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Providing a Long-term Collaboration to a Product Design and Development Consultancy

The Client

AA Electron is an established source of electronic product development expertise to a range of organisations.
Its principal consultant has provided thought leadership in developing ground-breaking new products in areas which include automated libraries, niche laboratory facilities, security systems, automotive interiors, battery chargers and AV technology.

Benefits of working with Monode:

• Consistent high quality technical services over a wide variety of projects
• Exceptionally accurate assembly lines
• Unprecedented output quality
• In-depth expertise in electronic engineering, testing and manufacturing
• Provide client with robust and portable manufacturing and testing procedures
• Technical electronic expertise that suits a wide range of projects
• Dramatically reduced need for international travel
• Problem solving excellence
• Takes ownership of a task and offers a wealth of inherent knowledge
• Consistently delivers on time and on budget.

The Challenge

Andrew Armstrong, the founder of AA Electron, has been working as an electronics design consultant for more than 25 years. This innovative industry is fast-moving and often unforgiving, so he only collaborates with highly responsive organisations with a proven track record, trusted leadership and experts accustomed to ‘holding their own’ and impressing in customer liaison.

Given that his customers expect long-term product reliability in the demanding, even rugged, environments in which they operate, only first-class product assembly lines are acceptable.

As with all product development consultancies, the performance of suppliers introduced by Andrew reflects directly on his company and its reputation.

Examples of project specific challenges faced by AA Electron, met by Monode

1) Prototype development and assembly, often within tight timescales.
2) Manufacturing in an environment that matched a factory overseas, to establish commercially viable quality control measures and production rates.
3) Using Monode to replicate problematic manufacturing environments in order to solve existing production issues being experienced by the client in overseas facilities.
4) Precision component manufacturing, e.g. a lamp with surface components measuring 1 mm x 0.5 mm.
5) Assembling and testing PCBs (printed circuit boards) destined for immediate production.
6) Developing and manufacturing small numbers of business-critical niche products, e.g. HGV electronics for assessing risk to consignments, monitoring extreme environmental conditions and location.

The Solution

Mike Vince, co-founder of Monode, has known Andrew for more than 20 years.

“This level of familiarity is enormously helpful because it means I’m confident in Monode’s culture, its work ethics and quality standards. Mike’s expertise also means that there’s a vast amount of inherent knowledge within his company, so I don’t have to spend hours explaining when a new project comes up. This also means that I can turn to Mike when we need to brainstorm an issue and come up with a solution,” explained Andrew.

Monode’s ability to replicate manufacturing environments dramatically reduces the cost of solving problems experienced in overseas facilities, and the timeframes in which this is achieved.

“Monode excels at precision placement when it comes to consistently accurate electronics assembly lines. They understand our testing regimes and desired quality standards. Their facility is within an hour’s drive, so working with them is far more cost-effective and timely than flying overseas to deliver testing and quality control fixes.

“As you’d expect, you pay marginally more to use a UK-based facility, but you know the project will be completed or the issue resolved on time and within budget, which saves money and reduces business risk in the long run.

Also, when push comes to shove, they deliver complicated projects accurately and have often pitched in at short notice,” commented Andrew.

The Results

Of the many projects on which they’ve worked together, Andrew cited a few recent examples which lay testament to Monode’s quality standards.

Monode assembled electronic PCBs to fit beneath Canadian lorries. Andrew explained that the products are accurately assembled to help ensure their reliability in extreme working environments. If the quality of work was anything less, the hardware wouldn’t survive the temperature fluctuations, motion of the truck and lack of physical protection from debris, water and ice flying off the road.

A bicycle accessory manufacturer wanted to use a Chinese facility, but needed to ensure it had an assembly line design that would produce components of the required quality and that would keep wastage below a threshold percentage. Monode mimicked the tooling, manual assembly line and quality control to ensure the client had a procedure that would yield a viable production rate in their Chinese factory.

At short notice, Monode built and tested four-layer PCB components for a new type of underwater scooter. The customer intended to take their new and improved product into production the following week.

“Over many years, Monode has consistently been a reliable and honest source of advanced electronic product development and manufacturing skills and facilities,” concluded Andrew

Monode Limited
44 Ball Moor
MK18 1RQ

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