Investing in UK manufacturing

Charcroft Electronics director, Vicky Mellor, explains why investing in equipment, people and the local community is essential to being a vibrant and caring company

There are many ways to invest in Britain’s electronics industry, from equipment needed to increase manufacturing output to the team who will be using it. Likewise, investing time and support for the local community is also important.

Charcroft’s most recent investments in UK-based manufacturing include the Dol-y-Coed head offices in Llanwrtyd Wells and the audio film capacitor manufacturing facility at Wrexham (acquired in 2020).

The manufacturing area has been reorganized for lean production. Rather than split into different areas, the capacitor manufacturing processes are now in a single location, streamlining manufacturing. Team members’ transferable skills are developed using a skills matrix, so people can work flexibly across the manufacturing processes.

New firing ovens have also been installed, while the number of jigs has increased almost tenfold. This investment lets one jig be loaded while another is cooling. The result is a 15-fold increase in the number of capacitors and assemblies produced.

Having a technical engineer on-site offers the speed and flexibility required to create new jigs to meet individual customers’ needs.

New winding equipment has also been installed in the Wrexham manufacturing facility. This helps the team maintain short lead times for film capacitors used in high-end audio and high-reliability applications.

Employees can develop skills in formats including on-the-job training, apprenticeships, on-site national vocational qualifications (NVQs) and up to degree level. The level of commitment to development has been recognised by the Powys Business Awards, where Charcroft is a finalist for the 2023 People Development Award.

People who join Charcroft also actively participate in local events, with all the distribution and manufacturing activities fully respecting the rural setting.