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About Newbury Electronics

Newbury Electronics has its origins in 1956…

when the business was established as a spin off from Newbury Engineering Limited, which had originally been formed by Major Ernest Lloyd, to undertake secondary machining on Zenith carburettors.

A factory at West Mills near the locks in the centre of Newbury was purchased, and Newbury Electronics developed its business in the manufacture of circuit boards, initially supplying the AWRE at Aldermaston and Leo Computers (ICL). The company was the subject of a number of acquisitions in the early 1970s before being acquired by AB Electronic Components PLC in 1972. Kevin Forder, joined the Company from AB Electronics in 1976 and was appointed Managing Director. Two years later, “plated through hole” (PTH) circuit boards were manufactured at Newbury for the first time, and CNC drilling machines were installed in 1979.

In 1980, the business moved nearby to a new custom built factory on the London Road Industrial Estate, which remains the company’s head office premises today. The following year Philip King, joined Newbury Electronics as the management accountant, and in 1987 partnered with Kevin Forder in completing a management buy out from AB Electronics.

Multilayer circuit manufacture started in 1989, together with the installation of the first CADCAM systems and AOI. In 1991, in-house laser photo-plotting began.

ISO 9001 approval was achieved in 1995. In the same year, the CEM (PCB assembly) division was founded, and the first brand new SMD pick & place machine was installed in 1999. Since then SMD placement capacity has been expanded to x 10 lines, all either Yamaha M20 or S20 machines with complete inter-operability of feeders and carts.

The online based PCB Train prototype PCB manufacturing service was also launched in 1999, and the ensuing growth led to the relocation of the assembly operations to the nearby River Park Industrial Estate.

Digital ink-jet legend printing was introduced for bare PCB production in 2003.

As the business expanded during the course of the decade, additional CNC drilling, electrical test, and SMD placement machines were purchased.

In 2005, our Newbury Innovation division was founded with a mission to provide efficient electronic design services with an emphasis on design for manufacture supported by our extensive experience in PCB manufacturing and electronics assembly.

Laser cut solder paste stencil manufacturing operations started in 2010, and the company remains the only UK CEM to have in-house laser stencil cutting.

In-house X-ray inspection of PCB assemblies was established in 2013.

Laser direct imaging was introduced in 2014 for printing fine line copper plating resist masks.

In 2015, a new plant-room was constructed at the PCB factory in Faraday Road to accommodate energy efficient compressed air and fume extraction equipment, and new de-ionised water and effluent treatment plant.

Between 2016 and 2020, the plating shop was substantially reconfigured with new electrolytic plating, de-smear, and ENIG plating lines together with associated fume extraction plant.

in 20116, a conveyorised CyberOptics SQ3000 3D AOI line was installed, being a major step forward in automated inspection technology.

By 2017, the vast majority of leaded parts were being soldered robotically by 2 x Ersa Ecoselect 1, selective solder machines with nitrogen shrouding.  Soon after, the installation of an IBL BLC420 vapour phase solder paste reflow machine enhanced our capability to reflow high thermal mass PCBs.

AS9100 approval was achieved in 2021 for the assembly plant.  We take pride in the creation of one of the best equipped high mix, contract electronic manufacturing plants in the UK.

During 2020/21, the PCB plant became 100% digital in operation with the installation of x 2 Schmoll 3 headed MDI photomechanical printing machines making this plant also one of the best equipped in the UK.  This was a significant milestone, particularly beneficial to us, digital technology replacing all previous photographic tools.  After a reign of 65 years, the use and handling of photography was finally eliminated. The benefits are superior line width capability, enhanced registration, faster set ups, reduced inspection and lower costs.

Over the last 20 years , we have been developing our online marketing website branded PCB Train (www.pcbtrain.co.uk) with the ultimate intention of allowing online processing of all PCB and contract assembly costing, quotation, ordering, and tracking.  Today, we have the most advanced online presence in the UK.

Tens of thousands of different types of PCB designs are manufactured for clients each year, many of which we populate in-house. We aim to be our clients preferred supplier of high quality bare PCBs and populated electronic assemblies both in fast turnaround and small and medium batch production quantities.  To achieve this, we expect to continually invest in the latest technology, plant , processes and equipment.

We believe we are the most capable and agile PCB fabrication and electronic assembly manufacturing facility in the UK.

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