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186: How Bringing Clean Water to Africa Led to Digitizing the Electronics Industry with Andrew Scheuermann, Co-Founder and CEO of Arch Systems
Episode 18621st May 2024 • Manufacturing Happy Hour • Chris Luecke
00:00:00 00:56:00

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As new technologies emerge, so do new solutions and new possibilities. The electronics manufacturing world is going through a digital revolution right now, and companies like Arch Systems are at the pinnacle of it.

We welcomed Andrew Scheuermann, Co-Founder and CEO of Arch Systems, to the show to hear about the brilliant backstory behind the company. Before Arch Systems became a thing, Andrew and his Co-Founder were on a mission to solve the problem of broken wells in a number of African countries. Funding new wells is one thing, but without maintenance, they often fail. Using new technology and data insights, this project spiraled into a larger solution that became what Arch Systems is today.

We hear Andrew’s story and his thoughts on balancing non-profit and for-profit ventures to help each other, what the early days of the startup were like, and how technology is paving the way for faster and more effective solutions in electronics manufacturing.

In this episode, find out:

  • What Arch Systems does and how it started with a clear mission
  • Why Andrew decided to start working with water wells in some African countries
  • Andrew explains what the problem was with the wells and how it all came down to maintenance
  • How Andrew and his co-founder came up with a solution
  • The challenges of using a solution across so many sites
  • How Andrew balanced the for-profit and non-profit aspects of his project
  • How electronics manufacturing became a focus
  • The early days of finding product-market fit and struggling as an early startup
  • How leveraging data in Arch Systems could benefit manufacturing companies
  • The challenges of handling so much data
  • How the right data can help you make predictive maintenance decisions
  • How automation can help to fill the gaps in a workforce

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Tweetable Quotes:

  • “If you can solve somebody's problem, it doesn't matter how different or similar you think you are, you can be the best team in the world.”
  • “All machines break. It's not a question of if, it's just when. And the more you use it, the more it's going to break. There might have been a defect, it might break earlier, it might just be based on usage. And so they would break, but the problem was painfully simple, there was no maintenance.”
  • “What's stuck with me is just being about the people and their problem. Not what you think it is, but what they think it is.”

Links & mentions:

  • Arch Systems, building expert data solutions that objectively observe and optimize manufacturing processes, driving decision intelligence for electronics manufacturers   
  • WellDone International, a non-profit organization working to improve global access to clean water and other basic services essential to human health, productivity, and well-being
  • Amandine Lounge, serving a range of international cocktails in Los Altos, CA

Make sure to visit http://manufacturinghappyhour.com for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.

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