Milward & Associates International was founded in 1987 as a Consulting firm specializing in Surface Mount Technology (SMT). In the early 1980s this electronics technology began to revolutionize the Electronics Industry worldwide. In the Aerospace industry the first application of SMT was designed for the U.S. Air Force and to be applied in the Flight Control Computer (Black Box) of the F-15 Fighter jets. Lear Siegler Inc. in Santa Monica, California was awarded the government contract to design and develop the printed wiring assemblies (PWAs) that comprised this navigation system. The manufacturing process for these PWAs consisted of electronic components that were mounted and soldered to the surface of the PWA and not inserted into the board and soldered as had been done with the previous through-hole technology. The advent of Surface Mount Technology enabled PWAs to be produced at less than a third of its previous cost versus the through-hole design and substantially improved the electrical performance of the circuit. In essence, Surface Mount Technology enabled equipment to be produced faster, at less cost, greater density, and with increased throughput rates. As a result, a new Industry was born in the United States and government along with private businesses began redesigning their circuit cards and converting the through-hole manufacturing process to a Surface Mount Technology process.
There was a significant capital investment to make the SMT conversion, ($1 million - $10 million) and it took the industry about 10 years to change. But, change it did, and Milward & Associates International was at the forefront of that change for ten (10) years converting outdated through-hole facilities to the SMT process throughout the United States. Those that resisted the change or that were unable to make the conversion were driven out of business because they could no longer compete in a marketplace that was able to produce electronic products at a third of its previous costs.