AWS Electronics Group Ltd

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The AWS Group are specialists in high technology outsourced manufacturing solutions. The group brings together the high level technical capabilities and leading edge production technologies that are normally associated with multinationals, with an approach to customer service that is based on partnership and personal service.

AWS offers clients a comprehensive service for the manufacture of complex electronics and electro-mechanical systems, products and sub-assemblies from prototypes through to final production and ongoing product life support.

The company have invested in the latest specification SMT production lines capable of mounting 01005, 0201, multiple micro-BGAs and chip scale packages (CSPs).

The manufacturing services extend into conventional plated through hole (PTH) printed circuit board assemblies, to complex finished product assembly (box build). The company also manufactures a wide range of cables and harnesses to diverse industry sectors.

The company’s ‘Fast Track’ rapid prototyping facility enables optimum manufacturing routes to be established early in the new product development phase. This means we move quickly to mainstream production, reducing time to market and costs associated with normal production engineering iterations. As a leading outsource manufacturer we have developed significant capability in engineering support that is available to our customers covering:

SMT: Micro BGA, QFP,01005, CSP,FPGA, X-ray, Ersa scope, AOI
PTH - higher level assemblies
Complex - high technology - low to medium volumes
Concept to prototyping to full production
Low cost manufacturing
‘Fast Track’ rapid prototyping
Testing : Functional, safety, ATE, In-circuit, Boundary scan (JTag, XJTag, Corelis)

AWS offers truly whole life support services including design for manufacture (DfM) and design for test (DfT), advanced parts quality planning (APQP), production parts approval process (PPAP), new product introduction project management, procurement and supplier development, logistics, site installation, repairs, refurbishment and upgrades.

The group has manufacturing experience in a wide range of sectors such as:

Defence
Aerospace
Medical/Scientific
Data processing
Security
Instrumentation and controls
Oil, gas & mining
Telecoms
Road and Rail infrastructure
Vending
 

AWS has developed best practice manufacturing principles and operates with a lean manufacturing culture and continuous improvement approach across all its operations. The diversity of our industry accreditations again reflects our commitment to quality, continuous improvement and the environment with ISO 9001, AS9100, ISO 14001. It builds to military, rail, aerospace, medical and food standards. Training is to IPC 610 & 620 standards, for both production and repair services. AWS has won awards from industry for manufacturing excellence and supply chain improvements.

Whole Life Support

AWS Group is committed to providing high technology services for the whole of the electronics product life cycle from design and prototyping, through manufacturing to repair, overhaul, upgrade, maintenance and obsolescence management.

Originally developed to support products with our existing customers we now provide bespoke services to new customers.

The full range of whole life support services are

Design and development support (New product introduction)
Development of test and test routines
Supply chain management and sourcing
Material management
Kitting and full system supply
Packaging/shipping
Diagnostics, fault analysis and root cause
Repair
Refurbishment
Upgrade
Reverse engineering
Obsolescence management
Warranty analysis
Maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO)

Recognising the ‘workshop’ approach to many repair and MRO activities AWS has a dedicated repair centre at its Bedford site and dedicated customer after market areas within each site. The repairs and refurbishment represents 10% of turnover and is a high value add element for us and our customers.

AWS provides a true whole life support solution to many of its customers. 

Supply Chain Management

 AWS has grown into one of the largest independent EMS providers with turnover currently in excess of £35m it has developed its supply chain management services from being a support function to a critical element of the business in delivering real value add and customer satisfaction.

With material spend of over £18m we have developed a specialist supply chain management team who are in touch with the latest market prices, AWS has a global purchase view for best price in a cost sensitive and dynamic environment. Working closely with account managers this provides a ‘local’ and seamless service to the customer. Buyers have a clear understanding of customer needs for reducing lead times and they fully comprehend obsolescence issues and the need to mitigate risk.

AWS buyers are empowered to act to deliver lowest material cost with shortest delivery and always considering the impact on inventory levels and minimum order quantities (MOQ). We utilise all the benefits of the latest procurement systems with JIT, Kanban and consignment stocking.

Due to diverse number of industries it serves, AWS has developed a number of solutions for customer procurement issues using its best practice across the group. Supply chain management represents a host of activities that we can undertake not only for our own manufacturing but also directly on behalf of the customer:

Specialist commodity buyers
Sourcing decisions
Supplier development and assessment
Inventory management
Warehouse management
Kitting
JIT and Kanban
Obsolescence management
Open book approach to component pricing
Scalability to influence priority responses in major global distributors

Fast Track Prototyping

Fast track prototyping
The fast moving and dynamic nature of new product introductions within outsourced electronics manufacturing means that the demand for prototypes is high and whilst originally seen as a support function is now a critical success factor for many customers.

AWS understand the need for a dedicated service for customers requiring urgent delivery of prototypes and small volumes. We have a proven dedicated division within AWS; 'FastTrack', which is staffed by highly experienced people. These people understand the problems involved with limited information, in-process queries and the need to communicate and fully support your design Engineers. With the support of all the facilities of our volume production and inspection departments, but with its own dedicated FastTrack assembly line, Fast Track will ensure your new product is ready when you need it to be.

Fast Track enables optimum manufacturing routes to be established, at the same time as resolving any ambiguities and introducing clarification at the earliest stage of new product development. This enables AWS to move rapidly into mainstream production, using repeatable processes without the additional costs of further volume production engineering of the product.

We will work with you to plan, control and deliver your latest product to market within the critical timescales you lay down. Using FastTrack means you will have all the benefits of a swift and dedicated manufacturing process within a volume production environment and using volume manufacturing techniques to ensure that when your product goes into full production it is designed and proven to adapt to volume manufacturing seamlessly.

All data and technical information gained during the production engineering and NPI process is recorded and studied by the team to ensure that anything that inhibits the successful introduction of mainstream production is resolved in real-time. This ensures that the final product developments are pro-active and do not delay your project dead line.

Low Cost Manufacturing

AWS provides a complete range of assembly and box build services including SMT assembly, conventional assemblies, cable assemblies and full box build out of it's Slovakian facility.

A key part of the group strategy is to also develop a low cost manufacturing centre in Asia through acquisition or joint venture (JV). This is currently delivered through a partnering arrangement but the group is on target to have its own subsidiary in place by end of 2010.

AWS Slovakia
AWS Slovakia is a fully owned subsidiary of the AWS Group and this allows it to offer a full UK based engineering service to its customers while at the same time offering customers the benefits of manufacturing in a much lower cost environment than the UK. This allows new products to be fully engineered through prototype services in the UK before ‘proven’ products and ‘proven’ processes are transferred to Slovakia. AWS protects the customers risks with the knowledge that the transfer is managed from the UK. AWS Slovakia have people, systems and processes developed and overseen by the AWS UK teams

Location
AWS Slovakia is based in Namestovo in northern Slovakia close to the Polish border. This offers:

Easy access to all the major European markets.
Reliable freight transport links
Proximity to Krakow airport (2 hours) which is well served by numerous airlines from the UK.
Benefits of using AWS Slovakia

Highly skilled workforce. All trained to IPC 610 & 620 standards.
Direct access to wholly owned Slovakian manufacturing facility.
All senior staff fluent in written and spoken English.
UK based account management.
ISO 9001 Quality approvals
MRP systems and processes aligned with UK sites
Significant cost savings compared to UK production

Design Services

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Design Services

As well as having considerable engineering expertise in-house, with over 50 qualified engineers and production engineers, AWs also partners with a small number of design houses specialising in such fields as military, aerospace, scientific instruments. oil, gas & mining etc. Thus AWS can offer a comprehensive design service including:

Functional and technical specification,
Functional design,
DfX, design for manufacturing, test, cost, maintenance
PCA and unit layout,
Enclosure design,
Styling,
Product integration
PCB layout

AWS use concurrent engineering techniques including information sharing, document handling, configuration control, change management, release control, process control and team coordination.

Used within a proactive project management framework to coordinate the various advanced engineering services, these techniques and application tools ensure that difficulties are identified before they become problems and that success is by design not accident.

Using proven design tools and practices, combined with the services of specialist partners, AWS are able to fully support clients' design teams and have the capability to take manufacturing projects from concept to completion ensuring delivery to specification, on-time and to budget. Other areas of design support

Specification, design, development
Commissioning of test routines and equipment
PCB design and layout
Cable and connector technologies
Sub-assembly design
Wiring harness design
Production engineering
Prototyping
Specification and management of product proving and accreditation
Environmental testing (thermal cycling chamber)
DFMEA/PFMEA
Advanced quality planning (APQP) and product approvals (PPAP)
Sourcing

NPI - Project Management

Our experience in manufacturing a diverse range of products means that we have a large store of knowledge ready and waiting to be used by customers who require a proven and robust procedure for New Product Introduction (NPI) and production engineering.

The strength of our design support teams, with over 50 qualified engineers and our world class prototyping capabilities through the AWS ‘Fast Track facility are fundamentals that we have in house to support any new product introduction.

Our core skills built around manufacturing, supply chain management and account management mean we can quickly put together an integrated and experienced team for any new project.

Benefits of the AWS NPI approach:

Proven project management tools and methodologies
Use of gateways to control internal and external activity
Concurrent approach
Proactive approach using advanced quality planning tools (APQP & PPAP)
Reduced risk of failure using risk management methodologies
Experienced project managers and engineers
Seamless transition from design into manufacturing
Controlled environment
Fast track prototyping

Test and Diagnostics

AWS believe that customers constantly strive to provide the most reliable product to their end user. To do this they often have to weigh up the value of in-house test or sub-contracted testing. At AWS we are committed to allowing the customer to have the most rewarding relationship possible, so we offer a wide range of test facilities to suit each individual circumstance. We believe that testing by AWS not only takes away the worries and capital investment requirements from our clients, but also allows us to show commitment to customers by our investment in equipment and training.

AWS have invested extensively to enable both parties to develop the right balance of testing depending on the complexity, style and value of each product.

Fast, efficient diagnosis and rectification ensure that the lowest cost of production is achieved at the Test stage.

Having carried out a test function, it is important that accurate records are kept to allow analysis to take place. This has the benefit of giving a true picture of the products’ reliability, and often forms the foundation for enhancements, concurrent engineering and new development. AWS actively encourages customers to benefit from this invaluable intelligence and share in the aim of continuous improvement.

With our continuous improvement programmes and continuous efficiency measurement the customer benefits from the lowest cost of production and the highest level of quality.

Our Range of Test Services include:

In-Circuit Test

Teradyne 8852 Spectrum offering:-

Full analogue and digital test techniques
2560 Non-multiplexed channel capability with multiple logic capability
Vectorless test techniques - FrameScan and DeltaScan
Integrated BICT Boundary Scan
On-board Flash device programming
Teradyne 18XX programme and fixture compatibility - runs direct source code and fixture via our personality plate
VXI Card cage for integrated functional test
Agilent and GenRad test programme migration
Automated Functional Test
Teradyne 8852 Spectrum using integrated VXI capability offering:-

Functional testing via VXI instruments
Simulation or operational characteristics via custom integrated cards
Combination Testing
The Teradyne Spectrum for both ICT and functional test provides the maximum test coverage achievable.

Flying probe
SPEA and TESCON

Manual Functional Testing
Using various testing methods from pc driven, switching, simulation and substitution we can create full functionality procedures.

RF Testing

MDA (Manufacturing Defect Analysis)
Helping the customer to ensure the knowledge of manufacturing and testing products is converted into the latest most reliable designs

Safety Testing
Ensuring compliance to the latest regulations governing your product

Design and implementation of total test solutions
We will work with you to design, manufacture and implement testing unique to your products

Surface Mount Technology

At AWS Group we are proud of our extensive expertise in Surface Mount technologies. Our Investment in the latest equipment underlines our total commitment to the leading edge of electronics manufacturing.

8 fully automated SMT lines.
SMT PCB assembly capabilities down to 01005 and fine pitch 10thou QFP’s, BGA and µBGA.
Automatic Optical Inspection (AOI) x 8
The ability to handle large PCBs up to 760x460mm (29x18inches)
X-Tek iXS-3 X-Ray chamber with image capture and data logging x 2
ERSASCOPE inspection systems with variable magnification and image capture
ERSA 650A rework station with laser alignment, closed loop control

AWS has all the facilities necessary for the placement of BGAs including X-Ray and Ersascope equipment to validate the process. The Ersa rework station allows us to remove and replace faulty individual components without causing damage to other components on the board.

Compared with other fine pitch surface mount components having gull wing leads, BGAs offer several distinct advantages including:

High pin count capability, generally more than 200, but gull-wing leads limited to less than 300 I/Os
Larger lead pitches, which significantly reduces the manufacturing complexities for high I/O parts
Higher packaging densities are achievable since the lead envelope for the gull-wing leads is not applicable in the case of BGAs; hence it is possible to mount more packages per board, ie higher packaging density
Faster circuitry speed than gull-wing surface mount components (SMCs) because the terminations are much shorter and therefore less inductive and resistive
Better heat dissipation
Conventional SMT production technologies such as stencil printing and component mounting can be employed

Rapid Prototyping & NPI

AWS offers a complete solution for the customer; we are experts in complete system building, proven over many years. This statement is backed up by the many thousands of units supplied worldwide. Our approach is based on the philosophy that the client wants a perfect product, on time, every time and delivered anywhere in the world. Our experience in manufacturing a diverse range of products means that we have a large store of knowledge ready and waiting to be used by customers who are wanting a proven and robust procedure for NPI and production engineering.

The understanding that the AWS Group have for dedicated customer service has enabled us to fulfil the need of urgent delivery of prototypes and small volumes. We have a proven stand-alone division within the business called FastTrack which is staffed by highly experienced people. These people understand the problems involved with limited information, in-process queries and the need to communicate and fully support your design engineers. With the support of all the facilities of our volume production and inspection departments, but with its own dedicated FastTrack assembly line, FastTrack will ensure your new product is ready when you need it to be.

FastTrack enables optimum manufacturing routes to be established, at the same time as resolving any ambiguities and introducing clarification at the earliest stage of new product development. This enables AWS Cemgraft to move rapidly into mainstream production, using repeatable processes without the additional costs of further volume production engineering of the product.

We will work with you to plan, control and deliver your latest product to market within the critical timescales you lay down. Using FastTrack means you will have all the benefits of a swift and dedicated manufacturing process within a volume production environment and using volume manufacturing techniques to ensure that when your product goes into full production it is designed and proven to adapt to volume manufacturing seamlessly.

All data and technical information gained during the production engineering and NPI process is recorded and studied by the team to ensure that anything that inhibits the successful introduction of mainstream production is resolved in real-time. This ensures that the final product developments are pro-active and do not delay your project dead line.

Complex Units

At AWS Group we offer full capability build on all equipment assembly where required.

Typical examples are:

Aesthetic hand held data loggers
Vending and food dispensing
Ruggedised 19" communication racks
Complete build for Mass spectrometers
Scientific test equipment
Intrinsically safe control units
Cable Interface units

The equipment build covers the full or part procurement of all materials including metalwork. Assembly of the ancilliary parts including cables, 19" racks, PCB's etc: Encapsulation and conformal coating. Cable preparation and integration. Final assembly and functional test including High voltage
 

Cable and Harness Assembly

Offering a full round-trip solution to your wiring harness requirements AWS provide a complete design to delivery service and can provide full after sales and logistics support.

General

Prototyping
Low to medium volumes of high variety
Batch assembly
Simple RF assemblies to complex multi-core cable
Single or multiple shift operation
Overmould
Equipment

Automated cable cutting and stripping
Pneumatic bandit and crimping
Label and ident printing
Custom built functional test equipment
ATE test facility; AC & DC, voltage proof and dielectric, continuity and short circuits
Electrical safety test equipment
Management and Control|

ERP / MRP systems
Full procurement or partial free issue
Dedicated account management, short communication lines to the shop floor
Dedicated-to-customer contract terms
 

Repairs and Service

AWS Group has extensive in-house facilities for both fault diagnosis and final testing of completed repairs. We also maintain a comprehensive library of technical manuals including IC data and schematic drawings to assist in fault diagnosis and tracking.

Utilising AWS Group facilities, our experienced engineering staff, many of who are graduates, are also able to reverse engineer components, circuits and complete assemblies, enabling us to repair and service virtually all types of electronic equipment, be it obsolete of current OEM technology.

AWS Group offer an immediate assembly capacity for:

Conventional assembly
Surface mount production
Mixed technology
Our PCB design team can design any board to suit your requirements. The PCB design office runs a number of software platforms including:

Visionics Edwin
Autocad 2000 LT
Zuken Redac Cadstar
Vutrax
Gerber Editing Software
Just one of our areas of expertise is in the design of impedance matched leadboards for the chip manufacturing industry. We also have the ability to take your designs through to manufacture with our assembly services. Saving you time and providing the convenience of a single point for all your PCB requirements.
 

Testing and Diagnostics

We believe that customers constantly strive to provide the most reliable product to their end user. To do this they often have to weigh up the value of in-house test of sub-contracted testing. The AWS Group are committed to allowing the customer to have the most rewarding relationship possible, we therefore offer a wide range of test facilities to suit each individual circumstance. We believe that testing by AWS not only takes away the worries and capital investment requirements from our clients, but also allows us to show commitment to customers by our investment in equipment and training.

AWS Group has extensively invested to enable both parties to develop the right balance of testing dependent upon complexity, style and value of each product.

Having carried out a test function, it is important that accurate records are kept to allow analysis to take place. This has the benefit of giving a true picture of the products reliability and often forms the foundation for future enhancements, concurrent engineering and new development. AWS actively encourages customers to benefit from this invaluable intelligence and share in the aim of continuous improvement.

In Circuit Test

Full analogue and digital test techniques
2560 non-multiplexed channel capability with multiple logic capability
Vectorless test techniques, FrameScan and DeltaScan
Integrated BICT Boundary Scan
On-board flash device programming
Teradyne 18XX programme and fixture compatibility
VXI card cage for integrated functional test
Functional testing via VXI instruments
Simulation or operation characteristics via custom integrated cards
Agilent and GenRad test programme migration
Combination Testing

Using the Teradyne spectrum for both ICT and functional test provides the maximum test coverage achievable
Manual Functional Testing

Using various testing methods from PC driven switching, simulation and substitution we can create full functionality procedures
RF Testing

Cable harness testing


Safety Testing

Ensuring compliance to the latest regulations governing your product
Design and Implementation of Total Test Solutions

We will work with you to design, manufacture and implement testing unique to your products
Automated equipment relieves much of the pressure of repetitive, error prone work allowing inspection the freedom to concentrate on quality assurance. Whilst the AWS quality policy is ‘right first time', it is nonetheless important to validate the effectiveness of production controls through the use of batch and unit inspection schemes. In order to ensure the highest level of confidence in finished product, AWS Group use a range of sophisticated inspection systems including:

Automatic Optical Inspection (AOI)
Cable Harness Testing
PCB Assembly Test Systems
Automated inspection systems leverage our production facilities, providing the following benefits:

Increased line utilisation
Savings on manual inspection
Savings on repair costs
Fast programming time
Reduction in product failures through better product quality
Automated control over manufacturing processes
 

PTH and Conventional Assembly

With over 60 staff trained and training to IPC 610 Class C, AWS Electronics offers excellent resources to our clients. Our conventional assembly covers both modern and obsolete products, in high and low power applications. Having two sophisticated flow solder systems, one each for leaded and RoHS (lead-free) soldering, enables us to put our entire production through either route – a capability that we envisage maintaining indefinitely.

Almost every product has its own idiosyncrasies, and AWS Electronics works with our clients in each case to master them. Combined with our low staff turnover, this enables us to deliver reliable quality - often on products on which other companies have failed. Examples of such idiosyncrasies include:

Ensuring that solder runs at least 5mm up the wire, even into insulation
Exact lead lengths
Matching and selection of exact FET and other component values

AWS Sectors

AWS operates across a wide spectrum of sectors, all of which use a range of electronic products and services.
The strategic development of these sectors has seen a continuing trend to outsource the provision of electronic manufacturing services.

AWS recognises that there are often different demands with regards to accreditation requirements and standards across varying market sectors. We have ensured that we fully understand the requirements of these sectors and that we have and aligned our policies and procedures accordongly.

Although not a complete list the group currently services clients in the following sectors:


Aerospace/Defence
Security (anti-terrorist)
Scientific / Medical
Oil, Gas & Mining
Telecoms/Data Storage
Industrial Controls
Transport (road & rail)
Broadcast/Media
Instrumentation
Food / Vending
 

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