Above all else, electronic products for aerospace and defense equipment must be durable and reliable. Based in Gloucestershire, England, Ultra Electronics Precision Control Systems (UPCS) has been making such products for both industries since 1925.
The company’s aircraft-related products include position sensing and control units, high-integrity wire harnesses and ground-support equipment. For tanks, trucks and other land equipment, UPCS offers power management, generic vehicle architectures and situational awareness systems.
About three years ago, UPCS needed to improve the engine ice protection systems it makes for combat aircraft. The company hired TT Electronics plc (TTE), an electronics manufacturing services company, to build complex electronic assemblies for the systems.
TTE was selected because of its decades-long working relationship with UPCS, notes Michael Leahan, executive vice president of global manufacturing solutions at TTE. The contract is worth several million dollars and requires TTE to build all assemblies at its Fairford, England, facility.
In 2015, this facility received Nadcap accreditation for Electronics Cable and Harness Assemblies (AC7121). The accreditation makes TTE one of only two companies in Europe to hold Nadcap certifications for both printed circuit board assembly (AC7120) and cable harness assembly.
“[This] location is an excellent example of how focused investment in our people and facilities are impacting our customers and paving the way for future partnerships,” explains Leahan. “Our teams, integrated across business units, have the capabilities, resources and skills necessary to deliver on the additional requirements of [the] UPCS order and those of many others. This [project] provides a firm foundation for future growth, and strengthens [our] position as a major supplier to the global aerospace industry.”
Another manufacturer benefitting from TTE’s engineered electronics capabilities is TRUMPF Laser UK Ltd. (formerly SPI Lasers). The company produces nanosecond pulsed fiber lasers with up to 250 watts of average power, and continuous wave fiber lasers with up to 10 kilowatts of power.
These lasers are used to process materials in a wide range of applications, primarily micro-manufacturing and marking. TRUMPF Laser sells its products globally, but has its major business operations, including R&D and manufacturing, in Southampton, UK.
A few years ago, SPI Lasers hired TTE to provide printed circuit board assemblies and box builds. Although TTE performed the work at various facilities in Europe and Asia, SPI chose TTE based on its reputation for strong manufacturing and test support in the UK, as well as being able to regionally transfer finished product in a seamless, low-cost manner.
Founded in 1906, TTE is headquartered in Woking, UK, and employs nearly 5,000 people worldwide. Over the past two years, the company has greatly expanded its North American presence. In early 2020, TTE acquired a company in Covina, CA, that designs and manufactures power electronics for the defense and aerospace markets. Later that year, TTE purchased Torotel, a U.S.-based company that makes power and electromagnetic assemblies and components.
Last year, TTE’s manufacturing facility in Cleveland became registered by the FDA and is now able to manufacture finished medical instruments and devices, such as imaging and diagnostic systems.
For more information on TTE’s electronics manufacturing services, call 978-567-9600 or visit www.ttelectronics.com.