London, UK Remploy Electronics has completed the first half of a £700 000 investment in new production lines. While it has been involved in electronics for a number of years, a specialist electronics division of was set up last July (see: Remploy creates stand-alone CEM division) and is investing as it anticipates 35% growth in the next financial year.
A £350 000 PCB assembly line has been commissioned in Bolton and a similar installation is to follow at its Barking facility. The equipment will provide the capability for placing a variety of devices including 0201 surface mount packages, fine pitch quad flat packs and micro BGA components. The group will have the capacity to place 60 000 components per hour.
Remploy Electronics has six sites with all having the capability to produce electro-mechanical assemblies. The facilities, including those in Southampton, Brixton, Holloway and Medway, provide small, medium, and high volume batch production in a high mix environment. The group says it has identified a market niche between the international contract manufacturers and local suppliers which it aims to target.
The electronics division can provide from design and prototype assembly through volume production & test to packaging and global distribution. It can give after sales support and full supply chain management.
As part of the revamp in operations, Remploy has appointed an electronics specialist as business manager of the division. Rick Cook has joined from Pentair Electronic Packaging where he was group sales and marketing director for a number of brands including Schroff and Optima. He was previously general manager of Rohm.
Cook said, “Although much of the very high volume manufacturing has moved overseas, there are still a large number of SMEs in the UK who are looking for the scale and flexibility of contract manufacturing that Remploy is set up to provide.”
Remploy is the UK's leading employer of people with disabilities and has over 80 factories employing over 10 000 and an annual turnover of more than £250million. Manufacturing activities include automotive, furniture, printing and packaging and its services include IT recycling and CCTV monitoring. It is this scale and variety that Cook believes can provide added advantages. “We can offer customers a combination of corporate purchasing clout, due to the scale of the Remploy group as a whole, combined with the benefits of a highly focussed division with a selection of operating sites.”