25 years of PCB Manufacturing

The UK Pcb manufacturing industry has changed out of all recognition in the last 25 years. UK Plc was a world player in manufacturing.  Respected and trusted throughout the globe for quality, precision lead processes resulting in a superior product. This hasn’t changed today. In fact this has become the corner stone of the sustainability for UK manufacturing. The change has been the volume.

In the early 90’s Eastern Europe started to emerge as a player in volume production. With a large and willing  workforce and wages considerably lower than the UK or other established Western countries, they were able to produce cheaper product whilst still being geographically close to the Western markets. In the early 21st Century this phenomena was replicated, but on a much larger scale, in China.

What this did to the UK industry was put massive price pressure on the larger players in the market to reduce prices to levels that were unheard of in the UK. Sadly this ultimately led to the demise of many of the volume UK facilities reducing numbers of PCB fabrication houses from over 450 in the 80’s to something like 60 today.

How have the 60 survived in such a rarefied atmosphere? The key to the survival of any business is an efficient, knowledgeable and adaptable operation. Companies whose staff understand the processes inside and out, management that are able to point the business in new directions as soon as the opportunities have been identified. If too much time is spent dallying, the order books will soon be bereft when once bulging.

Minnitron has been in business for over 50 years making Printed Circuit Boards. In the 70’s and 80’s we were making large volume orders for people such as Hornby, MK Electronics and other household names.  As this production was migrated to the emerging economies Minnitron was able to adapt its’ processes to produce quick turnaround and specialist PCBs for the developing UK Research & Development and prototyping markets.

By investing heavily in Staff training and quality manufacturing equipment, consistent quality and on-time deliveries have become the mainstay of our success. Partnerships and communication with allied industries have allowed Minnitron to offer a full service of Design right the way through to volume manufacture and PCB assembly (PCBA).

With the combined knowledge of almost 300 years worth of experience in our 16 staff, Minnitron has positioned itself perfectly for another 50 years in an ever changing world.

Paul Goodfellow