SMT, PCB Electronics Industry News

SMT, PCB Electronics Industry News

News from The SMART Group

2013 SMART Group European Conference to Focus on UK Designs Being Made in the UK

Jul 20, 2013

SMART Group, Europe’s largest technical trade association focusing on surface mount and related technologies, announces that its annual SMART Group European Conference & Table Top Exhibition will be held from 2-3 October 2013 at the Spread Eagle Hotel in Cornmarket Thame, Oxfordshire, England.

This year’s conference will show attendees how to improve efficiency and competitiveness to win offshore manufacturing business. Raspberry Pi is an example of this since it is a UK design that was being produced overseas but now is made in the UK.

The SMART Group is pleased to have Gareth Jones of Sony UK Technology Center as one of our conference speakers,” said Keith Bryant, SMART Group’s Chairman. “Gareth’s first-hand involvement and experiences will make a perfect illustration of how manufacturing business can be won in Europe.”

Sue Knight, Technical Chairman of SMART Group, added, “To profitably manufacture in Europe, it is not enough to focus solely on delivered price. A complete package of product, quality, price and timely delivery is required, and that requires a focused, multi-disciplinary team effort — or, in other words, concurrent engineering. We are delighted that Sony will share its experience and success at our Conference.”

Since the Raspberry Pi was launched in February 2012, it has been a great success story. The product is popular with hobbyists and developers but it also has sparked young people’s interest in computer programming and electronics by encouraging them to learn how to build and program their own computer device.

Gareth Jones, SMART Group speaker and Senior Manager, Sony UK Technology Center (UK Tec), said, “The Raspberry Pi is UK innovation, design and engineering at its best. Additionally, it has acted as a significant milestone in the UK manufacturing industry, bringing the production of a UK-designed product back to the UK from overseas. In turn, this has demonstrated that UK manufacturers like Sony UK Tec, now are able to offer the latest manufacturing techniques at competitive price points, enabling us to compete with and, in some cases, surpass our foreign competitors.”

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized minicomputer that plugs into a TV and a keyboard. It is a capable little PC designed as a low-cost teaching tool for kids all over the world to learn programming.
Sony UK Tec manufactures the Raspberry Pi in the UK. Originally, it was made in China; however, Sony UK Tec won a significant share back from them.

Today, nearly one million units of the Raspberry Pi have been built at our site in Pencoed, Wales.  The deal is increasing UK employment and benefiting the UK economy,” added Jones.

Raspberry Pi is not just a UK design but also UK made, resulting in a significant contract reversal. To find out more about how this was accomplished, plan to attend the SMART Group European Conference. To register, contact Tony Gordon at or +44 [0]1494 465217.


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