Investment drives up sales for PCB maker

A £200,000 investment drive has seen a Warwick-based PCB assembly specialist secure its best ever year, with sales up 35% and five new jobs created.

SMT DevelopmentsSMT Developments, which is a member of the Midlands Assembly Network (MAN), has seen a surge in orders following the implementation of an industry-leading MRP/CRM system, upgrading its pick and place machine, installing a new Inertec selective soldering machine and the purchase of a new Ultravision AOI machine for full solder inspection.

The enhanced capabilities allow it to provide clients in the marine, environmental, F1 and commercial sectors with greater accuracy, speed of turnaround and the flexibility of PCB population or a fully vendor managed service.

Increased demand has seen the Heathcote Way firm reach £2.5m in 2012, with a full pipeline of potential orders set to aid further expansion this year.

John Rowley, Director, picked up the story: “Our growth has been due to a combination of existing products coming to maturity and a number of new business wins – the latter part of a targeted sales and marketing campaign.

“We have worked extremely hard to create ‘partnerships’ with our customers so that we work with them to develop products that can be manufactured in the most efficient way possible and utilise high quality materials without adding cost.”

He continued: “This has proven to be a very popular approach and has been instrumental in the 35% increase in sales we have enjoyed. The way things are looking, I would expect similar growth in 2013.”

SMT Developments provides total turnkey services from electronics assembly prototypes to fully tested total product build and can also offer solutions in PCB design and layout.

All of this is carried out at its two factories in Warwick, which offer a combined floorspace of 13,500 sq ft and an array of industry-leading equipment.

The company, which employs 30 people, also holds IPC training accreditations for the electronics industry and is a signatory of the SC21 World Class supply chains programme for the aerospace and defence sector.

“We are constantly looking at ways where we can offer something different and our upgrade of the pick and place machines combined with the Ultravision machine gives us the opportunity to place and automate the full solder inspection of 0201 components,” added John.

“These parts are 20 thousands of an inch x 10 thousandths of an inch and there’s only a handful of firms across the country who will offer this capability in low volumes.”

The Midlands Assembly Network is made up of eight companies including SMT Developments, Advanced Chemical Etching, Alucast, Barkley Plastics, Brandauer, FW Cables, PP Electrical Systems and Westley Engineering.

Together they employ over 550 people and turnover in excess of £60m, providing access to world class manufacturing in precision pressings, casting, etching, injection moulding, wiring looms, toolmaking, PCB assembly and electrical control systems and assemblies.

“Being part of MAN has been a massive plus point for SMT. We’ve won new contracts that we are delivering with other members and have benefited hugely from attending so many exhibitions.

“The new website ( has just gone live so we are expecting a further increase in opportunities.”

For further information on SMT Developments,visit or call 01926 453050.