Stencil, StenTech’s specialized products division, acquired in 2018?

PhotoStencil our specialized products division, is the unparalleled leader in electroform stencil technology, specializing in laser-cut and nickel-based stencils, tooling, and parts. Photo Stencil, our specialized products division, is the unparalleled leader in electroform stencil technology, specializing in laser-cut and nickel-based stencils, tooling and parts. Our cutting-edge capabilities make us and the only US domestic provider of the most complex paste, flux, epoxy, and special materials printing solutions. This enables us to service high-end customers in the semi-conductor industry as well as localized contract manufactures who have traditionally needed to go offshore for specialized solutions.

Another intriguing development is the investment in your Guadalajara facility in Mexico, where you've introduced a new laser system. Is this part of a broader effort to upgrade facilities outside of the United States?

Yes, indeed. We have invested millions of dollars this past year and intend to continue this in the future. To stay ahead in the fast-paced electronic manufacturing industry, we must keep up with rapidly evolving technology. Specifically in Mexico, working with great partners such as LPKF, we've invested in cutting-edge technology at five different locations, including Guadalajara. In Mexico we’ve The goal is to ensure that all StenTech facilities across the US, Canada and Mexico are well-equipped and can offer the best technology and services possible.

In the ever-changing tech landscape, what technology challenges do you anticipate in the next few years, and how do you plan to address them?

Our primary role in the industry is to solve problems. As components continue to miniaturize, our challenge lies in effectively applying them to printed circuit boards with reliable solder joints. We foresee these challenges originating from our customers' needs. We aim to stay connected with them, identify their problems, and provide innovative solutions as these needs become more complex. Staying ahead in the industry in terms of technology and maintaining a strong connection with our customers will be our primary strategy.

StenTech has built a reputation for valuing integrity, dedication, and customer loyalty. How have these values played a role in your success, particularly in the post-pandemic world?

Honesty is at the core of our values. We do what we say we will do, and we're upfront about our capabilities. Whether we can meet a specific need or not, we have transparent conversations with our customers to find the best solutions. We pride ourselves on relentless commitment to customer success. Staying connected to customers, understanding their challenges, and relentlessly solving problems have been key factors in our post-pandemic success. In fact, we are launching a sophisticated Online Customer Portal early in 2024 that will provide an even more seamless customer ordering experience. We are in a rapid turnaround industry that demands the highest level of production, and having a powerful self-service portal will help streamline orders and provide an incredible resource for all StenTech customers regardless of the size of their operations.

Finally, the recent technical achievements and awards that StenTech has received. Have these contributed to enhancing your relationships with customers?

Absolutely. Our ability to innovate and solve industry-specific problems, such as coating challenges as components shrink, is a testament to our expertise. In 2023 we were awarded esteemed 2023 Mexico Technology Award in the category of Screen/Stencil Printing Consumables, and the 2023 NPI Award and the 2023 GLOBAL Technology Award for New Advanced Nano Coating. These accomplishments undoubtedly enhance our reputation and build stronger relationships with our customers. Continuing to lead the market, in Q1 2024 we will be launching a revolutionary high-end coating solution that will certainly raise the bar and provide an extraordinary new level of sophistication to the stencil coating process.

Thank you, Mr. Nolan, for sharing valuable insights into StenTech and its journey. One last question: Is there anything more you'd like to share with the industry about your company?

StenTech is not just another stencil company, we pride ourselves on being an innovative solutions provider and will be expanding our capabilities to further heights in 2024. We have an unwavering commitment to fulfilling our commitments and ensuring our customers' success and invite them to challenge us with their problems and witness the StenTech difference.

An inspiring message. Thank you, Mr. Nolan, for your time and the insights you've shared about StenTech.

Thank you. It's been a pleasure.

About StenTech, Inc.
StenTech has been leading the way in laser cut stencils, being the first company to introduce Fiber Diode lasers into North America. With over 20 experienced CAD designers, their strength is the support they provide in stencil edits, material, and thickness recommendations. StenTech offers a complete array of stencil technology, custom-tailored to suit your manufacturing requirements. They manufacture any type of stencil for the SMT industry. To learn more visit