New state-of-the-art machine at family-run Warwick business is the first of its kind to be installed in the UK

They received a £40k grant towards their £165k state-of-the-art machine

From the left, Martin Nwangwa (CWLEP Growth Hub) and Denise Osborne (Coventry City Council) with Sonia Astle-Fletcher, Max Bennett and John Bennett (Technical Support). Photo supplied

An family-run business in Warwick has installed a new state-of-the-art printed circuit assembly machine after receiving grant funding.

The machine, an Atom A1 from Europlacer, is the first of this model to be installed in the UK.

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Technical Support in Millers Road assembles electronics and was set-up more than 40 years ago by John Bennett.

Today this family business is still run by John, together with his five children, Sonia Astle-Fletcher, and Josh, Jessica, Suzy and Max Bennett.

The team identified the need to step up to new technology and they were encouraged by their bank, to contact the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub.

Martin Nwangwa from the CWLEP Growth Hub put Sonia in touch with Coventry City Council’s Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Technical Support received a £40,000 grant towards £165,000 machine, which now is up-and-running.

Sonia said: “Our typical customer has designed circuit boards as part of a manufacturing project and is looking for a dependable sub-contractor to assemble them.

“We’ve used some impressive machines over the years, and new clients are often surprised at our manufacturing capability, but in order to meet the requirements of some new high-end projects, we needed to upgrade again owing to advances in technology.

“Before the pandemic, we had identified the machine we needed but had to put our plans on pause. When restrictions began to ease, we knew it was time to move ahead and found out through our bank that we might be eligible for a grant.

“We produce tens of thousands of printed circuit boards a year and this new machine is a game changer for us. We operate in a niche area and this brand new model is the first installation in the UK.”

Martin Nwangwa, account manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub, said: “Technical Support has a great deal of experience in assembling printed circuit boards precisely and quickly.

“This innovative machine is really important in helping them to offer even more flexibility whether it is for a prototype or small to medium volumes.

“It also means they will be able to expand into other areas and add to their three full-time members of staff.”