Since 1965, Mowden Controls has been developing and producing exceptional electronics for customers. Long-term relationships with suppliers and customers as well as flexibility and quality have made the company successful. To continue producing the best, Mowden uses machines from the Swiss manufacturer Essemtec in its production.
Based in North Yorkshire (UK), specialty electronics are Mowden Controls’ market niche, and the company develops and produces layouts and boards specially adapted to customer requirements. Technology, functional performance and quality are more important than production speed because the produced quantities generally are small.
Mowden Controls is a subcontractor offering a complete package of services including development, design, prototyping and series manufacturing. Its clients are specialists in many different industries such as gas, oil, chemical, print, packaging, measurement, control, medical and laboratory.
In many areas, Mowden Controls has acquired specific experience and knowledge, on which customers rely. For example, engineers have long-term experience building reliable circuits for explosive environments. Such products are used especially in the gas and oil industry.
Business Partnership as a Success Factor
One of Mowden’s strategies is to know clients’ requirements and priorities in detail, which is necessary in order to develop the most efficient and best solution for a given task. This, however, is only possible with a partnership and open communication. Therefore, personal contacts are not an exception for Mowden. Stephen Williams, Managing Director of Mowden Controls, adds, “Some of the engineers visit us on a weekly basis.”
Stephen wants his clients to experience outsourcing more like “insourcing.” To achieve this, quality and reliability are required on all levels. Therefore, production and production machines must suit a very high level of demands.
Flexibility and Quality in Production
Before Mowden Controls purchased its first automatic SMD pick-and-place system in 2007, the company reviewed offers from various manufacturers. The analysis clearly favored one machine. Stephen Williams remembers: “For our production, the FLX from Essemtec had exactly the right production capacity, placement speed and physical size.”
The FLX pick-and-place machine from Essemtec is made in Switzerland and offers a wide application range to accommodate PCBs of various sizes and shapes, and it places all required components. The machine’s footprint is smaller than one square meter and the placement speed is up to 6,000 components per hour. Due to the high feeder capacity (190 reels) and the intelligent feeder system, the machine can be changed quickly and without errors from one product to another. This is an important feature for Mowden’s production because the series are small and the quality of each PCB must be perfect from the first board.
The FLX pick-and-place fully met Mowden’s requirements and expectations as well as those of its clients. As a result, production volume continuously increased so that after three years an additional pick-and-place machine was required. Mowden again selected a machine from Essemtec because it is an ideal fit and the collaboration with the manufacturer and the local distributor KPE works smoothly. Two years later a third FLX pick and place was added to the line.
All of the pick-and-place machines are of the same type as the first one. Therefore, feeders and programs can be exchanged between the two machines easily. Additionally, a vision module was installed to enable placement of ultra-fine-pitch components and BGAs.
Mowden is proud of its continuous growth and of its ability to self-finance all its investments. Mowden Controls shows that long-term business relationships with clients and suppliers can strongly influence the positive development of an enterprise.
The Swiss machine manufacturer Essemtec is a market leader in manufacturing flexible production systems for industrial users. Essemtec has been developing, manufacturing and marketing equipment and machines for all processes in the electronics industry since 1991: printers, dispensers, pick-and-place and soldering systems. Manual, semiautomatic and fully automatic systems are available. The range of products also includes transportation and storage systems, as well as software solutions for planning, simulation optimization and documentation of manufacturing. All Essemtec systems are optimized for maximum flexibility. Users can switch from one product to another quickly, making maximum use of available production capacity.Essemtec - Be more flexible.