The Spark: Happenings in Upstate Biz with Trevor Anderson


In a pond dominated by large tech giants, TPM Inc. might appear to be a small fish.

But the Greenville-based enterprise has continued to punch above its weight with its focus on providing a depth of resources, innovation, and quality customer service.

On March 19, TPM announced another addition to its repertoire of software and training solutions, and the company believes the news could have a positive impact on manufacturing and engineering operations in the Upstate and beyond.

TPM said it has partnered with Texas-based Nine Dot Connects to begin offering SOLIDWORKS PCB. PCB stands for “printed circuit board.”

According to TPM, SOLIDWORKS PCB, powered by Altium, is software that allows designers of printed circuit boards to develop efficient schematics for their board layouts.

The software allows the PCB design to be integrated into SOLIDWORKS CAD, or computer-aided design, models, “creating a best-in-class workflow to link the electrical design process with the mechanical design process,” TPM said.

“TPM is excited about this new partnership,” said Chris Fay, vice president of TPM, in a statement. “This allows us to be able to offer a complete set of design solutions built around the SOLIDWORKS platform to the manufacturing market.”

“Nine Dot Connects brings a long history and wealth of experience in the PCB area that we can now bring to our customers,” Fay added.

TPM said with growth in areas such as the internet of things, which is a term typically used to describe devices connected to each other via the internet, PCB design is “becoming a much more prevalent part of the design and engineering process.”

The company said by integrating PCB with the mechanical model, organizations can benefit from a more “efficiently managed” engineering process to “keep them at their most productive level.”

“As the integration between mechanical and electrical design becomes increasingly interwoven, we are elated to be working with TPM to assist their customers in their design efforts,” said Christopher Chae, founder of Nine Dot Connects, in a statement. “Our focus is on electronic design with a firm knowledge of mechanical interaction. This partnership is far more than another tool offering. It is the opportunity for TPM customers to explore the idea of adding electronics to their products in a successful environment.”

That isn’t too shabby for a 45-year-old family-owned company originally founded as a manual drafting print shop for blueprints with $700 by Greenville entrepreneur Jerry Cooper.

Today, TPM boasts 3,000 customers across the Southeast.

Headquartered at 1003 Laurens Road, TPM has 100 employees, five divisions, and five satellite offices located in Columbia, Charleston, Atlanta, and Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C.


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