ACL Contract Electronics Manufacture

Innovation . Design . Manufacture

Celebrating 25 years of excellence

Assembly Contracts Quarterly Report

With ACL, Manchester, as your partner you receive unsurpassed manufacturing quality, delivered on time every time by our IPC trained, experienced workforce.

Our sophisticated, bespoke, written in-house, purchasing, QA, and production control software is continuously modified in response to market changes.
Materials are always purchased well in advance of delivery dates, giving you peace of mind.
I hope you find the following informative. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or comments.

ACL News

This quarter has seen factory improvements at ACL in the wake of increasing demands. Together with a general refit, we have constructed a new clean room for all critical assembly work and increased the efficiency and standard of the factory's air filtration as a whole. A new aqueous, environmentally friendly, PCB cleaning system has been installed allowing us to clean to Mil Specification.

Adding to our existing approvals we have recently attained the CSA quality standard (Canadian Standards Association). The CSA mark indicates products have been tested and manufactured to Canadian and US standards. This approval means we can mark products "CSA" allowing them to be sold into these markets.

Supply Chain & Manufacturing

The component market has generally remained uneventful this quarter with prices and lead times stable.

Being Britain's largest export market, the Eurozone's stunted growth, alongside a strong Pound (highest levels since 2008), has resulted in soft manufacturing data. Despite this, manufacturing activity has increased by 0.1pc with the PMI posting at 51.6 (> 50 indicates expansion). Data from Markit indicated manufacturing job creation accelerated last month continuing on from the highs of the previous quarter.

The UK economy grew by 3.2pc between June 2013 and June 2014. In September the Office of National Statistics announced the British economy is larger than previously estimated. GDP increase for Q2 was revised to 0.9pc from 0.8pc. The recovery of the UK economy has continued this quarter with numerous indicators suggesting it is stronger than any other leading developed economy.

Employment has been rising with an increase of 1.7 million jobs at the end of the second quarter. Unemployment has also fallen rapidly to 6.6pc. This is well below the level at which the B of E said they would consider raising interest rates. The immediacy of this, however, has been slowed as a result of the factors mentioned above (Eurozone, the Pound and the PMI), since they add to an air of caution as to whether the UK economy is quite ready this year.

UK & Global Trends

The main issues this quarter have been the outcome of the Scottish Referendum and the debate over a Referendum on the EU.

Throughout the quarter the uncertainty over the result of the Scottish vote for independence impacted on the strength of Sterling quite substantially. In the weeks leading up to the referendum, when fear of a yes vote was at the pinnacle, the Pound to USD was trading at a 10-month low. Once relief set in as the Scottish Nationalists failed to gain a majority Sterling was driven higher and higher against most of its major rivals.

With the threat of Scottish independence passing, it is rumoured that the B of E may now start raising interest rates in the first half of 2015. Coupled with a fall in unemployment the likelihood of this happening next year has further boosted Sterling.

The focus has now shifted to the uncertainties regarding a Referendum on the EU. WPP Chief Executive Sir Martin Sorrell has warned that it could be even more disruptive than the Scottish referendum on the UKs very strong recent economic growth. The impact of a UK exit from links to a huge trading power could have major impacts on all industries, particularly manufacturing. The USD has enjoyed 4 year highs after its poor start to the year. Gains have been made for the Greenback as the rate of unemployment dropped, the trade deficit narrowed and non-manufacturing surveys were better than forecasted.

The poor strength of the Euro continued in Q3. Germany's Manufacturing PMI sunk to 49.9 in September suffering its first contraction for over a year.

Overall the third quarter has shown the UK economy and manufacturing continuing to grow and analysts expect this to continue throughout the remainder of the year.

Please find enclosed ACL's brochure together with a component pricing and lead time breakdown.

If you would like to discuss any manufacturing requirements please don't hesitate to get in touch with me.
Arthur Woode
© ACL 2014