Keeping it local

Charcroft managing director, Paul Newman

Combining its operations in a single location means Charcroft offers a hands-on, more responsive service

A Victorian hotel in the heart of the Cambrian mountains would probably not be most people’s first choice as the location for an electronics company. For managing director, Paul Newman, however, the Dol-y-Coed hotel was the perfect spot. From here, Charcroft Electronics supports customers throughout the UK, as a specialist distributor of passive, interconnect and electro-mechanical components and as a UK-based manufacturer of custom and precision passives.

Since 1985, the building, which was once a popular Victorian spa hotel, has been transformed to house every aspect of Charcroft’s business, from the senior management team, to sales and customer services, the commercial and CECC-bonded warehouses and the manufacturing division.

Newman explained: “Combining all our teams in a single building helps Charcroft to be more responsive to customers and to work in a more cohesive way. The senior management is highly accessible and hands-on, meaning that decisions are made quickly and staff at every level of the company can, and do, knock on my door with customer-related questions.”

Originally built circa 1535, Dol-y-Coed was a major attraction for Victorians who came to take the water at its mineral spring

The company’s commitment to keeping its central operations in the UK was apparent when Charcroft learned that Ashcroft planned to shut down its manufacturing plant for VK series ceramic capacitors. Charcroft bought the manufacturing rights, moved the production equipment to Wales and created a new manufacturing division to secure long-term continuity of supply for its customers. Within a year, the new UK manufacturing division was also licensed by Vishay as the third approved precision centre, worldwide, for the trimming and assembly of precision bulk metal foil resistors.

The full capability of the manufacturing division now includes custom passive assemblies for harsh or long life-cycle applications, interconnect assembly and selection of components to customer-specific parameters such as tolerance or value. All carried out in-house and in the UK.

Of course, the location does present some challenges which, in typical Charcroft style, have been turned into advantages. Newman explained: “We don’t have the biggest labour pool from which to recruit employees.

Charcroft manufactures custom, precision and legacy passives in Wales

“Many of our internal staff have no experience of electronics when they join, but our strong training and development ethic and stable workforce, mean that they soon acquire an encyclopaedic knowledge of the components in which we specialise. This is a key factor in our ability to service major OEM and CEM customers in the military, aerospace, medical and high-end industrial sectors, where specialist knowledge can mean the difference between receiving a product they can use, or receiving one which has incorrect documentation, such as shipping a RoHS-compliant part for a RoHS-exempt application.”

By basing its key operations in a single UK location, Charcroft ensures that its service, support and manufactured products are entirely ‘Made in Wales.’