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SMT & Inspection | February 08, 2006

PDR Celebrates Twenty Years in Business

This month, twenty years ago, saw Roger Gibbs, co-founder and Managing Director of PDR, visit the Inter-Nepcon show in Birmingham - UK with their very first product prototype. Then, no more than a crude example, it went on to become the PDR IR-1500B, with machine number 26, manufactured in 1987, still coming back for a service from time to time.
Twenty years on and PDR is still an independent family run company.

The PDR IR-1500B was also another first, the world's first ever rework system based on Focused Infra-Red (Focused IR) light energy. Focused IR technology was pioneered by Roger Gibbs, and now their 3,500-strong installation list reads like the pages from the Fortune 500; with some of the world's top OEMs and EMS providers relying on PDR's technology to simplify one of electronics manufacturing's riskiest, most demanding, and unavoidable tasks.

Roger Gibbs explains: "Our clients use our systems because Focused IR simply works. The systems have always been easy to set-up and use and the latest systems even have automatic profiling software. There are no nozzles, focus hoods or shields to worry about, so cost of ownership has always been low with nearly zero follow-on costs. We remain a very flexible company, making modular and upgradeable systems to all of our customers' many and varying requirements."

"The quality of rework, so crucial to any OEM's or EMS provider's profitability, is down to mechanical accuracy, good materials and great thermal control," adds Roger Gibbs. "That's where we win hands down and why, twenty years on, we have survived the best and worst of times."

PDR's equipment has been lead-free capable since 1996, when it introduced its non-contact thermal sensor, and in the last two years all of its equipment has been sold with lead-free very much in mind. Its profiling software, introduced in the last twelve months, has revolutionised rework, eliminating the guesswork and replacing it with real-time profiling for rework professionals, who are already using PDR's systems in lead-free BGA processes around the world.

"Business is not easy these days, but there is definitely business out there to be had, as our sales continue to grow in all regions," says Roger Gibbs. "It has been an interesting journey since that first visit to Inter Nepcon twenty years ago, and we are very much looking forward to what the next twenty has to offer".

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