ROBUST printed circuit boards (PCBs) from Newbury Electronics are an integral part of the latest computer vision guidance and control technologies for the agricultural sector.
The Faraday Road firm has enjoyed a 10-year partnership with Tillett & Hague, which develops and manufactures complete control systems for installation in machinery that provides farmers with the very best in precision guidance.
Farming, like every other sector, is striving for improvements in efficiencies and ways to achieve greater yields. If the farmers have a better understanding of their land they are able to ensure that every square metre is used to its best advantage.
Tony Hague, director at Tillett & Hague, said: “One of our newest and most complex machines has rotary cultivators which utilised electrical drives.
“This machine has about 25 PCBs made by Newbury Electronics, one per rotor and several others for lateral and height control, power regulation etc.
“Engineering this system was quite a challenge, especially the electric rotor drives because the machine is used in an area where there is a lot of bog oak – submerged remains of ancient trees – which give quite a shock load to the cultivators when you find a lump.
“Newbury’s solder joints have certainly stood up to the rough terrain test and the company has also been able to supply us with bespoke shaped boards enabling us to fit the controls around the motor in a cast metal housing.
“For the user console, the ability to integrate all the functions we need – power supply and management, touch screen control etc on the one PCB, physically shaped to fit, has allowed us to make a compact, lighter and cleaner-looking unit.
“Also important is the fact that it has allowed us to eliminate many interconnections, making for quicker assembly and improved reliability.”
Newbury Electronics has been supplying prototype boards and then the follow-up batch production boards, usually 50 at a time, to Tillett & Hague for more than a decade.
“Newbury’s PCB Train service is ideal, we can get a prototype bare PCB made quickly, reliably and with little intervention,” said Mr Hague.
The boards are fabricated and assembled using parts procured to a bill of materials supplied to Newbury by Tillett & Hague.
Newbury Electronics Ltd has been trading for nearly 60 years and now offers its customers some of the most advanced contract electronic manufacturing (CEM) solutions available in the UK.
Philip King became managing director in 2011, and has overseen more than £2m of capital investment in the last five years.
The company employs more than 70 staff.