Electronics Production | March 28, 2008

CT Production would like to expand on the Medical and Aerospace market

evertiq has made an interview with Mr. Alan Trevarton Managing Director at CT Production in the UK about the business development in 2008, market segments in Europe and new investments.
How does the business development continue for CT Production in 2008, compared to 2007?

Our organic growth in 2007 was 13% in added value terms, a slight reduction from our norm of around 20%. This was due mainly to losing our largest contract to ‘lower costs’ in China. After some time our customer has decided to return the increased volume of this product to us due to a combination of quality / flexibility and no hidden costs. We therefore expect 2008 to start as we ended 2007 and increase from mid Q2 to around our norm of 20% for the year.

In which European region do you have the strongest presence?
Over 90% of our business is direct in the UK, although several of our customers are international companies with UK offices and whose products are sold worldwide. Our main export area is to Switzerland.

In which European region would you like to develop a stronger presence?
We are still winning new business in the UK. We would like to do more business with Eire or mainland Europe, but most customers like to know their contract manufacturer is not far away. Greater distance is an environmental disadvantage from the point of view of ‘product miles’.

In which market segments do you have a stronghold?
We are winning increasing amounts of business with intrinsically safe requirements to work in hazardous areas, where quality is paramount. Our reputation for both quality and delivery is a significant factor in this. We have invested in X-ray, AOI and other equipment to underpin this, as well as encapsulation and conformal coating systems, which are needed for environmental sealing. We do, however, manufacture prototypes, batch and full production volumes across a wide market range, from aerospace to leisure products.

Which market segments would you like to expand into?
We believe that we have not been exposed enough to the medical and aerospace markets to date and the customers we do have in these sectors are very happy indeed with our service. We will be aiming to address this over the coming years.

Companies within the medical and aerospace markets are often more environmentally aware and therefore require working partnerships with Contract Electronics Manufacturers of a similar mind. CT Production is working towards ISO14001 accreditation and expects full compliance during 2008.

Do you consider new investments or hire new employees during 2008?
We have invested in a semi-automatic encapsulation (potting compound) system already and will be taking delivery of a fully automatic conformal coating system in May to complement our manual facilities.
As we expand we will be taking on more staff, increasingly tending towards technician rather than operator status. Our staff undergo training as part of our Investor In People status and we are one of the few CEMs to employ a fully qualified trainer for IPC workmanship standards. To further our commitment to quality, the introduction of flying probe or automatic test equipment is being considered for later in 2008.

How has the UK EMS market changed over the latest five years?
The face of the market and industry has changed significantly and many of the companies and people in the industry have either adapted or disappeared. The influence of the strong pound and lower cost of global outsourcing has perhaps had the biggest effect. Technology has moved on, with BGAs, higher technology and higher quality products tending to make up much of the work remaining in the UK. Only companies which invested in newer equipment and training have survived. Expectations are also greater now, customers rightly expect (apart from a good price), quality, on-time delivery and strong supporting service, and they will move supplier if any of these are not satisfactory. Thankfully, some of these come to CT Production and our latest survey of customer satisfaction shows a 5% increase for 2007, reaching an overall average of 90% against a ‘very good’ rating. Whilst we are very pleased with this we know that continuous improvement is essential in order to maintain our position within the market, so will continue working hard for our customers.
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