As part of her quest to visit 100 N.J. businesses, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno recently traveled to two N.J. tech firms. The first, Clifton-based NJMET is a 30-year-old firm providing laboratory testing of and management services for electronic components. Its clients include the military, aerospace and other industries. The number of employees at the company has doubled since 2000.
NJMET recently introduced its Mission Imposter program, a series of detailed tests that identify cloned and counterfeit electronic components. The program is the first of its kind to detect the incorporation of counterfeit components from the Pacific Rim. The electronics industry, said Joseph Federico, company vice president, is experiencing a growing epidemic of cloned devices, which are copied metallurgically to simulate original U.S. products.
Cloned products are starting to show up in military and aerospace product components, Federico noted. Mission Imposter identifies a clone component before it goes into the circuit board that ultimately ends up in a U.S. aircraft, he explained. While cloned products may work initially, they may not be of good quality or function in the long run, he said. Some are finding their way into medical devices, which can present problems for end users. When a counterfeit or cloned component is detected, NJMET notifies the company submitting it for testing and rejects the item.
At the second company, SHI International Corp., Guadagno cut the ribbon at the 420,000-square-foot cloud computing campus and global headquarters. The Somerset location employs nearly 1,000, and the firm has grown between 25 and 30 percent over the past two years. During the ceremony, the lieutenant governor called SHI a "classic New Jersey success story."
Guadagno said SHI’s success has a lot to do with “faith in New Jersey ... I think you started here because of the great educated workforce we offer companies ... because we have power ... because we have fiber.”
Thai Lee, SHI’s CEO, reiterated that her company’s employees represent every major college and university in N.J. and that most of the firm’s major customers are headquartered here. Although SHI is a private company, it reports some of its numbers. The company says it has $3.5 billion in annual sales and is projecting double-digit growth next year.