AMI News

Portland, ME Listed as a Top Location for Start-ups

Portland, Maine was listed as one of the top five locations for start-up businesses by writer John Egan on the blog, The SpareFoot.

Based on data from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on entrepreneurship, Portland makes the list based on the sense of community and resources available to entrepreneurs. It’s not a surprise to us, but good to see others recognizing the opportunities here in Maine.

Final, Test and Coatings Get the Kaizan Treatment

Kaizan, the Japanese word for “good change,” has become the name for a globally accepted method of fostering business process improvement. Under this process the workers involved in a specific business process join together to figure out better and more efficient methods.

Recently, the Final, Test and Conformal Coatings department worked with (Maine) Manufacturing Extension Partnership to identify and implement a new process that will result in streamlined production improved delivery times for customers. Another way AMI is constantly looking at ways to make things  “a little better every day.”

AMI Sponsors MIT’S 100K Business Plan Competition

MIT 100KAMI has entered a partnership to sponsor MIT’s annual $100K Entrepreneurship Competition that challenges students to design, develop and market new products and businesses in six fields: Emerging Market, Energy, Life Sciences, Mobile Products and Services and Web/IT. AMI will provide in-kind services for semi-finalists and finalists in the Launch portion of the contest starting this spring.

Now in its 24th year, the MIT $100K is a year-long forum for students and researchers in the MIT community to act on their talent, ideas and energy to launch tomorrow’s leading firms. The contest taps into a network of resources including venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, media experts and industry professionals and offers more than $350K in cash and prizes to help participants through the new venture process through three contest segments: Pitch, Accelerate and Launch.

AMI is offering its electronics manufacturing expertise to build prototype circuit card assemblies with no-cost labor for semi-finalists and finalists in the Launch segment. Additionally, AMI is covering up to $500 of material for each finalist. There are currently over 75 semi-finalists in the Launch portion that will be competing to develop and market their companies and products.

“We are pleased to partner with MIT and support the $100K contest. The participants are some of the best and brightest young innovators around,” noted Scot Story, AMI’s VP for Sales & Marketing. “With AMI’s expertise and experience in manufacturing products ranging from prototypes up to sizeable production runs, it is a perfect fit for us support these entrepreneurs that are in our backyard and to encourage innovation and grow new markets.”

More on the MIT $100K available online at:

AMI Hires Workers; Invests in New Equipment to Support Growth

WINTHROP, Maine – Alternative Manufacturing, Inc. (AMI) announced that it had recently increased its number of employees from 50 to 64 and began a second shift to keep up with increased demand for the company’s electronics contract manufacturing services. They have also purchased and installed additional equipment for manufacturing printed circuit board assemblies to increase their capacity in producing customers’ products that are used in a wide range of high-tech electronics.

AMI’s Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Scot Story, attributes the new growth to a sustained focus on diversifying their customer base and a commitment to providing exceptional customer service that meets and exceeds expectations. “We see ourselves as our customers’ partners in their businesses, whether they are start-ups or well-established companies looking for a turnkey solution for electronics manufacturing.”

The addition of a second shift and new workers is a welcome milestone for AMI, who had to reduce its workforce in 2010 when the recession pushed a major customer to pull back some of its business to its own production facility. Since that time, AMI has expanded its customer base and predicts additional growth in the near future. “We are seeing a strong shift in manufacturing back to the U.S. and a rebound in the economy, and given our location to the high-tech base in the Boston area and proximity to major east coast markets here and in Canada, we’ve have been steadily adding new customers,” noted CEO Kim Vandermeulen.

The new positions are primarily equipment operators for the circuit board assembly machines. These new employees join AMI as part of a 100% employee-owned company. “Studies, and our own experience have indicated that employee-owned companies have staff that are more committed to the bottom line, and help keep those businesses in local communities,” noted Vandermeulen. “The majority of our workers, new and old, live within about 15 miles, and we remain committed to providing good jobs for Mainers and doing business with many other Maine companies, so we can all grow stronger together.”

The new machinery provides additional automated circuit board assembly equipment, which brings added capacity and increased precision to AMI’s capabilities. Steve Martin, AMI’s vice president of manufacturing, states that, “with our focus on providing contract manufacturing services that can respond to a very diverse set of customers and products at any given time, the added machine capacity and additional shift make us even better positioned to meet the needs of low to medium volume customers.”

About AMI:

Founded in 1989, and 100 percent employee-owned, AMI provides a wide range of electronics manufacturing and support services to original equipment manufacturers across a diverse range of high-tech industries throughout the Northeastern U.S. and Canada.

From printed circuit board and wire harness production to product assembly, packaging and distribution, AMI’s ISO-9001 registered and UL-certified operations supply contract electronic manufacturing solutions that are custom crafted for both Fortune-1000 and start-up companies alike.

AMI’s Maine-based facilities and workforce of dedicated employee-owners enable an operation that responds and adapts quickly to customer needs for new product introduction, engineering design changes and fulfillment. AMI offers transparent, competitive pricing and builds partnerships with customers that contribute to long-term success.

The company’s work can be found worldwide in building security systems, solar energy equipment, aircraft instrumentation, industrial laser controls, LED lighting, industrial weather stations and a host of emerging products from high-tech startups. More online at: