© Europlacer ltd. Electronics Production | March 26, 2021
Wildtrax invests in second Pick&Place machine
The Littlehampton-based CEM Wildtrax invested in its second SMT pick & place machine from Europlacer during the lockdown in September 2020 to support the manufacture of medical equipment.
The new twin-headed iineo+ II machine from Europlacer was installed at Wildtrax in October 2020, meeting the company’s need to quickly ramp up surface mount assembly throughput for boards used in medical products as well as others deployed in Cold Chain food and pharmaceuticals distribution, a press release states. “We knew that another iineo machine would pay for itself inside 18 months. In light of the exemplary support provided by Europlacer with the first installation and afterwards, it was the obvious choice,” explains Mark Bullen, Managing Director at GBE & Wildtrax. “Back in 2018, moving away from our incumbent supplier was a difficult step. But we have huge expertise in our production team, so I asked members of that team what they would buy. They had spent many months working out exactly what we needed and recommended iineo. So we went for it – whereby efficiency promptly leapt by 50%! We’ve never looked back.” The decision to acquire the new iineo+ machine came on the back of Wildtrax’s first iineo order in 2018. With that initial purchase, the production team at nearby GB Electronics (GBE) as well as engineers at Wildtrax selected the iineo platform after an in-depth study of the marketplace and equipment suppliers. (GB Electronics is a turnkey design-led electronics manufacturing business. GBE originally outsourced manufacturing to Wildtrax before acquiring the company but the two operations are still run independently.) The improvements in speed and efficiency also allowed GBE to win more contracts, with Wildtrax providing the surface mount assembly element of the manufacturing service. “The contract manufacturing business model is different to that of GBE, which is why we keep the entities separate. But strategic collaborations between the businesses have proved highly successful,” says Bullen. “We have almost doubled the combined revenues in three years and are enjoying particularly strong growth at Wildtrax, due in part to our continuing investment in new assembly technologies like the Europlacer pick & place platforms that deliver more capability and capacity.”