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Ersa Best Practice: Connor Solutions

Passionate about EMS services for UK, Europe & USA

Connor Solutions Ltd. relies on Ersa soldering systems provided by Blundell Production Equipment

Since its foundation in 1999, Connor Solutions Ltd. has grown into a leading EMS provider, maintaining long-term partnerships with high-performing mid-tier customers in the UK, Europe and North America. Connor Solutions has continued to evolve and grow strongly over the past 10 years. An important business partner is Ersa GmbH, which in cooperation with its representative Blundell Production Equipment (BPE) supports them on the systems side in the areas of wave, reflow, selective and rework.

Standort der Connor Solutions Ltd. in Houghton le Spring in England
Standort der Connor Solutions Ltd. in Houghton le Spring in England

The first investment in an Ersa soldering machine for Connor Solutions Ltd., 50% of whose customers are small and medium-sized companies in the UK, was made in 2013 – it was a POWERFLOW A wave soldering system, which was provided and installed via Ersa representative Blundell Production Equipment. However, the first contact between the involved companies goes back a little longer, it took place in 2011 during the world´s leading trade fair for electronics manufacturing, Productronica. The motivation was the replacement of an older wave soldering system. Connor Solutions Ltd. screened the market and several leading manufacturers were selected, including Ersa Soldering Systems. An on-site machine demonstration took place at Blundell Production Equipment in Coventry. Already on this occasion, it was noted positively by Connor Solutions that the Ersa systems were “made in Germany” and had an excellent reputation in the industry for durability, machine availability, output and quality. The worldwide sales and service network was also convincing across the board, including the excellent regional support provided by the Blundell team. “Apart from the price-performance ratio, the European assembly, the access to manufacturer know-how as well as the support being located in a favorable time zone were convincing competitive advantages”, says Dermot Guerin, Managing Director at Connor Solutions Ltd. “Above all, we attached great importance to the new machine covering as wide a soldering spectrum as possible, which is why we opted for full equipment right from the start, including features such as top, bottom and convection heating for homogeneous heating of the assemblies,” adds Craig Bryant, Operations Director at Connor Solutions.

Ersa VERSAFLOW 3/35 GLOBAL EDITION with the most popular features of electronics manufacturing around the globe
Ersa VERSAFLOW 3/35 GLOBAL EDITION with the most popular features of electronics manufacturing around the globe

Connor Solutions´ business increased significantly afterwards. Productivity and quality took a real leap. Four years later, two more Ersa soldering machines followed to optimally serve the growing volume. On the hardware side, a VERSAFLOW 3/45 for selective soldering and a HOTFLOW 3 reflow soldering system supplemented the Connor machine park. Only one year later it was three more HOTFLOWs as well as a POWERFLOW PRO wave soldering system – with 180 employees the company’s sales had climbed to 28 Million Euro in 2018, generated on 6,000 m² production area. Even during the corona pandemic business continued to grow – one more VERSAFLOW 3/35 GLOBAL EDITION made sales rise to 37 million Euro.

View into the electronics production of Connor Solutions
View into the electronics production of Connor Solutions

Production area nearly doubled to 11,000 m²

Recently, Connor Solutions had the opportunity to acquire another production building in the close neighborhood – until the end of this year the Connor Solution production area grows to 11,000 m². Since Connor Managing Director Dermot Guerin expects sales to double in the next five years further soldering systems will find their new home in the increased production area. “It is our task as EMS service providers to always get more out of our systems regarding tolerances, specifications and, above all, stability in the process,” says manufacturing expert Craig Bryant. The Connor team can start working at any point in the product cycle, whether it´s design for manufacturing, pre-production, volume production, global sourcing, testing, assembly, logistics or warranty.

 

Since the installation of the first Ersa selective machine, sales have increased from 16.6 million Euro to 40 million Euro – with the same number of employees! State-of-the-art production technologies, a high level of technical expertise and first-class service are the pillars of Connor Solutions´ business. “We produce 50 million components month after month for our 40 customers at an absolutely competitive level – our First Pass Yield is just under 99%,” Dermot Guerin sums up.

Craig Bryant, Operations Director bei Connor (li.) mit Ersa Gebietsverkaufsleiter Christian Ott
Craig Bryant, Operations Director bei Connor (li.) mit Ersa Gebietsverkaufsleiter Christian Ott

To get outstanding results from powerful hardware, you also need an experienced team that knows which levers to turn to get the most out of their systems. That´s why all system operators at Connor Solutions receive continuous training. In the next few years, Connor Solutions wants to grow from the current 200 employees to a team of 350 to achieve a strong growth in sales. „We live a business partnership here with the Blundell and Ersa teams that is honest, transparent and open. Without the Ersa systems and the exchange at eye level, we would not be where we are today – thanks for that and we look forward to further cooperation together,” says Dermot Guerin.

 
 

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