high mix manufacturing

Manufacturing and Operations Strategy Consultants

Fujitsu Compound Semiconductors, Inc.

 DEHART CONSULTING has structured a strategic and innovative relationship between Fujitsu's corporate entity in Japan, its US counterpart in San Jose, and a foundry supplier in southern California that will serve as the foundation of a world class domestic operation... 

Gene Brannock, Executive Vice President Fujitsu Compound Semiconductor, Inc.

As a firm, we believe in the power of knowledge and it shows in our people. We bring years of industry expertise to each of our customers' problems, because a learning curve is the enemy of immediacy. Our focus on knowledge, combined with diversity of experience and unique skills, defines us a manufacturing consulting organization. We leverage this knowledge and experience to solve problems, with measurable results, and help our clients achieve their strategic objectives.

Dale DeHart

Dale DeHart

Professional Experience

Principal - DeHart Consulting, LLC
Vice President Operations - $200 million RF Amplifier Manufacturer
Vice President Operations - $100 million RF Reception Equip Manufacturer
Vice President Operations - $50 million Optoelectronic Switch Manufacturer
Vice President Manufacturing - $30 million Industrial Lighting Manufacturer
Director Manufacturing - $40 million Mfr. Communication Equipment

Dale founded the firm and serves as its principal. He consults in the areas of Operations Strategy, Materials and Manufacturing Cost Reduction, Plant Layout, Continuous Flow Manufacturing, and Supply Chain Development. Dale has extensive hands-on experience in the design, development, and implementation of continuous flow manufacturing, and demand-pull scheduling methodologies. He has managed the complete transition of several companies from traditional, functionally oriented production lines to a High Performance World-Class factory environment.

Dale's consulting practice is focused on helping manufacturing companies design their infrastructure and major business processes to deal with the rapidly changing requirements of future markets. Dale is experienced in developing innovative operations strategies, developing high-performance supply bases and managing lead-time reduction programs, continuous flow plant designs, process re-engineering, and high performance work team development. His experience includes extensive work in the semiconductor and electronics industries as well as projects in autonomous vehicles, and consumer products.

Prior to founding DeHart Consulting, Dale held senior operations positions in companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, MACOM, and CalAmp. In addition, he has been an early member of successful high-tech start-up companies, managing both Engineering and Operations functions.


Dale holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the California State Polytechnic University; a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University; and a Masters Degree in Business from UCLA.


Mr. DeHart was born in Southern California. He is married and has four children.

Mike Stephens

Mike G. Stephens

Professional Experience

Director, Engineering Services - Satellite Electronics Manufacturer
Vice President, Operations - Lighting Systems Manufacturer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager - RF Components Manufacturer
Engineering Manager – Hand-held Computer Manufacturer

Profit-minded, performance oriented manufacturing and operations professional offering 25+ years progressive experience in Plant Operations, R&D, Applications Engineering, Field Service, Manufacturing Engineering and Off Shore Procurement. A hands-on strategic planner, decision maker and problem solver with a proven track record of leadership and excellence in manufacturing by utilizing Lean Manufacturing and TQM techniques. Profit and Loss responsibility in addition to providing technical liaison support to external customers and suppliers.

  • Development and setup of electronic manufacturing processes, both domestic and offshore.
  • Leader of ISO 9000 certification teams.
  • Mechanical Design of laser diode transceivers for SAN market.
  • Set up of micro-electronic assembly line to manufacture integrated laser circuits: scribe/saw process through final test and burn-in.
  • Evaluation of battery manufacturing processes for computer applications
  • Produced complex cable TV power hybrids and communication devices for the military.
  • Responsible for all hermetic semiconductor devices produced in the Far East.
  • Set up of seven offshore semiconductor and PCB assembly facilities in the Far East and Mexico. Complete responsibility for plan layout, staffing, training, equipment selection and process control.
  • Created microelectronics facility for Xerox. Chief Engineer for microelectronics packaging at all Xerox division. Full manufacturing responsibility for R&D transfer to production.
  • Developed proprietary process to produce charge coupled devices for copy machines.
  • Formalized basic design rules for microelectronics packaging at each of the six companies.
  • Increased manufacturing yields to 95% from levels as low as 50% through material selection, process design and analysis of compatibility and tolerance at the design level.
  • Evaluated economics of automation and use of robotics. Where appropriate, designed and installed complete systems, reducing product labor content by 50%.


Mechanical Engineering Program, Cerritos College
Business Major at Cal State University Fullerton, CA
Served on S.E.M.I. Standards Committee on Hermetic Devices


Mr. Stephens was born in Southern California. He is married to Jackie and has four children.



Richard Novak, Ph.D.

Professional Experience

  • Semiconductor Process Engineering
  • Semiconductor Capital Equipment
  • Epitaxial Growth Technologies
  • GaAs Process Development
  • Semiconductor Wet and Dry Cleaning Technologies
Dr. Richard E. Novak received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in Ceramic Engineering. He was a member of the Technical Staff at RCA Laboratories for ten years specializing in crystal growth of shaped sapphire materials and preparation of sapphire wafers for Silicon on sapphire or SOS technology. His activities in wafer cleaning began in 1985 when he joined FSI International where he was Laboratory Director, and later Chief Technologist. There he helped develop the Mercury MP spray processing tool, initiated single wafer dry cleaning research and point of use chemical generation. In June of 1991, Dr. Novak joined Submicron Systems Corporation, and which later became Akrion Systems where he was Vice President of Advanced Technology until his departure in 2008.
Dr. Novak developed with Dr Ruzyllo of Penn State University the International Symposia on Wafer Cleaning, sponsored by the Electrochemical Society, and since its inception in 1989 acted as program co chair through the 2017 meeting. Dr. Novak was the Program Chairman for the ECS Symposium “Defects and Contamination Control in Semiconductor Manufacturing II”, which was part of the Spring 1993, Honolulu, Hawaii meeting. He was a member of the Technical Advisory Board of Micro-contamination and has participated as an author, panelist and session chairman to the annual Micro Contamination Conferences held in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993. He has participated in SEMATECH’s Workshop on Wafer Cleaning as group leader and in the Contamination Free Manufacturing (CFM) working group. Dr. Novak has made technical presentations on wafer cleaning to numerous semiconductor manufacturers throughout the United States, Europe and the Far East.
He developed crystal growth techniques for multiple crystals to be grown at once as well as the crystal pulling hardware. He led a team that transferred this technology to an RCA manufacturing site. He was also involved with the epi-growth of silicon on sapphire wafers. In 1980, he joined Honeywell’s VHSIC program developing advanced CVD and reduced pressure epi-processes, as well as advanced metallization techniques. Dr. Novak transferred to Honeywell’s Corporate Technology Center in 1983 to work on GaAs process development and transfer this technology to a manufacturing location.

Dr Novak’s consulting business has focused on equipment development as well as cleaning and micro contamination activities at IDM’s as well as equipment and component manufacturers, such as Entegris, Pall Corporation, Veeco, Corning Glass, Honeywell, Seagate, Polar Semiconductor, Skywater Technology, and several Wet Chemical Tool Manufacturers,





Gene Smith

Professional Experience

  • Semiconductor Process Engineering
  • Semiconductor Capital Equipment
  • Factory Digital Transformation
  • Statistical Process Control
  • Six-Sigma Black Belt
Mr. Smith has over 30 years of experience in semiconductor process engineering and control beginning as an engineering associate at Cypress Semiconductor. His professional background includes etch and photolithography process development and the integration of digital factory assets. At Cypress, he was involved in the specification of new capital equipment for a 200mm fabrication facility, capital justifications for etch, photolithography, CVD, and furnace operations,  implementation of new plasma etch technology, and integration digital process control technologies.
In various assignments, he has selected, installed, developed recipes and qualified new etchers for next technology nodes, written operational & maintenance specifications, created training materials, eliminated downtime and rework from defective materials and processes, analyzed years of metrology, maintenance & qualification data, developed controllers to automate tool management, and reduced rework by improving process Cpk.
His education includes an electronics degree from GEI, Nebraska, and professional certificates from Arizona State and the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis. He has been granted 3 patents and published over a dozen papers.
His software and technical skills include:

Excel Macro Expert

Data Modeling & Simulations Professional

Structured Query Language (SQL) Professional

Proficient with Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft Visio Professional

Proficient with Microsoft Project

Design of Experiments (DOE) Professional

Proficient w/Failure Modes & Effects Analysis (FMEA)

Statistical Process Control (SPC) Professional

Lean/Six Sigma Black Bet (SSBB) Professional



Nathan Cota

Professional Experience

  • Software Development
  • Software Testing
  • Web Development
  • Software API Integrations
Mr. Cota has over 15 years of experience in software development and is a full-stack developer. His professional background includes C#/.NET development, MSSQL and MongoDB database architecture, and the development of ope APIs for software integration. He has work with manufacturing software and developed full applications for the implementation of specific capabilities.
In his most recent assignment, Mr. Cota was responsible for the development of a custom-design shop floor real-time dispatching system, VortexTM.