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Electronics Production | March 05, 2012

United EMS wins contract using Juki equipment

United EMS has won a £3m contract in competition with Chinese manufacturers.
“There has long been a perceived wisdom that you must manufacture in volume in other parts of the world,” Tony McFadden, director and co-owner of United EMS said. “In the past two years that has started to change,” said McFadden. “I believe there is an opportunity, a gap in the market to work with those people who have had headaches manufacturing in the Far East,” he said.

It is not quality which is the issue, but the basic problems of logistics and communications when getting your product made on the other side of the world. “Quality is not the issue, quality is a given these days. It is about logistics and communications,” said McFadden.

The important point, he says, is not just about creating a manufacturing operation with the right production technology and production efficiencies, but making the whole supply chain efficient enough to compete with China.

“We are all stakeholders in the supply chain,” said McFadden. “For example, components are cheaper in the Far East so we must work with the supply chain to ensure they have the right cost model too.” This is where the manufacturer’s partnership with distributor Anglia Components became important. The contract will be supported by Anglia, which has signed a component supply agreement valued at more than £1m with United EMS.

McFadden had to be certain he could get the necessary components, and at the right price. “We have to look at the total cost of ownership,” said McFadden. “A lot of effort has gone into understanding the local supply chain, the availability and cost of parts,” said John Bowman, marketing director for semiconductors at Anglia. This is not just implementing a few minor changes to the price lists. “It has resulted in a rethink of how the local supply chain operates,” he said.

“Working in partnership with a UK distributor, we have managed to beat Asian competition and bring a major manufacturing contract back to the UK,” said McFadden.

“We needed to be a manufacturer with lower cost overheads.” McFadden says he was fortunate because he could build a manufacturing business from the ground up, without having to absorb legacy equipment and production practices.

“The business was designed to have a lower overhead cost model from day one,” he said. This meant investment in production equipment and obtaining the necessary certifications. United EMS decides two invest in production lines from JUKI.

Since this time, United EMS decided in the beginning of 2012 to buy two more assembly machines from JUKI, a KE-1070 and KE-1080.

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