Distributor Anglia is opening a plant to populate and assemble PCBs in an attempt to stop the work and the component orders involved moving to lower cost labour markets.
Bill Ingram, chairman, said: “We are not looking to compete with traditional contract manufacturing because the margin would be too low. We want to offer a more complete service to people buying components, who are just starting to think about looking offshore for board assembly.”
Anglia made a similar move a year ago when it acquired a Scottish battery management operation to stop its contracts moving to South Korea. But Ingram says it has been difficult to get an economic return and this operation is now to close. Many of the staff will transfer to the new Anglia Solutions PCB division.
Anglia's move is another example of a distributor looking to secure component delivery and expand its range of services as more manufacturing leaves the UK. The new division is based in a 5200sq m building opposite Anglia's HQ in Wisbech. It has been filled with equipment that would have cost £5m if purchased new.