May 25, 2021

Learn how this quality control certification will help you ensure a successful product launch.

Our advanced procedures, primary memberships, registrations, and certifications, such as ISO 9001:2015, demonstrate our commitment to developing and producing superior electronics. In this article, we’ll learn more about this qualification and what it means for your Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) investment with the help of Quality Manager Andrew Ehrsam.

“Pro-Active Engineering’s philosophy of quality and continuous improvement expresses our loyalty to our customers,” Ehrsam says. “One way we can show this is through our ISO 9001:2015 certification,” he adds, “which Pro-Active has retained since 2010.”

Continue reading to learn more about ISO 9001:2015 certification and the advantages of choosing an EMS that has it.

Overview of the ISO 9001:2015 Certification

The ISO 9001:2015 certification is an international standard that outlines certain criteria that a company’s quality management system must meet (QMS). This qualification is based on the iterative four-step management approach Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA), which is used in business to control and develop processes and products. Our certification supports our structure, roles, and processes in order to meet high quality management standards.

How does a business become ISO 9001:2015 certified?

To earn the ISO 9001:2015 certification, electronics manufacturers must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Our management is committed, involved, focused and responsive
  • Our company meets customer requirements, along with statutory and regulatory requirements
  • Our processes are visible, traceable, consistent, repeatable, measurable, and documentable
  • Our documents are appropriate, relevant, simple, understandable, and consistent with processes in use

To prove alignment with ISO 9001 standards, we demonstrated that we met these and other requirements related to our commitment to quality, environmental responsibility, and our customers.

How does your company benefit from our ISO 9001:2015 certification?

“Our ISO certification means that we are constantly improving our processes to better satisfy the needs and demands of our customers,” says Ehrsam. “As a result, when you choose ISO-certified electronics manufacturers for all of your printed circuit board needs, you should expect high levels of customer satisfaction,” he adds.

“Because of our certification – and because we genuinely care,” Ehrsam continues, “you should expect the following benefits from working with us”:

  • Efficiency and productivity in our processes help us complete projects on-time and within budget
  • Our documentation is digitized and streamlined to ensure timely and accurate communications with our customer at every step of the production process
  • Design for manufacturability is top of mind as we provide a fully staffed engineering team in-house.
  • Providing a great place to work is a part of our mission, this philosophy promotes a positive corporate culture which translates into accessible, friendly and engaged employees who are ready to help our customers.
  • We respect our customers and are proud of their accomplishments. To put it another way, when you succeed, we succeed.

Is ISO certification a must-have in the electronics industry?

We think so, but not all electronics contract manufacturers are ISO 9001:2015 certified. Do your homework and find an ISO 9001:2015 certified electronics contract manufacturer. This standard can be used to quickly and easily evaluate an EMS provider’s commitment to customer loyalty and product quality. Choosing the best EMS for your company’s brand and product investment is crucial!

We have a track record of meeting and exceeding our customers’ needs. You can count on us to provide your business with the printed circuit board assembly and design services it requires to succeed. Contact our sales team today by email or phone at 608-837-7838, and we’ll help you get started.


May 20, 2021

SUN PRAIRIE, WI – May 19, 2021

Deanna Dennison, Director of Business DevelopmentThe ‘Right Stuff’ to Work in the Electronics Industry

Deanna Dennison, head of Pro-Active Engineering (PAE) business development, and a thirty-year electronics veteran, shared her secrets to success in the electronics industry. “A drive to learn new things, acquiring leadership skills, and volunteering have all helped move my career forward,” she revealed. Deanna relocated from Indiana to work at PAE, a Wisconsin Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider. PAE’s commitment to employee training, cutting-edge equipment, and high-quality output standards originally attracted her to the company.

“The positive culture at PAE was also a contributing factor. It is a crucial element needed to provide effective solutions to customers” Deanna explains. You have to have the ‘right stuff’ to succeed in this business—you have to be interested in technology and love a challenge, because every day is different,” she says.

Leadership Leads to Innovation

Throughout her career Deanna has been a member of numerous technical organizations and is an integral part of the industry’s community which fosters the exchange of educational resources.

She recently spearheaded PAE’s reboot of its educational series, Engineering Excellence which promotes discussions on the industries hot topics. The next event is a webinar on June 23rd, Demystifying USB C Type PD featuring speaker, Paul Schmokel from Future Electronics.

This spring she was named Vice President of Communications for the local chapter of the Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA), a global organization providing technical information, educational events, and networking within the sector. “We are delighted to have Deanna on our Leadership Team!” says Jana Kieckhefer, Wisconsin SMTA Chapter President and Technimark Inc. Sales Representative. “Her practical experience, technical skills, and fresh ideas will propel us to new heights.”

Empowering Wisconsin Women

As a part of her dedication to volunteering, Deanna will be leading a professional development session at the 2021 Women’s Business Conference in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on October 7th. The conference is designed to inspire and connect businesswomen in Western Wisconsin.

Her session will emphasize the importance of celebrating success and avoiding three frequent sales setbacks:

  1. Accepting “No” as an answer
  2. Talking to “Strangers”
  3. Failure to familiarize oneself with the State PTAC

Networking is Key

“Success in this industry hinges on partnerships and strong relationships,” according to Deanna. She recently reconnected with Caleb Townsend, Co-Founder of Factur a manufacturing membership association promoting networking solutions. According to Townsend’s recent social post “Deanna was a key contributor to Factur’s launch in Indianapolis”. The two are exploring the option of bringing the targeted networking model to Wisconsin.

Careers in Electronics

“The electronics industry is booming, and it is an exciting time to join the field; there are many attractive career opportunities with varying skill-sets required” says Deanna. Positions range from electronic technicians, SMT operators to mechanical, software/firmware, and electrical engineers. She advises individuals to look into electronics occupations, saying, “if the Internet of Things (IoT) piques your interest, this could be a terrific fit.”

About Pro-Active Engineering, Inc.

Since 1996, Pro-Active Engineering Inc. has been providing professional electronic design, engineering services, PCB layout, quick-turn prototyping, board assembly, and box build assembly services for a wide range of industries including: industrial equipment, medical devices, led lighting, IoT devices, energy systems, pharmaceutical devices, military/defense, UAV, unmanned systems, and scientific/research equipment. The company operates a 45,000-square-foot facility in Sun Prairie, WI, that is currently undergoing the first part of a substantial renovation. A $2 million capital investment in new equipment is also part of the refurbishment.


Melanie Hoffman


March 12, 2021

Supply chain disruptions are being reported in the electronics component market due to current demand for components in various applications such as smart devices, automotive, IoT, medical devices, unmanned devices and others. Our suppliers and market watch sources are reporting supply chain disruptions including shortages and cost increases. We asked our lead supply chain analyst, Ross Bilodeau to give our customers advice on how to manage these supply chain disruptions within the PCBA market. He advises that “In a global economy, these types of changes happen almost in real-time and having a strategically reasonable plan is key for large and small businesses to pivot quickly and navigate successfully through an inclement market.”

Bilodeau offers the following 6 strategies to incorporate and take control of your supply chain in every type of market landscape, especially one in high-demand like we are experiencing today.

1. Order Placement Strategy

It may seem counterintuitive to order smaller batches more frequently rather than ordering one large batch, but often times our customers are able to save money this way. A good partner can help you with a cost analysis to determine if this method could be helpful to your bottom line in any market. This is usually based upon component specifics.

2. Consider Supplier Location

Lead time for stateside suppliers can often be shorter than their foreign counterparts. Mainly due to the actual shipping time, which is can be several weeks or more, depending on the circumstance of external occurrences. Furthermore, using a trusted supplier and contract manufacturer is paramount when it comes to avoiding and managing supply chain disruptions.

3. Commit to Transparency in Sales Forecasts

The fulfillment process is always at peak performance when there is two-way communication in place with your suppliers. Sharing your sales forecast can act as a road map and help your trusted supplier plan ahead to ensure your product is ready to ship when you need it. This is also necessary when specific raw materials are required, along with value-add and logistic needs within your end product.

4. Standardize Design

Using standard components in your design can save both money and time for your engineers and downstream in the production process. If you require custom component capabilities, use a trusted contract manufacturer to effectively manage prototyping and testing. Working alongside supply chain will strengthen the knowledge base of overall success of your design as well.

5. Look for Value Added Services

Some manufacturers and suppliers offer services like BOM conditioning and continuous monitoring which focus on detecting issues early and providing solutions proactively to avoid supply chain disruptions. This essential value add service can predict problems and help manage your time to market.

6. Vet Your Supplier

The last strategy is easy. Make sure you are using contract manufacturers and suppliers that are accredited and incorporate quality assurance procedures, including open communication and documentation protocols. This will increase the likelihood for a long-term solid partnership that will provide on time and on budget products. Strong relationships prove to be key, time over time.

Pro-Active Engineering, located near Madison, Wisconsin has been providing professional electronic design, quick-turn prototyping, PCB layout, board assembly, and box build assembly services for a wide range of industries including energy systems, industrial equipment, military/defense, medical devices, underwater autonomous vehicles (UAV) and scientific/research equipment for 25 years. Reach out to our experts today to learn how we can Pro-Actively serve you.


February 2, 2021

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis., Feb. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Pro-Active Engineering is beginning the first quarter of 2021 with a significant capital investment in equipment. Vice President, Paul Schwanbeck projects that the addition of two Mycronic DX100 high-speed pick ‘n place machines will increase capacity by up to 40%. He goes on to explain “the two machines have been configured in a synergy line and are capable of placing up to 80 thousand parts per hour.”

Building Expansion Plans

A five-year outlook plan for the Sun Prairie electronics company includes an extensive building remodel. Schwanbeck explains, “the redefined space will more than double the manufacturing footprint.” The initial blueprint showcases a defined space for a growing engineering team, which now offers contracting services in rapid prototyping, 3D printing, mechanical design, PCB design/layout, electrical, mechanical, and software engineering. The design also incorporates additional conference rooms, upgraded employee break areas, and a new lunchroom.

New Hires Meet Electronics Industry Demand

Pro-Active has hired 10 new employees in the last two months. Human Resources Manager, Rachel Fuerstenberg, notes they expect to add an additional 10 to 20 employees in 2021. She attributes the growth to the existing and future demand in the marketplace for industrial and medical electronic devices, electronic equipment, and IoT adaptation. These new jobs will be in operations, engineering, production, supply chain, management, and quality.

25th Anniversary for Pro-Active Engineering, Inc.

The planning is already underway to celebrate Pro-Active Engineering’s 25th Anniversary both in person and virtually with customers, employees, and the community. Founder and President, Toby Klusmeyer, started the Wisconsin based electronics company in May 1996, in a 400 sq. ft. basement in downtown Sun Prairie. His initial business plan was to help customers design, develop and bring their products to market fast.

About Pro-Active Engineering, Inc.

Since 1996, Pro-Active Engineering Inc. has been providing professional electronic design, PCB layout, board assembly, and box build assembly services for a wide range of industries including industrial equipment, medical devices, led lighting, energy systems, pharmaceutical products, military/defense, underwater autonomous vehicles (UAV), and scientific/research equipment. The company currently operates over 45,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing in Sun Prairie, WI. In addition to the electronics manufacturing services (EMS), product design, and engineering services, Pro-Active Engineering also offers quick-turn prototyping through its dedicated Speed Shop line. proactivepcb.com

Melanie Hoffman


June 2, 2020

New Hire Alert! Today we are announcing the arrival of our newest member of the Pro-Active family, Samuel Langeberg. Sam is going to be a new member on our amazing production team as a Solder Technician. Good Luck, Sam!


June 1, 2020

Last week, we had our annual ISO 9001:2015 audit. This year’s audit was a unique experience in that the auditor wasn’t here with us at Pro-Active Engineering. Instead, the audit was conducted remotely using teleconferencing. Even with the constraints of the format for the audit, the auditor was very happy with our quality system and our team’s compliance to all of our processes. He was particularly impressed with customer service and our in-process quality checks on the production floor. Thank you to everyone that was interviewed for demonstrating what makes us exceptional. Keep up the good work! - Andrew Ersham


May 20, 2020

Pro-Active Engineering, Inc., a leading electronic design and manufacturing service provider in Sun Prairie, WI, announced that it has acquired Apex Embedded Systems LLC, a Monona, WI based engineering firm. The purchase expands Pro-Active Engineering’s design engineering and software development capabilities to better serve the needs of its customers.

April 27, 2020

This week we have a new video dropping! Our conformal coating video is finally here!!! We believe that our addon value i what makes us such a unique company. Today you will get a chance to see our conformal coating process in action. Today’s electronics demand the ultimate protection. Pro-Active Engineering can protect your components from moisture, dirt, and extreme temperatures through our conformal coating process.


April 22, 2020

Culture Video!!! - We LOVE our fun culture at Pro-Active Engineering. One way we like to show our work culture is through videos. Once in a while we do fun videos like this. This is a knock off version of the intro to the hit TV show "The Office". Enjoy!A special thanks to Deanna Bell-Dennison, Paul Schwanbeck, Kenny Newman, Elizabeth Dennison, Christa Smits, Lisa Ganoni, and Matt Montgomery for helping with the video!


April 13, 2020

Today we are showcasing a truly great story we are trying to spread. A young Canadian Scout by the name of Quinn has designed ear guards that help hospital staff alleviate pressure on their heads while wearing surgical masks. We decided to pitch in and do our part as well by donating our first wave to Mayo Clinic and Froedtert Hospital's in WI. It is important to help one another any way we can during this trying time.


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Pro-Active Engineering350 Business Park Dr, Sun Prairie, WI 53590


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