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Vanguard EMS

Quality Begins Here

At Vanguard EMS, we believe high-reliability electronics manufacturing requires quality at every single step. It’s the best way to build leading-edge products and long-term relationships.

From our customer interactions to the technicians working on our manufacturing floor, quality is in our DNA. We don’t take shortcuts; we follow our processes. You can expect seamless program alignment and rapid adjustments to changing circumstances. As a result, your programs flow through manufacturing quickly and smoothly.

Who We Serve

Vanguard EMS specializes in building high-quality, high-reliability electronics products for leaders in the Medical, Aerospace & Defense, and Infrastructure/Industrial sectors. Our customers say we offer Tier 1 capabilities - but with the responsiveness and flexibility of a more nimble company.

Our customers range from Fortune 500 companies to rapidly growing innovators. If your product has complex assemblies and high reliability requirements, and your program seeks a solid business fit over the long-term, we welcome you to explore a relationship with us.


Vanguard EMS is the FDA manufacturer of record for four system-level Class II and Class III medical devices. When introducing and scaling production of innovative life-sustaining devices, Vanguard EMS can help you reduce risk and manufacture quality products, delivered on time.

Aerospace & Defense

In theatre environments, lives are on the line and critical electronics must perform flawlessly. Vanguard EMS mitigates risk for products with stringent reliability demands, while providing real-time feedback to keep you in control of your program. Problems get solved quickly, projects stay on schedule, and costs are controlled.


Delivering high-quality power and RF products to market on time requires timely coordination and communication. Vanguard EMS’ experts keep your product moving quickly through design, configuration, and test changes, giving your program the attention it needs to satisfy your customers.

Quality and Focused Expertise

Quality comes from having domain expertise, talented and dedicated people, and robust processes. At Vanguard EMS, we’ve chosen to focus on specific industry sectors and product types. Doing so has allowed us to provide great value, exceptional quality, and first-rate customer satisfaction.

There are a few areas we don’t focus on so our mission stays clear. First, we won’t build to low quality standards, or low-cost retail products. Second, we avoid starting relationships for products nearing obsolescence. Finally, while we provide extensive design for manufacturability (DFM) and design for testing (DFT) feedback, product design is outside our scope, as are prototyping-only efforts.

SMARTer Manufacturing™: No Compromises

Device quality, reliability, on-time delivery, and traceability of components, supplies, tools, people, and recipes are non-negotiables In the world of high-risk electronics. At Vanguard EMS, all our manufacturing tools and processes are designed to meet these high standards.

SMARTer Manufacturing™ is our proprietary process flow and manufacturing execution system, designed specifically to produce high-risk electronics to the most rigorous specifications. From direct download of documentation to interactive work instructions, SMARTer Manufacturing™ leaves nothing to chance. Products are built reliably and costs are controlled. You’ll gain insight into your program as it moves through manufacturing, and have access to complete history records for future needs. Customers often ask if they can purchase SMARTer Manufacturing™ for their internal use–we see that as a compliment to its effectiveness.

Our History

Founded in 1988 by Tektronix alumni as the Laughlin-Wilt Group, the company grew steadily and was acquired in 2003 by our CEO, an employee since 1995. After a long name-selection process, Vanguard* was chosen because it perfectly describes the companies we serve; market leaders whose products make a difference in improving safety, operating duration, and quality of life. It also describes who and what we must be to support you. We are thrilled to play a critical role in our customers’ success.

Today, Vanguard EMS is the largest locally-owned electronics manufacturer in the Northwest U.S., supporting high-quality customers at the leading edge in their markets. We’re proud to have contributed to their success throughout our long-term relationships and look forward to continued growth with them. We invite you to visit our 77,000 square foot facility near Portland, Oregon, where you can witness first-hand how Vanguard EMS delivers quality by continually re-investing in capability, capacity, and culture.



1.   a group of people leading the way in new developments or ideas.
2.   the foremost part of an advancing army or naval force.

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SMARTer Manufacturing™

Vanguard has created a proprietary manufacturing execution system that is unparalleled in the EMS market.

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Test Capabilities

Vanguard is proud of our history and vast capability in developing creative test solutions for our customers.

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Vanguard EMS Video Tour

Vanguard has created a video to help give you an intimate look at our operations.

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