VP of Operations and Business Development Christine Ngo joined her family’s precision machining company and now encourages other women to explore manufacturing careers.
Silicon Valley Elite Manufacturing was founded by Christine Ngo’s father, Viet Ngo, and her brother, Victor Ngo. Previously, Viet Ngo had worked for Silicon Valley technology companies as a VP of operations and had traveled through Asia focused on cutting costs. He became concerned that the U.S. would lose manufacturing IP to other countries, and he decided to start a company and help bring manufacturing back to the U.S.
Christine Ngo was inspired by her father’s vision. She decided to leave her career as a red carpet reporter in Hollywood and joined him in the business. “I got my MBA from Pepperdine,” she says, “and then I started working here and I completely fell in love with manufacturing.”
Silicon Valley Elite Manufacturing makes custom precision parts out of metal and plastic. “We make all sorts of components that go into medical instruments,” Ngo says. They also have customers in aerospace and green energy.
The company specializes in producing complex manifolds, which are components that allow airflow between different valves or outlets, and heat sinks, which disperse heat away from a device.
Growing into 3D Printing
Another area of focus is 3D printing. “We have a partner who does additive manufacturing,” Ngo says. “And not only do we do machine components that go into their printers, but we also help them with post-processing of metal 3D printed parts.”
Silicon Valley Elite Manufacturing helps customers with rapid prototyping and sometimes even delivers parts the next day. “We have a lot of engineers here in Silicon Valley, they have their vision of creating whatever they want, but they need a machine shop. They need someone actually to turn that into a reality for them,” Ngo says. “So it’s a very fulfilling job when I get to work with these engineers and see their dreams basically come to life.”
The company helps customers with rapid prototyping and sometimes delivers parts the next day. Although it can source materials from as far as Los Angeles, it often works with vendors closer to home. “Most of our suppliers are local because we are quick-turn,” Ngo says.
Side benefits of reshoring
Silicon Valley Elite Manufacturing has prospered, thanks in part to the trend of reshoring production. It tripled its revenue within three years, and Ngo predicts revenue will continue to increase this year.
The company occupies 4,500 square feet and has 14 computer numerical control (CNC) machines, including precision mills, metalworking lathes, and multi-axis machines. It recently got a new 5-axis CNC machine. While a traditional 3-axis machine can move a tool along the three axes of three-dimensional space—forward and backward, left and right, and up and down—a 5-axis can also rotate the toolhead or machine bed. That makes it possible to produce complex parts more quickly.
When an order comes in, Ngo creates a traveler for it. The team cuts the needed material to size, and the order enters a queue based on priority. Next, the programmer programs the machine, and the part is made on the machine. The part then goes to the deburring station to remove any sharp edges.
“If there’s any outside services, any plating, or any finishing that the part needs, we’ll send that out. Once we receive it again, it goes through inspection,” Ngo says. After quality control gives the okay, the team packages the part and ships it to the customer.
“We truly care about our customers and want each and every one of them to succeed,” Ngo says. “And that’s why we will go above and beyond to make sure that their parts are delivered either on time or early.”