Newbury Electronics, a leading manufacturer of PCBs, is celebrating as its order books for the first six months of the year show an increase of 33 per cent over the same period last year. Coupled with this impressive level of growth, the company has also invested nearly £150,000 in new equipment to ensure it can deliver the highest quality products and compete in the ever more complex PCB market. The final measure of the company’s continued success is reflected in its staff recruitment programme, with the company now employing 85 staff and still looking to fill several skilled and semi-skilled vacancies in its two Newbury production centres.
Philip King, managing director, said: “The first six months of this year have been really exciting and we are delighted that our programme of investment in both equipment and staff, that has been running for the last year, has reaped such rewards in terms of new orders. As customers demand ever more complex boards it is imperative that we continue to invest in the latest manufacturing equipment to ensure the highest quality products.”
Since the start of the year the company has installed the following:
- Lynx Evo stereo microscope and mantis Elite microscope from Vision Engineering – this enhances the company’s process control inspection capability at the intermediate stages of production
- A vapour phase solder reflow oven type BLC420 from IBL from Blundell – this is for very high quality reflow soldering of small batches of complex PCB assemblies. This process guarantees almost fault free soldering of surface mount devices by maintaining exceptionally close control over heating and cooling of the PCBs during the reflow process. This helps the company to meet their customers’ demands for zero defect production of increasingly technical and difficult to manufacture PCB assemblies for which there is a seeing rising demand.
- An Atlas Copco NGP20 nitrogen generator – this replaces a smaller machine and provides additional supplies of 99.999 per cent pure nitrogen extracted from the air to sustain the expanded production. Pure nitrogen protects molten solder from oxidation when reflowed to produce a perfect solder joint.
- Upgrade of the Electrolytic plating line – the electrolytic plating lines have been rebuilt with 50 per cent additional capacity, advanced power supplies and upgraded technical capability to cope with leading edge requirement for hi-tech PCB manufacture and increased demand.
Some of the first people to see the newly installed equipment were 15 members of the local IET branch, who recently attended an evening event entitled: “What’s new in PCB manufacturing and electronic assembly”. Martin Wren-Hilton, director of wireless innovation for TalkTalk and one of the visiting members of the IET said: “Thank you for opening your doors last night and showing us round your marvellous PCB fabrication facility. I learnt a lot!”
“The evening was a great success, enjoyed by visitors and staff alike. The array of sophisticated equipment used to make and assemble PCBs seemed to amaze our guests. We will certainly do more evening tours, but only after a few month’s breather,” said Philip King.